Title: Developing a conceptual framework to understand local residents' contribution in online travel communities

Authors: Bingjie Liu; William C. Norman

Addresses: Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida, P.O. Box 118208, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA ' Park, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, 275B Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Abstract: Online travel communities have reshaped travel behaviours and decision-makings of people around the world. Noticeably, local residents, who are perceived as reliable and authentic information providers, largely contribute to these online travel communities by offering help. This study developed and tested a conceptual framework, which was built upon the attribute-empathy theory and the social identity theory. Hierarchical regressions analyses were employed and results indicated that local resident's online helping behaviour was affected by age, length of residency, sympathy, personal distress, and the evaluative identity of local resident. Based on the findings, both theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Keywords: local residents; online travel communities; helping behaviour; social identity theory; attribution-empathy theory; conceptual framework; age; length of residency; sympathy; personal distress; evaluative identity; authentic information.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2015.074016

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2015 Vol.4 No.4, pp.367 - 382

Received: 10 Feb 2015
Accepted: 22 Oct 2015

Published online: 02 Jan 2016 *

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