Viral marketing: Influencer marketing pivots in tourism–a case study of meme influencer instigated travel interest surge
Letter to the Editor
Current Issues in Tourism
Taylor & Francis
School of Business and Law / Graduate Research
A young herder in western China accidentally went viral on the internet and aroused public interests to visit his scenic hometown. The subsequent collaborations between the herder and destination marketers on social media made him an influencer and further boosted the surge of public travel interests. Drawing on big data analytics and natural language processing techniques, this paper conducted two studies. Study 1 has proved that the local tourism authority has successfully pivoted tourism marketing strategies from viral marketing to influencer marketing. Study 2 corroborated the positive effects of influencer attraction and government tourism promotion on public travel interests. The moderating role of public suspicions about the pandemic disruptions was also identified.