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Usage of social media to track tourist origin and spatial movement during 2017 Solar Eclipse

Abstract
Astro-tourism has been growing into a fashion in tourism industry in recent years, yet is a subject not fully studied in academia. The 2017 Solar Eclipse was a true celestial event, reportedly attracted significant number of both domestic and international tourists, as well as stirred up a trending on social media. In this study, we use social media data as a proxy to monitor tourists’ movement, spatial usage, destination attractions and travel patterns during the event, hopefully to provide some valuable insights to understanding such tourism trend. We found out that the most popular destinations in the event are the populated or urbanized areas, and the most intensive travel flows are between cities and towns. We identified two types of astro-tourists deviating in spatial behavioral preference: opportunists and hardcore. The opportunists follow “shortest-distance” movement pattern, while the hardcore follows “best-location” pattern. Respective marketing suggestions and strategies are proposed accordingly.
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