Urban sensory map: How do tourists “sense” a destination spatially?

Huahua Li, Mimi Li, Huixia Zou, Yi Zhang, Jingjing Cao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Tourism sensory experiences represent a spatially constrained and constructed process influenced by various environmental stimuli. Although growing academic attention has been devoted to sensory tourism, few studies have incorporated spatiality into investigations of sensory experiences. This study establishes a macro–meso–micro analytical framework to explore the relationships among sensory experiences and spatial environmental characteristics based on social media big data. This research also moves beyond the conventional five-sense framework to include a sixth sense—interoception. Results (a) uncover the spatial distribution and relationships among sensory experiences in a destination; (b) demonstrate associations between attraction types and sensory experiences; and (c) illustrate interactions between environmental attributes and sensory encounters. This study theoretically clarifies relevant antecedents, extends a sense-based framework, and multidimensionally enriches tourism sensory experiences; empirically offer guidance for sensory environment planning, marketing, and management. Results also produce methodological insights for adopting social media big data to capture sensory experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104723
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Interoceptive sense
  • Sensory experience
  • Social media
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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