Visitors' experience at Angkor Wat, Cambodia: evidence from sentiment and topic analysis


Baniya R., Doğru Daştan H., Thapa B.

JOURNAL OF HERITAGE TOURISM, vol.16, no.6, pp.632-645, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1743873x.2020.1833892
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF HERITAGE TOURISM
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, CAB Abstracts, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.632-645
  • Keywords: Visitors, sentiment, topic, cultural heritage, tourism, data analytics, USER-GENERATED CONTENT, TOURIST HARASSMENT, DESTINATION IMAGE, ONLINE REVIEWS, SOCIAL MEDIA, TRAVEL, HERITAGE, MANAGEMENT, IMPACT, HOSPITALITY
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Angkor Wat in Cambodia is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also consistently rated as the top Global Landmark by travelers in TripAdvisor. This study employed big data analytics to examine visitor experience via sentiment and topic analysis, given the popularity and volume of visitors annually. The process involved an examination of 32,394 online reviews about Angkor Wat posted between January 2015 and October 2019 on Tripadvisor's website. The analysis was conducted for reviews with one, two, and three-star ratings, and those with four and five star ratings separately. Results showed highly skewed positive ratings, while similar positive sentiments dominated the reviews. Topic analysis disclosed that sunset and sunrise experience, attraction structure, guided tours, and temple experience were topics attributed mostly to positive sentiments. Conversely, crowding, persistent selling, clothing style, and expenses were illustrated as negative topics. Such insights are useful for managers at Angkor Wat to develop various marketing and management interventions to effectively manage the site and to optimize visitor experiences.