Focusing on the capabilities of IoT and Big data serving tourism, Dr Marc Torrent, Director of Eurecat, presented during Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona the results of a project set to analyse tourists’ behaviour and flow using LBASense sensors, at the world renowned Sagrada Familia.
The pilot project and the analysis of the data retrieved through it was led by the Ajuntament de Barcelona (Municipality of Barcelona) and developed together with Eurecat and Mobile World Capital Foundation in Barcelona, with the support of GSMA. The initiative aimed at obtaining detailed information about visitors’ profiles and mobility patterns in order to plan and optimize city services, with the final goal to minimize impacts in the urban structure, especially in places with high touristic attendance such as the Sagrada Familia.
To analyse the flow of people and monitor the footfall in the designed area, during 4 weeks in July 2016, a small number of LBASense Wi-Fi sensors and one GSM sensor (as well as additional 3D cameras) were deployed.
Data and Crowd Analytics results from the project showed that 80% of tourists visited only the surroundings of the Sagrada Familia and 50% spent less than 40 minutes there, the peak of attendance time being from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
The top tourists’ nationalities detected in the area – without differentiating between tourists and residents – were 24% foreigners, from France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
According to Mr Agustí Colom, Barcelona’s City Councillor for Enterprise and Tourism (Empresa i Turisme), the system provides “very useful information for urban planning and public services optimization that are deployed in the area” with respect to mobility, signalling, civil agents. Furthermore, for example, the system can be adopted for the launch of specific campaigns, allowing to “know in real time the mobility flows in order to manage them, redirect them or to boost some other visiting spots”, as well as, among others, to “involve tourism operators in order to integrate different dynamics and seasonality in the management of the most frequented spaces” (source: translation of the related Barcelona City Press release).
Featured image: Barcelona view on the Sagrada Familia, by Michal Jarmoluk, licensed under Creative Commons Zero.