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Malin Zillinger.

Malin Zillinger

Assistant Head of Department, senior lecturer, associate professor

Malin Zillinger.

The whys or why nots of visiting a place: information search at home and en route


  • Lena Eskilsson
  • Malin Zillinger
  • Maria Månsson

Summary, in English

We will present results from a recently completed research project financed by BFUF (the R&D Fund of the Swedish Tourism & Hospitality Industry). We have explored German tourists and how they search for tourist information at home and while travelling in Sweden. The overall aim was to understand how tourists’ information search behaviour affects the choice of attractions. The project has been carried out in collaboration with the municipalities of Ystad and Vimmerby, where we have interviewed German tourists. Another method we have used is questionnaires that were sent out to Germans via Visit Sweden’s Newsletter and Facebook page. The third method used is experiments where Germans have searched for on-line information at home for a fictive trip to either Ystad or Vimmerby.

The results clearly show that tourist information search behaviour is quite similar at home and en route. We see a mix of old and new sources rather than the Internet replacing the old ones. Traditional information sources like guidebooks and maps are therefore still highly relevant. A further result is the value inscribed to personal meetings, whether it takes place with local
people, staff at tourist information centres, or other tourists. However, while tourists are interested in information, there is a fine balance between information need and information overload. Tourists value spontaneity and adventure, which too much information may hinder.
Finally, yes - tourists are digital, but there is also an active resistance to digital connection while travelling. In the creation of tourist information material, it is therefore essential to include the values and possibilities of being adventurous, spontaneous and digitally disconnected.


  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Department of Service Studies
  • Department of Strategic Communication

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Conference name

The 27th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality. Tourism Implications and Dilemmas

Conference date

2018-09-24 - 2018-09-26

Conference place

Alta, Norway