Tourists’ behavior patterns in Barcelona
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Tourists’ behavior patterns in Barcelona

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an analysis of tourists concentrations based on more than 42,000 geolocated pics.

an analysis of tourists concentrations based on more than 42,000 geolocated pics.

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Tourists’ behavior patterns in Barcelona Tourists’ behavior patterns in Barcelona Document Transcript

  • The Project .................................................................................................................................... 3About the data analyzed ............................................................................................................... 3Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 3Key issues ...................................................................................................................................... 5 Plaça Catalunya is the centre of Barcelona, for real ................................................................. 5 Japanese, they love Barça ......................................................................................................... 5 If it’s Thursday you’d better not go to Park Güell ..................................................................... 5 Nightlife is the last name of the Port Olímpic ........................................................................... 5 Hazy fog means amazing pics of the waterfront ....................................................................... 6 When it gets cold let’s take a walk to Montjuïc ........................................................................ 6Plaça Catalunya is the centre of Barcelona, for real ..................................................................... 7Japanese, they love Barça ............................................................................................................. 9If it’s Thursday you’d better not go to Park Güell ....................................................................... 10Nightlife is the last name of the Port Olímpic ............................................................................. 11Hazy fog means amazing pics of the waterfront ......................................................................... 13When it gets cold let’s take a walk to Montjuïc .......................................................................... 13Data 1.0 on Barcelona’s tourism ................................................................................................. 15Data 1.0 vs Data 2.0 .................................................................................................................... 16
  • In our cities, especially in touristic cities such as Barcelona, we constantly see tourists with theirdigital cameras, taking photos everywhere. We all know where they usually concentrate,Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Camp Nou or just in Las Ramblas. But do we know if they changetheir routes and plans on a rainy day, on Wednesdays or during sunny spring afternoons? Wewould like to give answers to this type of questions through the analysis of pics taken by touristsin Barcelona and uploaded to Flickr accounts. We believe that identifying certain behaviorpatterns might be interesting to evaluate the location of new businesses, to better target tourismservices or just to improve the mobility and signalization of touristic spots. But we are alsointerested in the impact of tourism on the city, not just its economy but on its public spaces, onthe quality of life of their neighborhoods and also its neighbors.  Universe: tourists in Barcelona (7,133,524 in 2010 according to Turisme de Barcelona).  Sample: 42,600 pics uploaded to 5,483 Flickr accounts (tourists) between March 1st 2010 and March 1st 2011.  Margin of error (with p=q=50% and a confidence interval of 95%): 1.3%Data sources: Flickr, Weather UndergroundNOTE: this sample is based on single unique users, whilst the universe shows total number oftourists, but we have to take into account that for each pic uploaded there is usually more thanone tourist behind.This study was based on the Flickr API, which allowed us to obtained more than 150,000photos geolocated in Barcelona between March 1st 2010 and March 1st 2011. We havediscarded those whose owner’s origin is unknown (not indicated in his/her Flickr profile). Afterthat refining process we kept a little bit more than 80,000 photos. The following stage was toexclude all those profiles located in Catalonia, i.e. beyond 200km from Barcelona, as for thepurpose of this project we decided not to consider them as tourists but occasional or even
  • regular visitors. Finally, we have 42,000 photos taken by tourists in Barcelona, now thechallenge is to analyze all of them and identify their behavior patterns.In order to analyze where tourists mostly concentrate, we drew a total of 30 polygons, thoseareas considered as the top tourist attractions in Barcelona. We include from Pl. Catalunya toSagrada Família or Park Güell, but others less known as Fòrum or even Pl. Kennedy, wherefunicular to Tibidabo is taken.Given the specific nature of the sample, it is important to highlight that conclusions that can bedrawn are conditional on the usual profile of a consumer who makes intense use of cloudservices and web 2.0, ie there is a profile of tourists visiting Barcelona that cannot berepresented in this analysis. Therefore, this is a study that focuses exclusively on Internetheavy-users tourists, although it has to be said, they are becoming more numerous andtherefore it is gradually a more relevant sample for the whole tourism industry in Barcelona.To compare the bias of this study regarding the reality of behavior patterns of tourists inBarcelona, it is interesting to analyze some data 1.0, comparing it with the data 2.0 that we havecollected.
