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Tracking touristsí travel with smartphone-based GPS technology: a methodological discussion


Hardy, A and Hyslop, S and Booth, K and Robards, B and Aryal, J and Gretzel, U and Eccleston, R, Tracking tourists' travel with smartphone-based GPS technology: a methodological discussion, Information Technology & Tourism, 17, (3) pp. 255-274. ISSN 1943-4294 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

DOI: doi:10.1007/s40558-017-0086-3


This methodological paper discusses the implications of differing approaches for tracking touristsí movement through destinations and then describes an innovative new method that utilises smartphone-based Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology and a mobile app to track tourists through regional destinations and attractions over an extended period. The method was developed by the Tasmanian Sensing Tourist Travel project team and is among the largest tracking studies ever conducted in tourism, both spatially and temporally and in terms of sample size. It tracked the movement of 472 tourists in real time via an app with three integrated surveys and GPS tracking. The research team was faced with multiple challenges given the ambitious nature of the project, including: app design, securing tracking hardware, forging partnerships with providers, participant recruitment, and the ethical and legal dimensions of both the tracking and the provision of mobile data as an incentive to participate. This paper discusses the lessons from the project and a holistic study design model to support continuous methodological progress in this growing research area.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:tourist tracking, apps, tourist behaviour, Tasmania, GPS tracking
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Tourism
Research Field:Tourist behaviour and visitor experience
Objective Division:Commercial Services and Tourism
Objective Group:Tourism services
Objective Field:Tourism services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hardy, A (Associate Professor Anne Hardy)
UTAS Author:Hyslop, S (Ms Sarah Hyslop)
UTAS Author:Booth, K (Associate Professor Kate Booth)
UTAS Author:Robards, B (Dr Brady Robards)
UTAS Author:Aryal, J (Dr Jagannath Aryal)
UTAS Author:Eccleston, R (Professor Richard Eccleston)
ID Code:116797
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Marketing
Deposited On:2017-05-22
Last Modified:2018-07-27

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