Sense and decision-making in online discussions: To ride or not to ride an elephant in Thailand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


Despite an increasing awareness of animal welfare issues, elephant rides are still a popular tourism activity in Thailand. Furthermore, although western tourism operators have increasingly stopped offering elephant rides, the number of elephants and tourism rides is still on the rise. It is therefore important to understand, on what basis tourists make their decision to ride or not to ride an elephant. This research explored readers’ online discussions in the comment section of a news article reporting on the death of an elephant handler while tourists took an elephant ride. Findings revealed that engaging in such online discussions was an effective part of readers’ sense- and decision-making processes. Online discussions and comment sections therefore can provide an important tool for communication strategies for responsible tourism activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCAUTHE 2018
Subtitle of host publicationGet Smart: Paradoxes and Possibilities in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Education and Research
EditorsTamara Young, Paul Stolk
PublisherUniversity of Newcastle
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780994514127
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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