First and Repeat Visitor Behaviour: GPS Tracking and GIS Analysis in Hong Kong

Robert Douglas McKercher, Noam Shoval, Erica Ng, Amit Birenboim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses global positioning systems (GPS) technology to compare and contrast the behaviour patterns of first-time and repeat visitors to Hong Kong. The use of GPS recorders, coupled with an analysis using Geographical Information System (GIS) software produces highly accurate, fine-grained information concerning the spatial and time-space patterns of the visitors. The study findings build on existing knowledge that first-timers tend to travel more widely throughout the destination while repeat visitors tend to confine their actions to a smaller number of locations. However, the data also revealed that first-timers and repeaters spend different amounts of time at the same attractions and visit during different times of the day. First-time visitors also tend to make one long, extended day trip from the hotel, while repeaters tend to make a number of shorter forays, returning to the hotel intermittently during the day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • First-time visitors
  • geographical information systems
  • GIS
  • global positioning systems
  • GPS
  • Hong Kong
  • repeat visitor
  • tourist behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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