Analysing Social Media Posts and Tourists’ Experiences in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter, China
The Xi’an Muslim Quarter, in the central part of Xi’an City, China, is famous for its culture and food. It attracts visitors from all over the world each year. By analysing the contexts of online media, this research investigates tourists’ experiences in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. As a famous tourist attraction, the Xi’an Muslim Quarter fascinates more and more visitors due to the development of the tourism and hospitality industry. However, tourists have mixed attitudes towards the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. The Xi’an Muslim Quarter has yet to maximise the connection between heritage experience and tourists. The lack of tourism management and promotion of traditional culture causes unsatisfactory customer experiences. Specifically, my research dissertation asked in what ways tourists using online media express their experiences of the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. Responding to that question, my qualitative inquiry examined 59 online media uploads about the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. To understand those uploads I used thematic analysis to identify the key tourist themes that emerged from their data. My research found that several factors impacted tourists’ experiences in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. Of particular note in my research findings was the importance tourists placed on: halal food taste; the service encounter and servicescape; and experiencing authenticity and helping community. Fortunately, the Government of Xi’an has planned to renovate the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. With that consideration in mind, this research is timely because it may benefit government agencies with its exploration of tourist experiences. By exploring what tourists think about and experience in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter, this research can contribute to a better understanding of how historical and cultural tourism can be improved in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. This research may benefit tourism government agencies and small business enterprises alike in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter because it provides a timely insight into tourist experiences.