Social networking sites' influence on travelers' authentic experience: a case study of CouchSurfing

dc.contributor.advisor Gray, Helen en_US Liu, Xiao en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Dunlap, Rudy en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Reineke, Jason en_US
dc.contributor.department Health & Human Performance en_US 2014-06-02T19:07:52Z 2014-06-02T19:07:52Z 2013-08-27 en_US
dc.description.abstract This study explored travelers' experiences in the era of network hospitality 2.0 using as a case study. The following research questions guided this study: 1) what experience does CouchSurfing create for travelers before, during and after their travel? 2) how does couch surfers' experience relate to authenticity in context of network hospitality 2.0? data was collected through semi-structured interviews, online surveys, and textual analysis of couch surfers' online comments about their experience. Data analysis produced three independent manuscripts that examine couch surfers' experiences from various perspectives. The first manuscript used the Rasch Model to examine the couch surfers' perceptions of online factors that contribute to their decision-making in search for a host before traveling offline. The second manuscript seeks deeper understanding of couch surfers' authentic using semi-structured interviews. The last manuscript explores authenticity that is manifested in couch surfers' own expressions of their experience in online reviews. Quantitative data analysis found that the factors couch surfers perceive most important are: negative references, positive references, couch availability, personal description and pictures. Qualitative data indicated that network hospitality 2.0 provides opportunities for couch surfers to experience authenticity. However, when applying qualitative data to existential authenticity, some types of existential authenticity are more frequently seen in the data than others. en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.subject Authenticity en_US
dc.subject Couch surfing en_US
dc.subject Network hospitality en_US
dc.subject Social networking sites en_US
dc.subject.umi Recreation and tourism en_US
dc.subject.umi Information technology en_US
dc.subject.umi Communication en_US
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.thesis.degreelevel Doctoral en_US
dc.title Social networking sites' influence on travelers' authentic experience: a case study of CouchSurfing en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
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