TripAdvisor reveals most visited spots by travellers vs. locals

The study was based on the company’s stored mobile location data, revealing travellers’ and locals’ most frequented hotels, restaurants and attractions in major world tourism destinations.

“Our mobile check-index shows the points of interest where consumers are voting with their feet and actually spending their time,” said Jeff Chow, vice president of product, consumer experience, TripAdvisor. “It’s interesting to see how in some cities travellers and locals are drawn to the same things to do or places to eat, while in others you see distinct differences in their preferences.”

To glean these insights, TripAdvisor studied check-ins via smartphone GPS and motion sensors to predict when and where anonymous users are visiting a spot or if they are just passing by.

Analysis of foot traffic in various cities reveals the following interesting trends:

  • Travellers and locals both tend to have good taste, generally choosing highly rated points of interest
  • Many travellers and locals are drawn to the same tasty eateries, with crossover is several cities studied
  • The most frequented chain restaurants in these select cities are Starbucks, McDonald’s and Hard Rock Café
  • Travellers are drawn to major tourist attractions, whereas locals often find alternative things to do

Points of interest with the greatest number of visits: travelers vs. locals

  1. Sydney Opera House


  1. Darling Harbour


  1. Bondi Beach
  1. Olympic Stadium


  1. Sydney Opera House


  1. The Star
Restaurants: Independent
  1. The Grounds of Alexandria


  1. The Glenmore


  1. The Beresford
  1. The Grounds of Alexandria


  1. The Beresford


  1. The Sheaf
Restaurants: Chain
  1. Hard Rock Cafe


  1. Pancakes on the Rocks


  1. Ribs and Rumps
  1. Salt Meats Cheese


  1. McDonald’s


  1. Hard Rock Cafe
  1. Shangri-La Hotel Sydney


  1. The Westin Sydney


  1. InterContinental Sydney
Not Applicable


Methodology: TripAdvisor studied anonymised, aggregated mobile data to reveal the most frequented points of interest in select major tourism destinations. Points of interest highlighted were required to have a minimum of 100 check-ins within the month of March 2017. Grocery stores, transportation facilities, convention centres and shopping malls were excluded from this edition of the TripAdvisor Check-Index. Local check-ins were based on consumers originating within a geo less than 50 km from a respective destination, while traveller check-ins were defined by users originating outside of this perimeter.

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