Social Media in Tourism: A Twitter (X) Social Graph Approach to #Alula




The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched Vision 2030 to diversify its economy beyond oil-related government revenue and grow tourism investments. This multifaceted road map includes promoting the country as a tourism destination on social media platforms. Alula is a key Saudi tourism destination characterized by mountainous landscapes and archaeological discoveries. This study investigates the dissemination of social media content that promotes #Alula on the Twitter (X) platform in order to examine the effectiveness of social media in reviving the tourism sector by disseminating tourism messages and connecting individuals with tourist destinations. We captured and analyzed the social graph of this hashtag using the social network analysis (SNA) tool – NodeXL - through December 2022. The findings reveal the structure and shape of the social media impact of #Alula on network clusters and influencers. We identified the main clusters, along with the powerful influencers that played a role in cultivating the network. These findings have important implications for the design and management of a social media presence and the promotion strategies for tourism destinations by focusing on cultivating a social network to actively promote a tourism destination and identify key players in such networks as they play important roles in disseminating content. Our findings is of interest to practitioners and academics. Practitioners can focus on incorporating SNA for tourism planning, management, and marketing strategies, while academics can pursue further research, focusing on cultivating social networks and identifying influential factors on network size and traverse.


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Author Biography

Alanawd Alshehri, University of Tabuk, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Alanawd Alshehri, Assistant Professor


Affiliation: Management Information Systems, School of Business Administrations, University of Tabuk, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia,


Alanawd Alshehri is an Assistant Professor of Information Management at the University of Tabuk. Dr. Alshehri holds an MSc in Information Systems Management from Brunel University, London, and a PhD in Management from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research interests are diverse, and include e-government, technology and information management, information systems evaluation, and social media data.




How to Cite

Alshehri, A. (2024). Social Media in Tourism: A Twitter (X) Social Graph Approach to #Alula. Journal of Tourism and Services, 15(28), 253–267.