Title: The connection between social media attachment, tourist flows and overtourism

Authors: Qingfeng Song; Alaa Nimer Abukhalifeh

Addresses: Department of Tourism Management, JinZhong University, JinZhong, 030619, China ' Sol International Hospitality Management Department (SIHOM), Sol International School (SIS), Woosong University, Daejeon, 34606, South Korea

Abstract: Tourists' behaviour is increasingly influenced by social media, which plays a crucial role in the emergence of over-tourism. However, there is a dearth of literature addressing the relationship between social media attachment and overtourism. This study uses attachment theory to examine this relationship in the context of Hangzhou, China. The theoretical model explains how social media attachment in tourism shapes the flow of tourists and leads to overtourism. This structural model is tested utilising structural equation modelling. The results show that social media attachment significantly contributes to overtourism.

Keywords: social media attachment; tourist flows; overcrowding; overtourism; attachment theory; PLS-SEM; partial least squares structural equation modelling; Hangzhou; Republic of China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2021.117370

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2021 Vol.11 No.2, pp.117 - 141

Received: 12 Nov 2020
Accepted: 07 Mar 2021

Published online: 25 Aug 2021 *

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