Drama in the Snowfield: Audience Reaction to a Fatal Tourist Incident
This article examines public reactions to a tourism safety incident by employing a drama theory approach. A discussion forum launched by a fatal dog sleigh accident serves as a platform for the chat group selected here as a case audience generating instantaneous reactions to the incident. The results suggest that interaudience communication constituted the incident as a drama and, as its subset, a tragedy with discernible episodes through an internal sense-making process. The audience interacted with each of the members in varying intensity, depending on changing individual interests. Explanation of the behavior of the audience can be derived from a drama theory approach. The existence of emotions, episodes, climax, and action in the audience's dynamic provide evidence for the explanation power of drama theory in tourism safety incident communication in chat groups. The article offers a cross-disciplinary approach contributing to interpretation of postincident communication in social media in the case of a tourism safety incident.
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