Utilization of GIS in Tourism

Utilization of GIS in Tourism BY Raymondville Abstract Currently, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is becoming to be known as one of those most valuable analytical tools for managing, displaying large volumes of data and decision making that pertinent to regional planning activities or local Infrastructure constructions (Giles, 2003). Nevertheless, compared with the success GIS technology gained in other fields, the utilization of GIS applications in tourism field is small and with slow growth.

From an engineer’s perspective, adoption of GIS technology brings benefits to the sustainable tourism in numbers of ways, including election making under the context of huge volume of Information, estimation of travel time, monitoring the traffic situation, and also evaluating the planning phase as well. From a different angle, successful GIS establishment can efficiently assist tourists to achieve satisfaction and affectively make local economic promotion.

Introduction GIS technology refers to “a geographic information system integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information” (SERIES official website). This remarkable imputer-based set of tools enables people are used for collecting, storing, retrieving, mapping, analyzing, transforming and displaying spatial and non-spatial data from geographic world for a particular set of purposes that varies for each discipline (Gabbier. 2005).

GIS in Tourism The generic capableness of GIS Indicate that this technology has tremendous potential in tourism in the visualization term, but its applications are limited in tourism field due to lack of general database of those visitors. For instance, GIS is unable to Illustrate the origin and destination of visitors. What is more, it cannot predict the resists’ expenditure patterns, motivation of travel, transportation selection, etc. In order to pursue a further investigation, Bearer and Elliot-White categorized functionalities of GIS.

The table 1 demonstrated below is the generic capabilities of a GIS (Batter and Elliot-White, 1999). Table 1 capabilities of a GIS Functional capabilities of a GIS GIS Basic Questions Tourism Applications Data entry , Storage and manipulation Location What is at? Tourism Resource Inventories Map production Condition Where Is it? Identify most suitable locations for Database Integration and management Trend What has changed? Measure ours impacts Data queries and searches Routing Which is the best route?

Visitor management/flows Spatial analysis Pattern What is the pattern Analyze Assess potential impacts of tourism development Decision support Source: Bearer and Elliot-White 1999, p. 159 Both GIS and tourism are sharing the common boundaries and disciplines such as the geography of particular area, urban development, environmental analysis and traffic study. This characteristic determines the usage of GIS provides information to land managers or stockholders to analyze the risks and opportunities associated the growing tourism industry.

For example, whether the increasing visitors in a particular land would put local biodiversity and water source to risk or create enormous number of Job opportunities? The following table indicates common tourism-related issues and GIS application (Elliott-White, 1999). Table 2 Common tourism-related issues and GIS application Problem GIS Application Benchmark/database Systematic inventory of tourism resources Environmental management Facilitating monitoring of specific indicators Conflicts Mapping recreational conflicts; recreation-wildlife; user conflict Tourism behavior Wilderness perceptions

Carrying capacity Identify suitable locations for tourism/ recreation development Prediction Simulating and modeling spatial outcomes of proposed tourism development Data integration Integrating socio-economic and environmental datasets within a given spatial unit Development control and direction Decision support systems Source: Bearer and Elliot-White 1999, p. 162 These two tables from Bearer and Elliot-White apparently reveal the benefits by utilizing GIS technology through tourism field.

These advantages include improving land management with accurate data and spatial attributes, easing the conflicts, hanging the information over time and decision making. Mapping Different

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from the traditional paper mapping that only considering the surface look of the world, GIS mapping is far more complicated. One distinct difference is that all ego-information, such as land and other spatial characteristics have to be presented in one map.

It allows the combination of tourists attributes such as objective types, categories of hotels and stations names and the postcodes; or the near nesses, distance, object locations with a designated rectangular map area Avionic, 2008). Such spatial feature information can be respectively presented by different layers ND then be amalgamated and finally becomes a digital map. It enables mapped can analyze layers separately when using this map. In these cases, the map contributes to simplify planning and management in tourism due to it specifies detailed components of the particular area.

Figure 1 presented below is the example of layers for tourism industry what clearly shows people the constitution of a digital map Tourism using GIS in China An outstanding example from China that has been mature in this GIS tourism field is Hough city, what is located in the south east part in China. Hough city has a omelet digital-framed categorical platform with multiple applications in numerous aspects such as land monitoring, real estate managing, traffic monitoring, etc.

Figure 2 below shows the general interface of the digital platform. Categorical tourism system is one of the subset under the entire digital system and it operates on two main elements: spatial and attribute data. Visitors can access this program using their phones and computer or those particular devices provided by hotels, and enter their starting point and destination and coordinate an optimal route for their trip.

This program also has implicit geographical references like lace’s name, address, postcode, and road name and road number on it. Moreover, there are evaluations and comments given by former visitors showing up since visitors select the restaurants or hotels on the map. With this categorical tourism map, the numbers of visitors of Hough City gained an obvious increase. Visitors appreciated the convenience this technology has brought to them in optimizing the tourism planning.

And because of this program, the traffic burden is mitigated during the peak period of tourism. Sustainability of GIS Tourism Unregulated tourism is generally regarded as an environmental unfriendly activity u to an excessive intensity and it consuming nonrenewable resources (Passbook, 2008). Depends on the seasonality of tourism, the negative elements influence natural, cultural, social and economic environment involve emission from transportation, erosion by building roads connecting landmarks, damages of local natural biodiversity.

However, with GIS technology, engineers and experts can analyze the land then come up with better strategically management planning, and gradually minimize the negative impact brought by unregulated tourism. Conclusion As tourism is constituted by numerous complex activities, and all involved in terms of trial, cultural, social and economic environmental demands, thus a powerful tool is really necessary for its sustainability.

GIS technology is proven to be one of the successful results for land management and decision making so far. The GIS has visual presentation of tourism data Avionic, 2008). Apart of this, from an engineer’s perspective, the spatial and non-spatial data contained by digital map dramatically contribute to effectively managing the land, easing the conflicts and risk, promoting the sustainability of tourism. Hereby, GIS technology utilization need to be proposed and extended in tourism field.

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