Online Chinese food image representation: Perspectives from tourists and DMOs
Chinese food, a crucial element of Chinese culture, is gaining its popularity in tourism domain. To better promote Chinese food, it is necessary to build an attractive food image. The present research attempted to identify the image representation of Chinese food on the Internet by analyzing the contents of user-generated content (UGC) website and the websites of destination marketing organizations (DMO). Content analysis and ground theory techniques were used to analyze the textual and visual information on the selected websites. First, the dimensions of Chinese food were identified. Second, the present study compared Chinese food image representations from the perspectives of tourists and DMOs. Third, this study compared the food images projected by textual and visual techniques. The results showed that online Chinese food image varies by different online information sources and by different image projection techniques. These variations could be contributed to the different communication objectives of information sources and different functions of image projection techniques. The present study underlines the importance of the understanding of food image representation on the Internet and provides conceptual and practical implications. Study limitations and future research directions were also discussed.
Lehto, Purdue University.
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