  •  Plaça Catalunya is the favorite spot for Barcelona’s tourists, as more than 14% of the total pics where taken. Santa Maria del Mar and the Born area occupies second place, whilst the Sagrada Família has to conform to fourth place. Tourism in Barcelona is highly concentrated in the district of Ciutat Vella, as 6 of the 10 most photographed spots are located there. Half of the tourist attractions account for 85% of the total pics taken in Barcelona. Japanese have Camp Nou as their number one tourist spot, right above Sagrada Família. Both French and Spaniards have Macba as their favorite place for pics. Germans tend to concentrate around the Montjuïc area, especially the Olympic Ring and the Font Màgica. British are not really explorers, they have Pl. Catalunya, Sagrada Família, the Cathedral and the Park Güell as their top attractions. Top places for Americans are Santa Maria del Mar – Born, Boqueria and Casa Batlló. We can observe interesting habits among tourists, not just differentiating from weekdays and weekends, but also between weekdays. In the case of Camp Nou, Wednesday is the day of the week with a higher number of photos taken. Sagrada Família climbs up to 2nd position of the ranking on Wednesdays, being 14th on Mondays. The number of average photos taken at Park Güell decreases more than 75% compared with Wednesdays and 80% with Fridays. Tourists have it clear: when it gets dark the Port Olímpic is the place to have fun. Hours of most activity for tourists are those between 10am to 7pm. In these hours, tourists tend to move around most visited spots.
  •  Sagrada Família receives largest number of visitors from 10am to 1pm; decreasing significantly as the afternoon and evening arrive. 1pm and 4pm are the hours with a higher number of pics taken. On rainy days tourists seem to look for shelter, so they prefer to move around famous buildings, churches or museums. The Rambla’s area close to Liceu, reaches 2nd position from regular 11th, on rainy days. In days of hazy fog in Barcelona, the area of Port Olímpic – Torres Mapfre is the most photographed spot, more than three times those taken in Plaça Catalunya. Favorite spots do not understand of cold or heat, as they remain as top visited places. The Montjuïc area is a especially preferred spot for tourists when it gets cold. With average temperatures between 21 to 25 degrees, tourists tend to increase their concentration on the Ramblas area. When temperature goes below 10 degrees, most interesting trend affects the Cathedral, nd as it climbs from general 13th position to 2 .
  • When analyzing where tourists take their photos in Barcelona, there is not a lot of margin tosurprise, at least among first places of the ranking. Plaça Catalunya is the favorite spot forBarcelona’s tourists, as more than 14% of the total pics where taken there. For Barcelonans,Plaça Catalunya is the emblematic center of the city, and tourists do not differ. However, among the rest of the Top 30 tourist attractions, we find that Santa Maria del Mar andthe surrounding Born area occupies second place, whilst the major symbol of the city, theSagrada Família has to conform to fourth place, just behind the Boqueria’s Market. From this analysis it is clearly observed how tourism in Barcelona is highly concentrated in thedistrict of Ciutat Vella, as 6 of the 10 most photographed spots are located there. Eixample isjust represented with Casa Batlló (5th position) and partly (jointly with Sants-Montjuïc) with theFont Màgica – MNAC area (9th position). Success of FC Barcelona seems to have a significant impact over the city’s tourists, as itsstadium the Camp Nou, is ranked on the 15th position, even above of some really popularplaces such as La Pedrera (20th), Plaça Sant Jaume (21st) or Tibidabo (22nd).In general terms, we can see how half of the tourist attractions account for 85% of the total picstaken in Barcelona during the analyzed period. Therefore, we just confirm that the city hastourism model featured by a high space occupation, which might have a negative impact bothover tourists and locals. % of pics % of pics Rank Top tourist attractions over Rank Top tourist attractions over total total 1 Plaça Catalunya 14,1% 16 Port Olímpic - Torres Mapfre 2,6% 2 Santa Maria del Mar - Born 9,1% 17 Plaça Espanya 1,9% 3 Rambla Boqueria 7,8% 18 Castell de Montjuïc 1,4% 4 Sagrada Família 7,6% 19 Rambla Canaletes 1,4% 5 Casa Batlló 6,6% 20 La Pedrera 1,3% 6 Park Güell 6,1% 21 Plaça Sant Jaume 1,2% 7 Port Vell - Aquàrium 4,9% 22 Tibidabo 1,1% 8 Macba 4,9% 23 Arc de Triomf 0,9% 9 Font Màgica - MNAC 4,3% 24 Plaça Reial 0,7% 10 Rambla Colom 3,7% 25 Plaça Universitat 0,6% 11 Rambla Liceu 3,7% 26 Torre Agbar 0,5% 12 Anella Olímpica 3,6% 27 Hotel W Barcelona 0,4% 13 Catedral 3,2% 28 Hospital de Sant Pau 0,3% 14 Parc de la Ciutadella 2,9% 29 Plaça Kennedy 0,3% 15 Camp Nou 2,7% 30 Fòrum 0,2%
