Big Data for Big Insights: Quantifying the Adverse Effect of Air Pollution on the Tourism Industry in China

Wenjie Fan, Yijing Li, Bikesh Raj Upreti, Yong Liu, Hongxiu Li, Wei Fan, Eric T.K. Lim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Adverse meteorological conditions and air pollution resulting from human activities, such as extreme weather and smog, adversely affect the global tourism industry. However, such impacts are difficult to quantify. This study strives to quantify the adverse impact of air pollution on foreign tourists’ revisiting behaviors to China by analyzing large numbers of TripAdvisor reviews. The study first identifies travelers affected by air pollution through analyzing their reviews. It then employs propensity score matching technique to detect a matching group of travelers with identical characteristics who did not report air-pollution-related issues in reviews. By estimating their respective likelihoods of revisiting, our results indicate that travelers who encountered air pollution during their trips are 92.857% less likely to revisit a specific city and 93.421% less likely to revisit China. Our study enriches the tourism literature by quantifying the adverse impact of air pollution on a country’s inbound tourism using big data.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • air pollution
  • big data
  • country image
  • destination image
  • revisit behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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