Rein Ahas* - Department of Geography, University of Tartu
Compared to inter-destination movement, the movement of tourists within destination is a less studied area (McKercher and Lau 2008). This has several explanations. First, the interest of the industry and public authorities in this matter has been somewhat low; destination management has been focused on one place and movements in larger areas are not in point of interest. The second important aspect is the fact that the data collection about movements in destination has been complicated as traditional accommodation and border crossing data is not suitable for linking movements of individuals. Today, there is growing interest to learn more about tourist behavior in destination because of higher competition between destinations and growing number of marketing activities (Kuusik et al 2011). There is also a boom of new electronic travel guides and data sources such as mobile positioning and GPS, which allow us to study movements in destination more easily.
In this presentation, we introduce the use of passive mobile positioning data for studying movements in destination. We analyze the movements of the top 10 visiting nations in Estonia within 3 years with accuracy of network cells. The results show that vistor segments have different spatial behavior patterns and preferences in destination. This information can be used for developing marketing strategies and travel packages for different visitor segments. Mobile positioning based datasets allow developing interactive decision support systems and monitoring tools. We demonstrate some examples developed in Estonia.