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.


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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”.


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How to Cite
FlorisR., & CampagnaM. (2014). Social Media Geographic Information in Tourism Planning. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment.