Understanding Social Media Use in the Sensing Tourist Travel Study

Brady Robards

The Sensing Tourist Travel project is about collecting data on how tourists move around Tasmania. As our earlier posts have demonstrated, this has primarily been through GPS data and surveys. Of course, many tourists are already ’sensing’ and recording their own travel, and ‘generating data’ on their trips through social media. People post photos, ‘check-in’ at locations they visit, tag travelling companions and businesses, write comments, and describe their trip as they go. As part of this project, we wanted to get a sense of how tourists used social media when they travelled. We had the following key questions:

  • What role does social media play in decision-making, before and during travel?
  • How do tourists record and share their experiences of travel with their networks on social media?
  • Does social media use change when people are away from home?
  • How might social media figure into the way people reflect on and remember travel after they return home?