Using Agent Based Modelling to Understand and Enhance Rural Tourism Industry Collaboration

PI: Sarah Nicholls (Michigan State University)
Co-PIs: Jonathan Day (Purdue University), Bonnie Zoia (Michigan State University)
Awarded: $12,276

Project Abstract

Unlike traditional primary and secondary sectors such as forestry, fishing and manufacturing, tourism is diverse and fragmented, made up of a diverse assortment of public, private and non-profit agencies and entities that operate under a range of missions and mandates, and at a variety of geographic scales. As such, tourism is a classic though often not recognized example of a complex system. The tourism industry is also plagued by a general lack of collaboration, cooperation and partnerships, especially in rural areas. The funds requested would be used as seed monies to assist in the development of a proposal to be submitted to the National Science Foundation that would explore and demonstrate the use of agent based modelling in the understanding and enhancement of tourism industry collaboration in a rural context. The use of ABM will allow industry actors’ behaviors, and the interactions between them, to be visualized and assessed. Resulting outcomes will enable researchers and practitioners to identify, understand and replicate the drivers of collaboration, as well as the settings in which collaboration is most likely to flourish.