Social Media Geographic Information in Tourism Planning

  • Roberta Floris University of Cagliari DICAAR
  • Michele Campagna University of Cagliari DICAAR
Keywords: Social media geographic information, Spatial analysis, Tourism planning, Spatial planning


Social media are playing an increasingly important role as information resource in tourism both for customers (i.e. the tourists), who gather trustworthy information supporting the choice of destinations and services from peers, and for businesses, which can use the same information for improving their marketing strategies. The use of social media data can also offer new opportunities for decision-support in tourism planning. With improved understanding of the motivations of tourists and tailoring tourism service supply, decision making can be facilitated by emphasizing the strengths of tourist destinations for past and potential visitors. However, this kind of information about tourists perceptions and opinions is not always properly analysed by planners. Understanding the user satisfaction, which depends on factors related to both the location and the services that the local industry proposes, may offer valuable information in tourism planning at regional and local level.  In the light of the above premises, the goal of the study presented in this paper is to propose an integrated approach to investigate the relationships between tourists satisfaction, destination resources and tourism industry for supporting design and decision-making in regional tourism planning. The methodology developed in the study includes data collection from popular tourism social media platforms (i.e. and, and their integration with territorial and tourism data. Spatial and statistical analysis techniques are then applied to elicit insights from tourists perceptions on success factors which may be used in decision-making and planning support. The case study demonstrates the value of social media data and computational social science techniques in tourism planning. The paper concludes with a critical discussion on the potential of using such an approach in more general urban and regional planning setting.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Roberta Floris, University of Cagliari DICAAR

Roberta is a Civil Engineer (University of Cagliari, 2009) and Master in International Planning and Development (School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, 2010). She is currently PhD candidate in Land Engineering at  the University of Cagliari. Her current research interests include the study of spatial patterns of customer preferences in Tourism planning, and the impact of Spatial Data Infrastructure in spatial planning, She is also consultant in Strategic Environmental Assessment and civil engineering.

Michele Campagna, University of Cagliari DICAAR

Michele, PhD in Land Engineering (University of Cagliari, 2003) is adjunct professor of Spatial Planning and GIScience at the University of Cagliari. His actual research interests deal with the Scientific Method in Planning, Metaplanning, Planning Support Systems (PSS), Social Media Geographic Information in planning and Geodesign. He authored over sixty publications, and he is editor of the volume GIS for Sustainable Development published by CRC-Press/Taylor and Francis Group in 2006. In 2011 he directed the International Summer School on Information and Communication Technology in Spatial Planning “INFOPLAN”.


Baggio R., Costa C., Miguens J. (2008), “Social media and tourism destinations: case study”, Advances in tourism research, Vol. 26, Issue 28.

Barabasi A. L. et Al. (2009), “Computational social science”, Science, Vol. 323, pp 721-723.

Benitez J., Martin J., Roman C. (2007), “Using fuzzy number for measuring quality of service in the hotel industry”, Tourism management, Vol. 26, pp 544-555.

Berry, M.W., Kogan, J. (2010),”Text mining applications and theory”. Wiley, Chichester, U.K.

Briassoulis H. (2002), “Sustainable tourism and the question of the commons”, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 29, Issue 4, pp 1065–1085.

Brown G., Weber D. (2011), “Public Participation GIS: A new method for national park planning”, Landscape and Urban Planning Journal, Vol. 102, pp 1–15.

Buhalis D. (2000), “Marketing the competitive destination of the future”, Tourism management, Vol. 21. Issue 1, pp 97-116. 2000

Campagna M. et Al. (2013), “Place I care! Crowdsourcing planning information”, AESOP-ACSP Joint Congress. Dublin.

Campagna M. (forthcoming), “The geographic turn in Social Media: opportunities for spatial planning and Geodesign”. Paper submitted for the ICCSA2014 Workshop on Cities, Technologies and Planning, Guimares (PT)

Chung J. Y., Buhalis D. (2008), “Web 2.0: A study of online travel community”, Information and communication technologies in tourism, pp 70-81.

Conrady R. (2007), “Travel technology in the era of Web 2.0”, Trand and issues in Global Tuorism, pp 165-184. Berlin.

Cooper C., Fletcher J., Fyall A., Gilbert D., Wahill S. (2008), “Tourism: Principles and Practice”, Harlow.

Corcoran J., Higgs G., Brunsdon C., Ware A., Norman P. (2007), “The use of spatial analytical techniques to explore patterns of fire incidence: A South Wales case study”, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Vol 31.Issue 6, pp 623-647.

Crompton J. (1979), “Motivations for pleasure travel”, Annual of Tourism Research. Vol 6, pp 408–424.

