Tracking tourists: Mobility, experiences and the supply-demand gap in a Swedish mountain resort

Save favourite 18 Apr April 2012

This study focuses on method development in the areas of visitor and experience tracking. It is about understanding experiences in a time-spatial framework made up by visits to a particular destination. These issues were identified as central for destination stakeholders in their attempts at meeting or exceeding visitor expectations at their destination.

 Development of methods here thus aims at supporting producers in generating such knowledge. The approach that emerged was to track and measure tourism experiences with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, follow-up surveys and in-depth interviews. The empirical findings are from a case study of the Swedish mountain resort Åre during the summer of 2008. Results in general partly confirmed what key destination stakeholders intuitively thought of different aspects of the destination, but also brought out new knowledge which seems to have implications for the preparations for coming seasons. These include the realization of the destination‟s unique qualities for “the comfort-seeking nature based tourist” and insights about visitor movements in time and space. On the basis of the latter, three new tourist typologies emerged as potential target groups; the excursion, activity, and village families.