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Tourists' cyber tales, climate change and new media

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Publication Date
  • L312 Travel And Tourism
  • Communication


Cyberethnographic accounts of behavior are just emerging as a legitimate and useful way of exploring new forms of communication including the digital co-presence found in cyber communities. The chapter represents the first known account of such a research approach applied to issues of climate change in online travel communities as manifested through travelblogs. The research undertook observations of five online websites where experiences are shared and issues discussed. This first round of findings revealed no discussions on the topic of travel and climate change, which the researchers imputed to mean a lack of interest in the topic. A further round of observations was conducted on a site with a more nuanced approach to travel (though not an overtly green site). This revealed sufficient data for frame analysis: budding green, ironic cynics, reluctant cynics, candourants, and rational cynics. The findings suggest that the tourism and climate change issue as seen by these tourists is confused, paradoxical, and cynical. The main conclusion is that there must be greater efforts in creating public understanding of science so as to change behavior in ways favorable to diminishing greenhouse gas emissions.

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