Tourism Intelligence Latvia


Updated 26.10.2020.

The aim of the research project is using advantages of ICT development to create GIS solutions-based tourism intelligence platform of market information, providing analyses and forecasts of pan-Baltic Big Data representing cross-sectoral industry performance in multi-destination levels to improve competitiveness of Latvia in export markets and facilitate regional development.

Tourism Intelligence Latvia (TourInteLV) is a project using participatory research, integrated across the fields of ICT and GIS mapping, the social sciences and complexity science, to empower stakeholders from tourism industry to make strategic and responsible decisions for their future. The project will bring together, on a pan-Baltic level, Big Data with new modelling and new form of interaction leading to a comprehensive understanding of tourism connectivity and society involved in travel and its co-evolution with technology. It is aimed to provide one-stop platform for market intelligence to strengthen competitiveness of businesses and destination management organizations (DMO), especially on a regional level. Even more ubiquitous communication and sensing blur the boundaries between the physical and digital spheres, creating unparalleled opportunities for better understanding the socio-economic processes of tourism in holistic spatial extent. Data from public statistics, open or professional sources and data available from geo-located mobile devices will be integrated in the maps and visualizations. Technology melds maps with data and well-designed information to see the human geography and raising mobility in a smarter way. New public resource will help for public institutions and enterprises to aggregate, access query and understand vast amounts of data and forecast promoting innovative approaches.

The objectives of the research:

  • To establish solid theoretical base for goal-oriented applied research including human geography, social sciences and complexity science with participatory research methods, ICT and GIS modelling techniques for in-depth analyses of tourism phenomena.
  • To analyse reliable Big Data sources and possibilities of smart converting them into customized and accurate information flow for industry development needs, arranging legal issues about usage of data.
  • To develop holistic GIS solutions based tourism intelligence platform model with accurate well-designed visualizations and customized forecast options.
  • Develop adaptive ICT based tool for measuring of tourism flow in space, time and customer behaviour context supplementing insight of quantitative information reached in the first objectives.
  • Disseminate research results and promote strategic usage of them among the industry and involve in active participation.

Planned results: a research project implemented internationally and discussed in the industry with an up-to-date theoretical basis for solving the problem. A developed socio-technical systems model and ICT solution with practical application, scientifically substantiated and developed with precise involvement of large-scale data.

PostDoctorate research project

Project Manager: HESPI Researcher Dr.geogr. Andris Klepers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Project duration: 01.09.2017. - 31.08.2020.

Project number:

The research project is implemented with the PostDoctoral research support (ERDF)

Accomplished activities of the project:

