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City rankings by netizens stir tourism conference

By Xu Lin ( chinadaily.com.cn ) Updated: 2014-12-02 07:00:00

City rankings by netizens stir tourism conference

Chengdu is amomg the Top 10 Chinese Cities with the Best Cuisine, according to the rankings by netizens. [Photo/Xinhua]

More than 200 tourism bureau leaders, experts, scholars and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry and journalists examined data about the top-ranked tourism destinations on the Chinese mainland at the Conference of Wise Tourism and its Promotion.

Keynote speakers at Beijing International Studies University, the conference host, exchanged their views about development and challenges for tourism in today's big-data era.

Zhong Lina, director of the department of tourism marketing and e-commerce at the university, unveiled the rankings of the 2014 Network Opinion Indexes of Popular Chinese Tourist Cities.

The research delved into more than 1 million posts and comments about 339 popular Chinese tourist cities on Sina Weibo, a Chinese social networking site, in the past year. It analyzed the data about 18 categories such as food, accommodation, transportation, shopping and entertainment.

"The indexes can tell us the true images of tourist cities in the netizens' eyes because the data came from their comments on social media. The rankings can help improve operation, management and policymaking of the tourism industry in these cities," said Zhong, who was in charge of the research.

She said the indexes show the potential market of cities, and what kind of products visitors like, offering data to support precision marketing and help cities to target their customers.

The university officially established the China Tourism Big Data Research Center at the conference, to monitor network opinions about tourism, execute tourism data-mining, train talent and promote wisdom promotion.  

Li Xinjian, president of the School of Tourism Management at the university, said data sharing in the big-data era allows tourists to know about the travel experience before they even start their trips. It changes the pattern of tourism consumption, and visitors are more likely to make right decisions.

"Social media has changed the traditional way to express public opinions. It is an important platform to respond to public opinions and promote tourism," said professor Shen Yang from the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University.

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