Gamified participatory sensing in tourism: An experimental study of the effects on tourist behavior and satisfaction

Shogo Kawanaka, Yuki Matsuda, Hirohiko Suwa, Manato Fujimoto, Yutaka Arakawa, Keiichi Yasumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In the tourism sector, user-generated information and communication among tourists are perceived to be more effective and reliable contents. In addition, the collection of dynamic tourism information with high spatio-temporal resolution is required to provide comfortable tourism in response to the changing tourism style with the advancement of information technology. Participatory sensing, which can collect various types of information is a useful method by which to collect these contents. However, continuous participation of users is essential in participatory sensing, and it is one of the most important points to stimulate participation motivation. In the tourism situation, we also need to pay attention to the total tourist satisfaction of participants. In this paper, we adopt gamification, i.e., the implementation of game design elements in real-world contexts for non-gaming purposes, for participatory sensing as an incentive mechanism to motivate participants with active participation and collect the necessary information efficiently. Within the framework, where points are given when completing the requested sensing task (=mission), two sensing missions with different burdens; Area Mission and Check-in Mission, and three different types of rewarding mechanisms; Fixed, Variable and Dynamic Variable, are designed as a gamification mechanism. We implemented these elements in the proposed participatory sensing platform application and conducted an experimental case study with 33 participants at an actual tourist spot: Kyoto, Japan. Then, we investigate the effects on tourist behavior and satisfaction by analyzing collected sensor data, mission logs, and post-survey answers. As a result, we can conclude the following: (1) the tourist behavior is changed due to the proposed gamification design and the necessary information was collected efficiently; (2) the participants tend to prioritize Check-in Mission over the sightseeing, which can induce a behavior change but might impact sightseeing enjoyment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-757
Number of pages22
JournalSmart Cities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Urban Studies


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