Easing the adoption of agent-based modelling (ABM) in tourism research

Peter Johnson*, Sarah Nicholls, Jillian Student, Bas Amelung, Rodolfo Baggio, Stefano Balbi, Ines Boavida-Portugal, Eline de Jong, G.J. Hofstede, M.A.J. Lamers, Marc Pons, Robert Steiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Agent-based modelling (ABM) is an emerging approach in tourism research. Despite the natural fit between theories of tourism as a complex, interconnected system, and the generative approach supported in ABM, there has been only limited integration within mainstream tourism research. This research letter reports on a recent gathering of tourism ABM researchers to define the main challenges that face the adoption of ABM in tourism research. These include technical, communications, and novelty issues. In response to these challenges, three potential strategies to ease adoption are outlined: education, awareness, and interdisciplinary teams. These findings are framed as a call for increased attention to the fit of ABM within tourism research, and a framework for negotiating constraints to adoption of this technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • agent-based modelling
  • complexity
  • methodology
  • tourism systems


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