  1. Popular Scientific Review (in Latvian) published for the period from 01.09.2017 - 28.02.2018
  2. Participation in international ESRI conference, ArcGIS application – innovations and practice. Riga. (05.09.2017)
  3. Presentation at an international conference "Tourism in Protected Areas”, (Estonia) with report “Tourism and nature protection: Gauja NP tourism cluster” (15.09.2017)
  4. An International Mobility Trip to Ireland on Managing Tourism Destinations and Enhancing the Competitiveness of Small Businesses, Private-Public Governance (18.- 22.09.2017)
  5. An international mobility trip to the Netherlands with the presentation of a report entitled "BIG Data Analytics for Smart Tourism Destination Management". Gaining experience of engaging in big data research, monitoring, and business issues. The use of ICT in tourism destination management, branding and strategies. (October 2017)
  6. Presentation at the Daugava Lower Reaches cluster Tourism Forum with the report "Tourism Marketing, Trends, Social Network Marketing". (05.10.2017)
  7. Presentation at the conference “The first 10 years of the Rāzna National Park” with the report “Development of Rāzna NP as a Single Tourism Destination: Challenges and Opportunities”. (23.11.2017)
  8. Participation in professional development courses for working with IBM SPSS Modeler. (November 2017)
  9. Presentation at the international tourism conference “Know your neighbor” in Elva, Estonia with the report “Strategic view to Latvian visitors in South-Estonian context”. (06.12.2017)
  10. International post-doctoral research mobility: one month at the University of Eastern Finland Tourism Research Center. (February 2018)
  11. Professional development courses in GIS software usage (in collaboration with Envirotech SIA) implemented. (January 2018)
  12. Participation in the 76th scientific conference of the University of Latvia with the report: “Farmsteads and rural landscape quality of Latvia in the context of natural diversity”. (31.01.2018)
  13. Conducting guest lectures for international master students at the University of Eastern Finland in the course "Current Research Methods in Tourism". (February 2018)
  14. Scientific article published: Klepers, A. (2018). Problems of tourism destination management in Latvia. Folia Geographica, (16), 46-54. (March 2018)
  15. Participation in Gauja NP tourism cluster general meeting. (13.03.2018)
  16. Presentation at the General Meeting of the Geography Society of Latvia with the report “Geography of Latvian Rural Farmsteads. Tourism context.” (24.03.2018)
  17. Participation in the HESPI Institute Research Public Research Event with the presentation of post-doc project interim results. (26.04.2018)
  18. Participation in a VIA HESPI scientific seminar with a report on “Big Data engagement solutions for tourism management”, Valmiera. (28.05.2018)
  19. Open lecture performed “Tourism destination development trends in Latvia. Regional perspective.” as candidate for the post of Associate Professor. Valmiera. (12.05.2018)
  20. Criteria for obtaining the status of associate professor - academic post completed (in Latvian). Elected as associate professor in Human Geography, branch of Social and economic Geography. (25.05.2018)
  21. Professional development courses “Applying Eye View Tracking Technologies in Research” completed in collaboration with TOBII Pro and VIA Knowledge and Technology Center. (4.-5.06.2018)
  22. Presentation at the scientific conference "Opportunities and Challenges - Life in National Parks and other Nature Protected Areas", Slītere NP with a report “Network Based Local Tourism Destination Systems. Case Study of Gauja NP Tourism Cluster”. (08.07.2018)
  23. Contribution with scientific data and GIS visualizations to the comprehensive research report for Latvian Parliament “Promotion of tourism development in regions of Latvia”. (August 2018)
  24. Scientific article published: Ruskule, A., Klepers, A, & Veidemane, K. (2018). Mapping and assessment of cultural ecosystem services of Latvian coastal areas. One Ecosystem. DOI: 10.3897/oneeco.3.e25499. (August 2018)
  25. Popular Scientific Review (in Latvian) published for the period from 01.03.2018 to 31.08.2018. (September 2018)
  26. Participation in the 4th international conference “GIS and Remote Sensing” in Berlin (Germany), presentation with a report “Spatial Analysis of Tourism Places in the Post-Soviet Contexts: Tourist Destinations of Baltic States” and defense of thesis publication; chairing a thematic session. (27.-28.09. .2018)
  27. Participation in Enter Gauja tourism destination steering group meeting in Līgatne. (10.10.2018)
  28. Participation in International Applied GIS Conference “Baltic ESRI User Conference”. Riga. (17.10.2018)
  29. Participation in the international tourism conference “Looking for excellence in tourism education. The perspective of cooperation between universities and industry.” In Valmiera. Head of section “Innovative approaches to higher education in tourism and involvement of industry in the study process”. (25.10.2018)
  30. Participation in Vidzeme Tourism Association Regional Tourism Strategy seminar in Valmiera and contribution to the strategy development. (01.11.2018)
  31. Participation in Tourism Forum of Baltic Sea Region. (15.11.2018)
  32. Participation in the general meeting of the Gauja NP Tourism Society - cluster in Krimulda. (28.11.2018)
  33. Participation in the International Geographic Information Technology GIT Conference in Riga. (07.12.2018)
  34. Lecture “Competitiveness of Koknese Region in Tourism: Municipal and Entrepreneurial Strategies” for stakeholders involved in tourism development of the region. (11.12.2018)
  35. Supervision of master thesis (3) on tourism destination development and business intelligence solutions for smart tourism destination development. (2018/2019)
