January 2008

Technology tools: Gathering stakeholder input using Google Maps

New web-based technologies such as Google Maps (a.k.a. “Geoweb” applications) are changing the ways in which individuals communicate their concerns. This is particularly true in the case of spatial phenomenon, such as instances of environmental change.

Tourism chapter published in Planning Support Systems volume

I’m pleased to announce that a chapter describing the development of TourSim, including a scenario on shifting tourist port of entry and identification of adoption constraints, is in the final stages of preparation for publication. This chapter is part of a new book “Planning Support Systems Best Practice and New Methods” published by Springer and edited by Stan Geertman and John Stillwell.

I want your opinion!

Just a reminder that your opinion is a big part of my research. If you have used any of the versions of TourSim on this site, please take a moment to fill out a survey. The TourSim evaluation survey is a great place to start.

Thank you for your interest and help!

Peter

New data sources and experimental options

I’ve made some major alterations to TourSim, both in the data that it relies on, and the types of experimentation it supports. I’m thinking that this is going to make TourSim much more usable for tourism planning, and begins to incorporate many of the ideas of complexity science (such as adaptation) into TourSim.

A simple tourism model with Excel

While there is quite a bit of interest in several fields in agent-based models (ABMs) as an approach to studying issues such as resilience, and thresholds, their complexity and technical nature is a significant barrier to their use. I’ve had a number of discussions with McGill professor Dr. Garry Peterson about alternate modeling approaches. One technology that he uses in both classes and in his publications is a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Adaptative destination model

For quite a while now I’ve been trying to expand the types of adaptive behaviour included in TourSim. Currently the tourists display a type of adaptive behaviour, as they move to destinations that satisfy their preferences. In the Baddeck Hotel Development model, tourists would adapt to the development of a new hotel, as more tourists visited Baddeck because of this new type of accommodation.

Baddeck Hotel Development results

A bar graph of the effects of hotel development at Baddeck.

I’ve been putting together some sample results using the Baddeck Hotel Development scenario. I ran the model with the default range of accommodations, and then re-ran it with the “Add Hotel at Baddeck” button selected. You can experiment with this same scenario under the Tourism Scenarios tab. Below I’ve added a chart that shows the percentage change in tourist visitation per day (blue bar) and percentage change in income per day (green bar) at select destinations. This shows the difference between the base scenario and the add hotel scenario.

Big improvements!

I’ve been hard at work adding more realistic element to TourSim. Some of the highlights include:

New scenario: Port of entry comparison model

I’ve added a new scenario to the Tourism Scenarios section. This is the second model, and is a variation on my first model. This model, titled the “Port of Entry Destination Comparison Model”, allows you to compare the effects of varying tourist port of entry on the total visitation to Lunenburg, Baddeck, and Digby. I hope to implement a function to allow you to pick from a greater range of destinations in future versions of the model. Anyways, please check out the model.

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