Crouch G, Perdue R., Timmermans H., Uysal M. (2004), “Consumer Psychology of Tourism”, Hospitality and Leisure, Vol 3. London.

Daoquin T., Alan M.(2009), “GIS and spatial analysis in the media”, Applied Geography, Vol 29, pp 250-259.

Dellaert, Benedict GC., Dick F., Ettema, and Christer L. (1998), "Multi-faceted tourist travel decisions: a constraint-based conceptual framework to describe tourists sequential choices of travel components", Tourism Management, Vol.19, Issue 4, pp 313-320.

De Longueville B., Ostländer N. (2009), “Addressing vagueness in Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). A case study”, International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures.

De Smith M., Googchild M., Longley P. (2013), “Geospatial analysis. A comprehensive guide to principles, techniques and software tools”. Winchelsea.

Dippelreiter B. et Al. (2008), “Online tourism communities on the path to Web 2.0: an evaluation”, Information technology & tourism, Vol. 10, Issue 4.

Dube´ L., Renaghan L. (1999), “Building customer loyalty—guests’ perspectives on the lodging industry’s functional best practices (Part I)”, The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. Vol. 40, Issue 5, pp 78-88.

Dube´ L., Renaghan L. (1999), “Building customer loyalty—guests’ perspectives on the lodging industry’s functional best practices (Part II)”, The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. Vol. 40, Issue 5, pp 89-95.

Fotheringham S.A, Brunsdon C., Charlton M. (2002): “Geogrgraphically weighted regression: the analysis of spatially varying relationships”.

Geng-qing CHI C., Qu H. (2008), “Examining the structural relationships of destination image, tourist satisfaction and destination loyalty: An integrated approach”, Tourism management, Vol. 29, pp 624-636.

Googchild M., Janelle D.G. (2004), “Spatial integrated social science”. Oxford.

Goodchild M. (2007), “Citizen as Voluntary sensors: spatial data infrastructure in the World of Web 2.0”, International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures. Vol 2, pp 24-32.

Lazer D., Pentland A., Adamic L., Aral S., Barabasi A.L., Brewer D., Christakis N., Contractor N., Fowler J., Gutmann M., Jebara T., King G., Macy M., Roy D., Van Alstyne M.(2009), “Computational Social Science”, Science. Vol 323, pp 721–723.

Levine N. (1996),.”Spatial statistic and GIS: software tools to quantify spatial patterns”, J Am Plann Assoc. Vol. 62, Issue 3: pp 381-391.

Hospers G. (2003), “Localization in Europe's periphery: tourism development in Sardinia”, European planning studies, Vol 11, Issue 6, pp 629 - 645.

Ivars Baidal J. (2004)”Tourism planning in Spain: evolution and perspective”, Annals of tourism research, Vol. 25, Issue 2, pp 313-333.

Kaser O., Lemire D. (2007), Tag Cloud Drawing: algorithms for cloud visualization, Computer science,

Miller G. (2011),”Social science wade into the tweet stream”. Science. Vol. 333, pp 1814-1815.

Poser, K., Dransch, D.(2010), “Volunteered geographic information for disaster management with application to rapid flood damage estimation”, Geomatica, Vol. 64, Issue 1, 89-98.

Rodriguez Del Bosque I., san Martin H. (2008), “Tourist satisfaction. A cognitive affective model”, Annals of tourism research, Vol. 35, Issue 2, pp 551-573.

Sanvig Knudsen A. (2012),”The role of Volunteered Geographic Information in participatory planning: Examples from Denmark and Finland”, Perspektiv, Vol. 21.

Silverman B. W. (1986), “Density estimation for statistics and data analysis”, London.

Sui D., Elwood S., Goodchild M.(2013), “Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice”. Springer. New York.

Sui D., Goodchild M. (2011); “The convergence of GIS and social media: challenges for GIScience”, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Vol. 25, pp 1737–1748.

Taboada M. et Al. (2011), “Lexicon-based methods for sentiment analysis”, Computational linguistics, Vol 37, Issue 2, pp 267-307.

Yang Y., Wong K. F. (2013), “Spatial distribution of tourist flows to China's cities”, Tourism geographies: an international journal of tourism space, place and environment. Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp 338-363.

Uysal M., Jurowski C. (1994),”Testing the push and pull factors”, Annual of Tourism Research, Vol. 21. Issue4, pp 844–846.

Van Raaij W. (1986),:”Consumer research on tourism mental and behavioural constructs”, Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 13. Issue 1, pp 1-9.

Wenger E., McDermott R., Snyder W. (2002), “Cultivating Community s of Practice”. 2nd Edition. Cambridge.

How to Cite
Floris, R., & Campagna, M. (2014). Social Media Geographic Information in Tourism Planning. Tema - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment.