From Serendipity to Sustainability: Exploring the Content Creation and Sharing Experiences of Local Travel Influencers in China

Jianwei Ding, Md Azalanshah Md Syed, Rosya Izyanie Shamshudeen


The study explored content creation and sharing experiences of local travel influencers in Meishan City, China. A qualitative phenomenological methodology was used to conduct in-depth interviews with 15 local travel influencers based on social exchange theory and its reciprocal principles. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data. Study findings showed that being a local travel influencer was an emerging occupation requiring comprehensive competence in specific contextual and cultural backgrounds. Although travel influencers’ initial rise to popularity was often serendipitous, supportive policies from the local tourism community could assist travel influencers in achieving sustainable tourism. Local travel influencers face several challenges including staying authentic, monetizing content, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, avoiding homogenous content, and managing work load. Local travel influencers could serve as a significant liaison between tourists and the local tourism community by collaborating with local tourism stakeholders, building a local multi-layer media matrix, co-creating promotional content, and live-streaming e-commerce. Study findings have theoretical and practical implications for tourism stakeholders in integrating regional tourism community development with local influencer networks.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

Copyright © Redfame Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

If you have any questions, please contact: