Exploring the travel behaviors of inbound tourists to Hong Kong using geotagged photos

Huy Quan Vu, Gang Li, Chun Hung Roberts Law, Ben Haobin Ye

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Insight into tourist travel behaviors is crucial for managers engaged in strategic planning and decision making to create a sustainable tourism industry. However, they continue to face significant challenges in fully capturing and understanding the behavior of international tourists. The challenges are primarily due to the inefficient data collection approaches currently in use. In this paper, we present a new approach to this task by exploiting the socially generated and user-contributed geotagged photos now made publicly available on the Internet. Our case study focuses on Hong Kong inbound tourism using 29,443 photos collected from 2100 tourists. We demonstrate how a dataset constructed from such geotagged photos can help address such challenges as well as provide useful practical implications for destination development, transportation planning, and impact management. This study has the potential to benefit tourism researchers worldwide from better understanding travel behavior and developing sustainable tourism industries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-232
Number of pages11
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Data mining
  • Geotagged photo
  • Global positioning system
  • Travel behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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