By Patrizia Calò
Arnhem: ATLAS, 15 pp
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Traditional tourism statistics present several lacks in detecting tourists’ activities in space-time dimensions. In fact, since their administrative nature, they don’t consider tourists staying in not official accommodations and, since the increasing tourists’ mobility and independence in organizing their travels, they don’t consider the different places visited in the destinations. So, for example, even if you know the region of destination, when a tourist arrives he could use public transports or rent a car and so you can’t know anything about his movements. This information, actually, is fundamental for the destination management, for example in order to implement an efficient and effective service planning. Because of this, the need to find new methods for monitoring and collecting data concerning tourists’ activities and movements emerges. Then, since early years of new millennium, several researchers started to study and test the efficiency and the effectiveness of existing new technologies, such as GPS or Mobile Phone (more specifically, the data coming from mobile phone traffic – Erlang Data, a measure of the use of the network bandwidth at level of antenna), to detect the paths followed by tourists and to outline the features of tourist mobility in order to support a really effective and efficient management of the destination. Some examples of these studies are those of Edwards et al. (2009) and Shoval and Isaacson (2007) about GPS tracking, Reades et al. (2007) and Ahas et al. (2011) about cellular phones as tracking devices, Van der Spek and Nijhuis (2010) about GPS and GIS, O’Connor (2002) about the Alge Timing System, a technology used in sport field consisting of sensors spread along the path and of sensors placed on the ankles of pedestrians, which represent a useful tool – especially in closed areas (such as parks) – for monitoring visitors’ behaviours.