The role of major gateways on national tourism flows: A tale of two countries

Authors: Janika Raun*, University of Tartu, Department of Geography
Topics: Tourism Geography, Behavioral Geography, Temporal GIS
Keywords: gateway, GPS, mobile positioning, tourism geography, visitor flows, Estonia, Israel
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Congressional A, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


One of today’s problems in international tourism is that relatively small number of the most popular destinations attract the biggest number of tourists. It means that majority of tourism activities are accumulated into small geographical areas. However, it causes several problems, such as overcrowding, increasing living costs, and lack of public services. Similar pattern could also be seen in a narrower, national, scale, where capital cities or cultural centres functioning as gateways attract the most visitors and rest of the country is left with remarkably smaller number of visitors. One way to grasp the problem is to analyse the actual movement data about visitor flows within a destination country.

To date, relatively few studies have analysed tourists’ movements on national scale. This is due to the deficiency of spatially accurate data that could be used for recording tourists’ intranational movements. In this study, we will fill the gap by analysing tourists’ movements on national scale in two countries, Estonia and Israel. Respectively passive mobile positioning data and GPS data are used to analyse the importance of gateways on national tourism flows. Our results confirm the major role of gateways in national tourism as more than two thirds of all the visits stay in the near vicinity of the major gateways. Therefore, this kind of a detailed knowledge about visitation patterns of tourists in time and space is crucially important in national tourism development and planning to enhance the spatial dispersal of tourists and magnify the spillover effect.

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