Modeling Movement of Tourists: Tools and Application in SÃ£o Miguel Island, Portugal
Keywords:logistics, mathematical modelation, networks, regional development, tourism
Tourism contributes to the development of many regions. Different factors affect the movement of tourists within a destination. Those factors are related to the tourist characteristics, like the time budgets, preferences or destination knowledge, and to the destination features, like the attraction characteristics or accessibility level. Tourist decisions arenâ€™t always done in a rational way. Emotions add further complexity to the human decision process. The use of footpaths can play an important role in the satisfaction of tourists, helping them discover the territory and giving them access to different types of attractions.
The existence of a mathematical model that integrates the main factors related to the movement of independent tourists within a destination, in a dynamic way, will make possible the creation of an adaptable software tool. This tool will meet the specific needs of tourists, allowing the use of the network in an optimal way by the different tourist profiles, and the needs of the regional government and business, permitting better decisions and the offer of relevant tourism products.
This article identifies the main touristsâ€™ mobility criteria in the SÃ£o Miguel island territory, Azores, Portugal, recognizes the necessary modelling process and identifies the basis for the construction of the mathematical model that explains the movement of tourists within the destination.
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