  36. Contribution to the “Tourism Law” updates of Latvia. (Since December 2018)
  37. Contribution to the “Latvian Tourism Development Guidelines 2021-2027”. (Since December 2018)
  38. Theoretical base report for using combined alternative data sources for tourism monitoring, planning and forecasting in local tourism destinations(19.09.2019.)
  39. Participation in THE EUROPARC 2019 international seminar on global challenges for the management of public and specially protected natural areas – national parks. (25-26.09.2019.)
  40. Participation in the European Researchers Night event at Vidzeme Universit of Applied Sciences, Valmiera. Publicity activities on the content of the research project. (27.09.2019.)
  41. International mobility to Tallinn, Estonia, in cooperation with Central Statistical Administrators, the international working group presented the content “Alternatively data sources and methods in tourism statistics” (04.10.2019.)
  42. Participation 28. Symposium of the Northern Tourism and Hospitality Studies (28th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research) at the University of Roskilde, Denmark, with a scientific publication and published thesis “Alternative Data for Seaside Tourism Planning GIS”. (23-26.10.2019.)
  43. Participation in the public scientific event and thematic discussion on the quality of scientific evidence and open data of researchers at Vidzeme University's HESPI Institute (14.11.2019.)
  44. Participation in the research workshop of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences for post-doctoral researchers and doctoral students on open data sources and the issue of analysis, involvement in research (15.11.2019.)
  45. Publicity event for research results – Open online broadcasting and remote participation. In cooperation with the Central Statistical Bureau and Business University Turība, involving tourism planning specialists. Subject: “Study methodology | Alternative data sources and methods in tourism statistics”. (15.11.2019.)
  46. Participation in the work seminar of the Nature Protection Board: Application of technological solutions to visitor records in nature heritage sites and considerations for organising comprehensive monitoring. DAP, Sigulda (26.11.2019.)
  47. Participation in the sector-specific conference organised by the Ministry of Agriculture: “Challenges and Opportunities for the Development of Fisheries” with the report entitled “Capacities for the Development of Tourism Offshore” (27.11.2019.)
  48. Participation in the international conference “The 26th Nordic Intercultural Communication (NIC) Conference” in Valmiera, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, with a report and published thesis “Contemporary Geographies of Public Events and Tourism Mobility”. (29.11.2019)
  49. Participation in the general meeting of researchers at the ViA HESPI Institute & workshop. (10.12.2019.)
  50. Participation in the international e-tourism conference at the University of Surrey ETNER2020, United Kingdom, with the report “Competitive Management of Local Tourism Destination Using Advanced GIS Platform” (07.01-10.01 .2020).
  51. Participation in the international conference and related events of the CAUTHE Association at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand with the report “Online tickets purchase as source for tracing tourism mobilities” (10-13.02.2020).
  52. Participation in the tourism section of the LU scientific conference, presentation of the report “Tourism flow and anthropogenic load on the sea coast: problems and solutions” at the University of Latvia, Riga (21.02.2020).
  53. Collaboration with Envirotech Ltd, GIS data platform development solutions. Advanced creation and display of involved data relations, website design. Technological solution – platform created and accessible (with password – please request it from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for content testing purposes):
  54. Participation in ViA doctoral and postdoctoral research seminar. Presentation and discussion of work progress. (04/17/2020).
  55. Participation in ViA doctoral and postdoctoral research seminar remotely. Presentation and discussion of work progress. (22.05.2020.).
  56. Acquisition of the online international course "Statistics for Data Science and Business Analysis" (Udemy) and customized study course ArcGIS online. (June-August 2020).
  57. Publication of guidelines "Use of specialized technological solutions for determining the number of visits to tourist and leisure facilities or public events in the outdoor environment [1]".
  58. Participation in the Valmiera Tourism Innovation Hackathon (as a mentor) (June 27-June 28, 2020).
  59. Participation in the international conference Mobile Tartu 2020 with the poster-type report “ICT for measuring tourism flow” (30.06.2020.).
  60. Scientific and applied seminar (27.08.2020) on the established GIS platform for the management of tourist destinations including sustainable planning, monitoring and forecasting. Seminar content (50 min.) with demonstration of technological solution created available here
  61. Implemented international mobility to the Mobility LAB of the University of Tartu, proposals for co-operation on research, joint activities (31.08.2020).
  62. Prepared scientific publication “Visitor load in protected nature areas during COVID-19”. Summary. The process of publication in the scientific journal Sustainability continues.
  63. Prepared scientific publication “Strategic co-management platform for tourism destination”. Summary. The process of publishing in the scientific journal Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights continues.

Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences

Cēsu street 4, Tērbatas street 10, Valmiera, LV-4201, Latvija

Company reg. Nr. LV90001342592