Social Media Data Can Be Used to Understand Tourists’ Preferences for Nature-Based Experiences in Protected Areas

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/208062

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Hausmann , A , Toivonen , T K , Slotow , R , Tenkanen , H T O , Moilanen , A J , Heikinheimo , V V & Di Minin , E 2017 , ' Social Media Data Can Be Used to Understand Tourists’ Preferences for Nature-Based Experiences in Protected Areas ' Conservation Letters , vol. 11 , no. 1 . DOI: 10.1111/conl.12343

Title: Social Media Data Can Be Used to Understand Tourists’ Preferences for Nature-Based Experiences in Protected Areas
Author: Hausmann, Anna; Toivonen, Tuuli Kaarina; Slotow, Rob; Tenkanen, Henrikki Toivo Olavi; Moilanen, Atte Jaakko; Heikinheimo, Vuokko Vilhelmiina; Di Minin, Enrico
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
University of Helsinki, Biosciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
University of Helsinki, Digital Geography Lab





Date: 2017-02-22
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Conservation Letters
ISSN: 1755-263X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12343
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/208062
Abstract: Can social media data be used as an alternative to traditional surveys to understand tourists’ preferences for nature-based experiences in protected areas? We explored this by comparing preferences for biodiversity obtained from a traditional survey conducted in Kruger National Park, South Africa, with observed preferences assessed from over 13,600 pictures shared on Instagram and Flickr by tourists visiting the park in the same period. We found no significant difference between the preferences of tourists as stated in the surveys and the preferences revealed by social media content. Overall, large-bodied mammals were found to be the favorite group, both in the survey and on social media platforms. However, Flickr was found to better match tourists’ preference for less-charismatic biodiversity. Our findings suggest that social media content can be used as a cost-efficient way to explore, and for more continuous monitoring of, preferences for biodiversity and human activities in protected areas.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
519 Social and economic geography
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