IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

An agent-based approach to providing tourism planning support


  • Peter A Johnson
  • Renee E Sieber


Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computer simulation approach that can be used to represent real-world systems and create planning scenarios to examine possible future outcomes of present-day decisions. This approach can be applied in tourism planning, where destinations are exposed to a variety of externalities, and must develop strategies to adapt to changing operational conditions. We describe the development of TourSim, an ABM of tourism dynamics set in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. We present an overview of the data sources and techniques used to inform agent behavior and the destination landscape, as well as consider aspects of system representation and validation and how these may affect the use of TourSim. TourSim is used to generate three scenarios of tourism dynamics; a base-case scenario, one that simulates the effect of a decrease in visitation from American markets as a result of economic crisis, and the use of advertising as a response to this lower level of visitation. These scenarios are used to evaluate ABM in comparison with other computer-based methods of modeling tourism, namely geographic information systems and system dynamics models.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter A Johnson & Renee E Sieber, 2011. "An agent-based approach to providing tourism planning support," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(3), pages 486-504, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:38:y:2011:i:3:p:486-504

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:38:y:2011:i:3:p:486-504. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.