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Recommending a sequence of interesting places for tourist trips

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Tourist trip design problems (TTDP) support tourists in creating trips composed of multiple points of interest (POIs) or other travel-related items. We present a novel approach to generate routes comprising different POIs with a reasonable routing for a short city trip. In our scenario, a user enters a start and an end point in a web application together with preferences and receives a walking route with interesting places to visit along the way. The place discovery is based on retrieving arbitrarily rated places from Foursquare, so it is not restricted to certain cities or regions. The developed scoring mechanism rates the level of interest of a POI and accounts for the number of places per category. Discovered places are then combined to a practical route using a constraint-free and a constraint-based version of our algorithm. The algorithms are based on Dijkstra’s algorithm to find the shortest path in a graph. We show that Dijkstra’s algorithm can be modified to find not only the shortest paths, but also trips that solve the TTDP by maximizing the entertainment for the user while respecting time and budget constraints. The solution has been implemented in a practical web application. We conducted a user study showing that our test users highly accepted the application. Improvement with regard to user preferences for place categories lead to additional benefits in terms of user satisfaction with the routing and the match with their preferences. Finally, we outline challenges for future work on TTDPs in this article.

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This work is part of the TUM Living Lab Connected Mobility (TUM LLCM) project and has been funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology (StMWi) through the Center Digitisation. Bavaria, an initiative of the Bavarian State Government.

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Correspondence to Wolfgang Wörndl.

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This paper is an extended and updated version of a conference paper titled ‘Generating Paths Through Discovered Places-of-Interests for City Trip Planning’ previously published in the proceedings of Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2016 Conference (ENTER 2016) held in Bilbao, Spain, February 2–5, 2016.

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Wörndl, W., Hefele, A. & Herzog, D. Recommending a sequence of interesting places for tourist trips. Inf Technol Tourism 17, 31–54 (2017).

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