  • Tibidabo Park Güell Hospital de Sant Pau Fòrum Pl. Kennedy Sagrada Família Torre Agbar La Pedrera Casa Batlló Port Olímpic – Torres Mapfre Camp Nou Pl. Espanya Font Màgica - MNAC Hotel W Barcelona Anella Olímpica Castell de Montjuïc Arc de TriomfPl. Universitat Pl. Catalunya Parc de la Ciutadella Catedral Rambla Canaletes Santa Maria del Mar - Born Macba Pl. Sant Jaume Rambla Boqueria Pl. Reial Rambla Liceu Port Vell – Aquàrium Rambla Colom
  • One of the most interesting variables to analyze in this project of pics taken by tourists inBarcelona is to take an in-depth look to visitors by country of origin. Through this approach, wehave been able to detect actual differences on behavior patterns depending on the nationality ofthe tourist. And the most shocking conclusion is that Japanese have Camp Nou as their numberone spot, neither the Sagrada Família nor the Park Güell or Casa Batlló achieved to overcomeBarça’s home as the place where a larger number of photos was taken.But surprises are mixed with some topics that are confirmed. For instance, French are usuallyperceived as culture and art lovers, and it seems to be that way, as their number one touristattraction is Macba (the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona). That is also the favoritespot for Spaniards. Germans tend to concentrate around the Montjuïc area, especially theOlympic Ring and the Font Màgica – MNAC. Canadians show another unexpected pattern, as ththey have as second favorite spot the Parc de la Ciutadella (14 position in the generalranking).British are probably not really exploring lovers, as they have Pl. Catalunya, Sagrada Família,the Cathedral and the Park Güell as their top attractions. In the case of Americans, it isconfirmed again that they like the old part of the city, its antique buildings and churches. Theirtop places are Santa Maria del Mar – Born, Boqueria and Casa Batlló.
  • Despite for the most visited spots, there is no pattern on affluence depending on the day of theweek, for other attractions, we can observe interesting habits among tourists, not justdifferentiating from weekdays and weekends, but also between weekdays.If we look at the behavior of tourists spots depending on the day of the week, it is interesting tohighlight how the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) is mostly during the weekend, includingMonday and Friday in a minor rate, but from Tuesday to Thursday, pics taken reducesignificantly. Something similar happens to another sports attraction, the Camp Nou. In thiscase, Wednesday is the day of the week with a higher number of photos taken (usual day ofChampions League match), however, tourists do not seem to visit the stadium on match day, asthere is no significant variation on Saturdays or Sundays. This is mostly explained becauseCamp Nou’s Tour closes earlier on match day.Macba is another interesting case, as largest number of visits seems to concentrate onThursdays and Fridays. Port Olímpic – Torres Mapfre area is another case of day specialization, rdas visits increase on Mondays, reaching 3 place in the Top 30 ranking, being the only day that thhits the Top 10 (except for Thursdays when occupies 10 ). ndWe can’t forget Sagrada Família’s pattern. This spot climbs up to 2 position of the ranking on th thWednesdays, being 14 on Mondays, 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, third on Fridays and thSundays and 4 on Saturdays.Another classic of Barcelona’s tourist routes is the Park Güell. This attraction follows a quitesteady pattern except for Thursdays, when the number of average photos taken decreasesmore than 75% compared with Wednesdays and 80% with Fridays.
  • Barcelona is well-known as a tourist destination for going out and having fun enjoying its widenightlife offer. Although the city offers a wide range of bars and discos at the city center(especially at Raval, Gòtic and Born areas), tourists have it clear: when it gets dark you must go ndto Port Olímpic to have fun). Between 12am and 4am, this area reaches 2 place of the thranking, when in the general count it occupies 16 position. During this hour range, it is alsoremarkable activity around the Boqueria area of Las Ramblas and Plaça Sant Jaume.Hours of most activity for tourists are those between 10am to 7pm. In these hours, tourists tendto move around most visited spots, without a significant change on patterns. However, if weanalyze behavior for each spot, we can see some interesting things. For example, Sagrada
  • Família receives largest number of visitors from 10am to 1pm; decreasing significantly as theafternoon and evening arrive. Same pattern is observed with other ticket attractions such asCasa Batlló or Aquàrium.Tourists tend to concentrate at Camp Nou between 1pm and 4pm, and also between 7pm and10pm, in this last case due to matches. The Font Màgica at Montjuïc also has 7pm to 10pm asa rush hour; in this case it is likely to be explained by the fountain lights show.If you want to avoid tourists’ concentrations, then you’d better not go to any of the topattractions between 1pm and 4pm, as these are the hours with a higher number of pics taken.But there is another option to walk around the city in a more relaxed way: to do it between 4amand 7am.
