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For some nations, such as the People's Republic of China, international tourism has become not just what some claim is the largest extant industry, but also a vital part of promoting the nation as a full participant in the modern world. Increasingly, one of the paths to greater promotion of a culture is through tourism, and one of the principal ways this is done is via the Internet. To explore the issues relating to World Wide Web pages/sites on which touristic attractions are promoted, a detailed analysis was conducted of material on two Web sites for the PRC coastal city of Dalian, one in Chinese and the other in English. It is shown that the principles of effective site design seem to be violated on the Chinese site but not on the English site. Yet the effect of the two sites is opposite of what might be predicted: the Chinese site is dynamic, open, and interesting, whereas the English site is static, entropic, and dull. Implications concerning ethnocentrism in “acceptable” site design are introduced and explored, as are implications for improving the communication of touristic information via the Internet.
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Keywords: Asia; China; Chinese language; Chinese tourism; International tourism; Touristic Web sites; Web design

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Communication, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 60115

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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  • Information Technology & Tourism is the first scientific journal dealing with the exciting relationship between information technology and tourism. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the tourism and travel industry. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. And the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies.
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