Touristic site attractiveness seen through Twitter

Aleix Bassolas1, Maxime Lenormand1, Antònia Tugores1, Bruno Gonçalves2,3, and José J. Ramasco1
1Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
2Center for Data Science, New York University, 726 Broadway, 7th Floor, 10003 New York, USA.
3Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS, CPT, UMR 7332, 13288 Marseille, France.

(January 2016)

Tourism is becoming a significant contributor to medium and long range travels in an increasingly globalized world. Leisure traveling has an important impact on the local and global economy as well as on the environment. The study of touristic trips is thus raising a considerable interest. In this work, we apply a method to assess the attractiveness of 20 of the most popular touristic sites worldwide using geolocated tweets as a proxy for human mobility. We first rank the touristic sites based on the spatial distribution of the visitors' place of residence. The Taj Mahal, the Pisa Tower and the Eiffel Tower appear consistently in the top 5 in these rankings. We then pass to a coarser scale and classify the travelers by country of residence. Touristic site's visiting figures are then studied by country of residence showing that the Eiffel Tower, Times Square and the London Tower welcome the majority of the visitors of each country. Finally, we build a network linking sites whenever a user has been detected in more than one site. This allow us to unveil relations between touristic sites and find which ones are more tightly interconnected.