Typologies of tourists' time-space consumption: a new approach using GPS data and GIS tools

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Time geography presents a conceptual framework to describe and understand the tourists' spatio-temporal behavior, according to which the effective reach of an individual is defined by time-space constraints and the path taken by the individual. In recent years, a growing number of studies within this framework have begun to use geographic information systems (GIS) tools and data gathered with the help of advanced tracking methods. These tools and the framework of time geography have been applied to the study of tourists' spatio-temporal behavior, mainly on a descriptive level; yet there is a scarcity of suitable tools for the advanced analysis of the high-resolution temporal and spatial data acquired with these new technologies. Driven by this shortage, the approach presented here attempts to shed light on the choices made and strategies implemented by tourists, within the constraints of time and space, by clustering tourists based on time-space allocation measures of their behavior. The feasibility of this approach was tested in an exploratory case study of the behavior of 68 first-time tourists in Hong Kong. The results show three distinct and consistent time-space strategies that were employed by tourists and point to the theoretical and practical advances that can be made by implementing the current approach.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)105-123
Number of pages19
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • GPS
  • Hong Kong
  • time geography
  • tourist activity
  • tourist time-space patterns

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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