  • Tourists come to visit and see Barcelona’s favorite places and they do so no matter what theweather is, however, on rainy days they seem to look for shelter, so they prefer to move around rdfamous buildings, churches or museums. On a rainy day, Casa Batlló climbs to the 3 place of ththe Top 30 ranking, coming from 5 in the general ranking. ndSomething more significant happens to the Rambla’s area close to Liceu, reaching 2 position th th thfrom regular 11 . Barcelona’s Cathedral also climbs from 13 to 9 on rainy days. However,Plaça Catalunya remains as number 1 spot, despite decreasing the percentage that representsfrom the total.In any case, the most surprising pattern is not found when rain appears, but when hazy fogdoes. In these rare days in Barcelona, tourists seem to be attracted by the magic of thecombination of fog and the waterfront, as the area of Port Olímpic – Torres Mapfre is, with alarge difference, the most photographed spot, more than three times those taken in PlaçaCatalunya.When taking a look at the average temperature analysis, as usual, favorite spots do notunderstand of cold or heat, as they remain as top visited places. However, some of the lesscommon attractions are somehow impacted by the temperature of the city.
  • The Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) is one of the most interesting cases of temperatureconditioned behavior, as it grows significantly when temperature moves from 11 to 15 degrees. th thThis spot reaches 5 position in the Top 30 ranking, when in the general analysis ranks 12 .The Font Màgica – MNAC area, Castell de Montjuïc and Plaça Espanya, despite at a lowerlevel, experience the same growth when this temperature is given. So, it seems that theMontjuïc area is a especially preferred spot for tourists when it gets cold.When springtime comes, with average temperatures between 21 to 25 degrees, tourists tend toincrease their concentration on the Ramblas area. But when the heat rises up, apart from thebeaches (not included in this analysis) they are seen at Port Vell – Aquàrium area.On its part, the Sagrada Família follows a mid to low temperature pattern. Largest number ofphotos was taken when temperature was between 16 and 20 degrees, but also showsconcentration when temperature is even colder, between 11 and 15 degrees.Finally, those rare days when temperature goes below 10 degrees, most interesting trendaffects the Cathedral, as it climbs from general 13th position to 2nd, just behind Pl. Catalunya.
  • Visitors to places of interest in Barcelona (Source: Turisme de Barcelona)Rank 2010 1 Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família 2.317.349 2 CosmoCaixa Barcelona 2.128.453 3 L’Aquàrium de Barcelona 1.660.261 4 CaixaFòrum Barcelona 1.552.110 5 Castell de Montjuïc 1.371.355 6 Museu Picasso 1.369.187 7 Museu F.C. Barcelona President Nuñez 1.311.638 8 Telefèric de Montjuïc 1.182.528 9 Fundació Joan Miró 1.102.558 10 Parc Zoològic de Barcelona 1.054.885 11 La Pedrera de Catalunya Caixa 1.022.887 12 Poble Espanyol de Barcelona 936.455 13 Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya (MNAC) 897.179 14 Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) 746.592 15 Casa Batlló 673.786 16 Museu d’Història de Barcelona. MUHBA 653.707 17 Palau Robert 506.357 18 Museu Marítim de Barcelona. MMB 432.002 19 Casa-Museu Gaudí (Park Güell) 412.054 20 Parc d’Atraccions Tibidabo 402.009 21 Fundació Fran Daurel 392.193 Centre de Cultura Comtemporània de Barcelona 22 359.964 (CCCB) 23 Funicular del Tibidabo 352.763 24 Tramvia Blau 310.721 25 Temple d’August. MUHBA 307.026 26 Museu d’Història de Catalunya 306.256 27 Museu Egipci de Barcelona 305.128 28 Arts Santa Mònica 264.572 29 Museu de Cera de Barcelona 198.972 30 Disseny HUB Barcelona. DHUB 198.778In bold those included in our Top 30 tourist attractions
  • Credit card spending by countries (Source: Barcelona Turisme)Opinion about different aspects of Barcelona (on a scale 1 to 10) (Source: Barcelona Turisme)Percentage of tourists by country of origin (Source: Barcelona City Council, Flickr)