A Social Media Based Tourist Information

K Meehan, Tom Lunney, K Curran, Aiden McCaughey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Smartphones are now equipped with various location sensing capabilities that allow the phone to accurately detect a user’s physical location. Combined with other context data, this has provided a great deal of potential for developing context-aware mobile applications, which will greatly improve and change how users interact with mobile devices. An activity that can be greatly enhanced with the addition of context awareness is mobile tourism. Context-aware applications currently exist for a number of major cities worldwide. However, a common characteristic of these applications is the provision of too much irrelevant information. This is due to an over-reliance on location as a context and the lack of adequate information content filtering. A deluge of irrelevant or only partially relevant information can cause information overload for tourists using the application. Other context data can assist these applications in reducing information overload, but traditional implementations have tended to lack an adequate degree of personalisation. This research focuses on implementing context by building a level of intelligence into tourist based context-aware applications. This facilitates personalisation and provides focused and timely updates related to the tourist’s current environment. This will be achieved through the application implicitly learning over time and dynamically updating personalisation settings. The application will present points of potential interest to the tourist based on their current personalisation settings. This should significantly improve the tourist experience when interacting with a context-aware mobile device. When the user initially launches the application there will be no historic data available for personalisation and so this paper explores the possibility of using social network data to build an initial information based stereotype for personalisation purposes. Another benefit of this approach is integrating the social aspect of tourism between willing participants. This facilitates real-time interaction between tourists as they traverse their current environment. This will in turn lead to valuable synergistic information flows between tourists as they explore their surroundings and hence lead to a better, more informed and rewarding tourist experience. These information flows can also be valuable for the tourist information service when analysing qualitative data regarding tourists visiting their city. Therefore, it is also imperative that mobile technology and social media are embraced by the tourism industry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Jun 2012
EventICTE 2012 - International Conference on Tourism and Events - Belfast, Northern Ireland
Duration: 19 Jun 2012 → …


ConferenceICTE 2012 - International Conference on Tourism and Events
Period19/06/12 → …


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