University of Tasmania

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Where do the tourists go? Tracking tourists itineraries in Tasmania

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 16:58 authored by Anne HardyAnne Hardy, Richard EcclestonRichard Eccleston

Wearable GPS (Global Positioning Systems) technology, social media geotagging, hashtag analytics, Bluetooth technology and most recently app based technology now allow researchers to more accurately follow tourists’ movements. These technologies provide unprecedented detail on tourists ’movement, yet difficulty remains with recruiting participants and issues concerning informed consent. Moreover, a lack of demographic information accompanying this fine grained data, has tended to compromise the ability of this method.

In 2016 the Sensing Tourist Travel study- now called Tourism Tracer- created a bespoke app that transmitted real-time GPS location data to collect information on the travel patterns of different types of tourists to the state of Tasmania, Australia. The app was sensitively designed to overcome the methodological issues that had plagued previous research in this space; as well as tracking movement, the app contained an entry and exit survey, thus capturing insights into tourists’ travel style, preferences and travel behaviour. The study was run from January February to May, 2016 and resulted in the successful tracking of 472 free independent tourists who travelled in Tasmanian for between 4 and 14 days.

This presentation will present the results of this data, and focus on itinerary choice. Until now, the factors that influence tourists choice of itinerary through an entire state (be it a nation state or provincial state) have largely been based on theoretical conceptualisations. Studies that do combine GPS technology with demographics have largely been limited to investigations of daily movements, movement within tourist attractions such as national parks, event venues or townships, or macro tourist flows such as arrivals and departures. Data from this study reveals the itinerates taken by tourists for the duration of the trip to Tasmania, and the factors that influence their choices.


Publication title

13th Biennial Conference: Leisure for Social Change








University of Tasmania

Place of publication

Hobart, Tasmania

Event title

ANZALS 13th Biennial conference

Event Venue

Hobart, Tasmania

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Date of Event (End Date)


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Tourism services not elsewhere classified

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