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|Author :||Jack Carlsen & Scott Heckbert|
|School/Work Place :||Curting Sustainable Tourism Centre, Australia (Jack Carlsen), Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Canada (Scott Heckbert)|
The aim of this working paper is to demonstrate an interactive, real-time, transparent and dynamic approach to modelling tourism mobilities using agent-based simulation models [ABM]. ABM has previously been employed in studying organizational change, but has not been applied to tourism mobilities (Smallman and Moore, 2010), despite its capacity to accommodate economic, social and environmental conditions in both the tourist generating and destination countries that impact on travel decisions and tourism mobility.
Furthermore tourist market segments can no longer be considered as homogenous groups that make their travel decisions in a vacuum, influenced solely by marketing messages or travel agents. Clearly in a more connected and dynamic world, a greater range of information and choices are available and a higher number of variables influence those choices. Moreover, tourists interact with each other through social networks and other communication channels, that then inform destination choice and mobility. ABM is able to capture this information sharing and interaction between potential tourists and those that have recently visited a destination, as well as the influence of all other forms of social media and travel advice that is increasingly available.