Journal article

Emotions in motion : Tourists experiences in time and space


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Publication Details

Subtitle: Tourists' experiences in time and space

Author list: Zakrisson, Ingrid;Zillinger, Malin

Publication year: 2012

Start page: 505

End page: 523

Number of pages: 19

ISSN: 1368-3500


View additional information: View in Web of Science


The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology enables the study of tourists’ activities and movement patterns in real time. But what does this information tell us about tourists’ subjective experiences? The present paper accounts for the results from four case studies: two event studies and two destination studies. Two of these took place in the wintertime, and two in the summertime. Visitors carried a GPS device for one day, after which they answered a brief questionnaire. A total of 241 visitors participated in the study. Based on cluster analyses of distance measures calculated from the GPS data, several movement patterns were revealed. Three of these, labelled Main attraction visitors, Wanderers, and Specialists, emerged in all four cases. The reported experiences differed between the clusters, especially concerning negative experiences. In the destination studies, the clusters differed with regard to what was considered a negative experience, while in the event studies, the clusters differed with regard to how the tourists responded emotionally to their experiences. The authors conclude that GPS technology is a promising tool for tourism research but that, if one is to gain a full understanding of tourists’ experiences and mobility, it ought to be combined with other methods.


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