Different approaches to studying the tourist flows geography (the case of the Benelux countries)
The tourism geography currently uses a variety of approaches to analyze tourist flows. The purpose of the study is to identify geographical features in the distribution of inbound tourist flows in the Benelux countries, using various approaches to data aggregation and visualization. The study is based on the national tourism statistics of the Benelux countries. Five leading countries in terms of the volume of inbound tourist flow in this region are considered: France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium. Four different indicators were used to analyze the distribution of inbound tourist flow: the total number of arrivals of foreign and domestic tourists in the region, inbound tourist flow diversity index, the share of arrivals from a particular country in the total volume of inbound tourist flow, and the degree of attendance calculated on the basis of the share of the country’s tourist the total tourist flow of the country. The regions that are the main centers of tourism (capital, seaside, border) and geographic factors that affect the degree of attendance of the region by tourists from different countries are identified: the language of the region, distance from the border, the capital factor and, in some cases, the presence of direct flights. The use of two different approaches to assessing the inbound tourist flow, carried out for the first time, made it possible to determine their advantages and disadvantages for further use.