Research shows that Wikipedia can be an excellent ally in rebuilding Spain’s tourism sector

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Tourism is one of the main economic sectors of our country. In 2019, the sector accounted for 12.4% of GDP and 12.7% of employment. In addition, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spain closed 83.7 million foreign tourists in the same year. However, COVID-19 has radically changed the scenario: in 2020, international tourism fell by 78% compared to 2019, while tourism GDP in 2021 returned to 2017, which was up to 6%.

In a study called Wikipedia Matters, researchers Marit Hinnosaar, Thomas Hinnosaar, Michael Kummer and Olga Slivko conducted an interesting experiment to analyze information about Wikipedia’s Spanish tourist municipalities on tourism in these places. As part of the experiment, the authors improved the editing and content of Wikipedia pages, pointing to some municipalities in Spain that were randomly selected from municipalities with tourism potential.

The results of the experiment showed that the improvement of Wikipedia content in different languages ​​led the sample municipalities whose pages were edited to increase the overnight stay of native tourists in the language in which the Wikipedia content was edited. During the tourist season, hotel nights in these municipalities increased by 9% compared to municipalities with tourism potential whose page was not edited. In cities whose pages were more incomplete and shorter before the intervention, the growth reached 33%. That is, the most detailed information captures the attention of potential readers and it directly affects the attraction of tourists.

Official data show that the average cost of a foreign tourist in Spain is 101 euros per day, and preliminary estimates suggest that improving the municipality article on Wikipedia could lead to, in this place, an annual additional income of about 160 thousand euros. The results of this experiment show that improving the quality of the Wikipedia page is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the visibility and number of tourists that the city receives, which will significantly help restore the tourism sector.

Source: El Diario

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