Tourists' digital footprint: The spatial patterns of tourist flows in Qingdao, China
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CitationMou, Naixia. Zheng, Yunhao. Makkonen, Teemu. Yang, Tengfei. Tang, Jinwen (Jimmy). Song, Yan. (2020). Tourists' digital footprint: The spatial patterns of tourist flows in Qingdao, China. Tourism management, 81, 104151. 10.1016/j.tourman.2020.104151.
Spatial patterns of tourist flows represent the movement of tourists and show differences in tourism resources giving advice for promoting balanced and sustainable tourism development. This paper proposes a novel framework for analyzing these patterns based on tourists' digital footprint data collected from online travel diaries. Based on illustrative case study data from Qingdao (China), the framework, combining traditional quantitative and social network analysis, is able to pinpoint: (1) The influence of distance decay and attractions’ popularity on the spatial patterns of tourist flows; (2) The uneven distribution of the core tourist nodes and the existence of the structural hole phenomenon, which form a network pattern with unbalanced power and intense internal competition; (3) The formation of the core area for tourism along the coastline – as is typical for coastal tourism cities. This difference of tourism resources between coastal and inland areas, thus, remains a challenge for future tourism development in Qingdao.