Zhang, T., &Huang, X. (2022). Viral marketing: Influencer marketing pivots in tourism–acase study of meme influencer instigated travel interest surge. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(4), 508-515. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13683500.2021.1910214
The study is based on a meme of a herder from the western parts of china who ‘accidentally became famous after his image was shared by internet users across the globe. Destination marketers saw an opportunity in using the (now famous) herder to market various tourist destination across the region. In the long run, the herder became an influence who created a significant impact on the increase inthe number of public travels to the western parts of china. The researcher used big data analytics and natural language processing approach to understand theinfluence of influencer marketing in the tourism industry. The findingsrevealed that the local tourism in the region has shifted from viral marketing to influencer marketing. It implies that initially marketers depended on consumers to share products and experiences on the internet to attract the attention of the potential clients. The authors also looked at how influencer marketers supports. During the study, the pandemic suspicion was controlled since it influenced the travelling interests in both influencer attraction and government promotions. The existing conditions around the outbreak and spread of the pandemic has had a negative influence on tourism in china and other parts of the world. Findings from this study are significant in developing tourism marketing strategies in the increasingly competitive sector of the economy. Findings further provides an indicator that influencers have a significant and (almost) immediate impact on the attitude and decision making capacity of the public. Thus, the generalpublic’s tendency to follow influencers’ public activities could transform into interests to visit a tourist destination if the said influencers have recommended or reported about their personal experience about the place. The findings from this study also reveals the importance of choosing the right influencer or celebrity in the promotion of a tourist destination.