Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (8): 1556-1570.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201808012

• Transportation and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploring the spatial characteristics of Beijing inbound tourist flow based on geotagged photos

QIN Jing1(),LI Langping2,TANG Mingdi1,3,SUN Yan1,SONG Xinrui1   

  1. 1. The School of Tourism Management, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing 100024, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. The School of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2017-07-27 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-31
  • Supported by:
    Philosophy and Social Science Foundation of Beijing, No.17JDGLB 004;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.71502005;Seed Incubation Project of Beijing International Studies University


As one of the most important modern tourism destinations, cities are playing a critical role in developing agglomerated tourism elements, shaping urban leisure space and promoting urban life quality. In particular, the city tourist flow provides a key path for connections between tourism elements and spatial organization, and its influence on urban traffic organization, public service facilities and leisure tourism industry layout has also been increasing. Motivated by these observations, this paper examines spatial characteristics of inbound tourist flows from a microscopic perspective within a city. Firstly, all photos with geographical and attribute information in Beijing from 2004 to 2015 are obtained from the Flickr API interface using data mining technology. Then, a series of data cleaning methods are used to enhance initial data quality and a database is established. Finally, spatial pattern of inbound tourist flows and spatial characteristics of areas of interest (AOI) are analyzed using various methods including P-DBSCAN and Markov chain. The main results are as follows: (1) Spatial characteristics of AOI in the historic center (the region inside the 2nd Ring Road), the central urban area (the region between the 2nd and 5th ring roads) and the suburbs (the region outside the 5th Ring Road) in Beijing are significantly different: the AOI in the historic center in Beijing cover spaces of scenic spots, leisure, entertainment, restaurants, shops and other related industries, and the boundaries between AOI are unclear, with one AOI connecting to another; AOI in the central urban area are closely related to urban functional areas, and has a definite orientation of urban functions; finally, AOI in the suburbs of Beijing are consistent with the tourist attractions, with the boundaries not going beyond scenic areas. (2) The traditional, historical and cultural AOI dominate other AOI. Meanwhile, the commercial, shopping and leisure AOI as well as modern city function related AOI are becoming more and more attractive. (3) Inbound tourist flows are mainly distributed in AOI of the historical districts and the northwest and east of the central urban areas. Moreover, there is no big tourist flow between the suburban regions. Overall, the inbound tourist flow in Beijing follows a radioactive distribution pattern centered at the historic center. (4) AOI of different regions are connected with secondary tourist flows, and the inbound tourism flow in Beijing has formed a preliminary network structure.

Key words: geotagged photos, tourist flow, area of interest, spatial characteristics, Beijing