The impact of mobile information systems on the behaviour of tourists: Results from a field study
Mobile tourist guides shall help tourists to discover sights off the beaten tracks and therewith spread them over the destination more equally. Mobile information systems complement more traditional means of information provision, e.g. printed maps, guide booklets or simply signage at the destination. The most important question is: “How are mobile information systems accepted by ordinary tourists??” In case of a yes the next question is: “How does an information system impacts the visit of the tourists?” These questions were studied in a field study with real tourists in the city of Görlitz in August. A control group received a GPS logger whereas the other two groups received mobile devices with two different mobile information systems. All three groups explored the city on their own. The first mobile application displays the current location of the tourist and attractions in a map. The tourist can request multi-media information about each attraction. The second application elicits the generic preferences of the tourist, ranks the attractions, computes a tour, supports the execution via audio navigation instructions and adapts the tour plan as necessary. For each group some basic data was collected before the tour, e.g. computer literacy. During the tour the positions and interactions were logged and after the tour a questionnaire gathered additional data. The spatial behaviour and interaction logs was analysed to determine the impact of a mobile information system on the behaviour of tourists during a city tour.