Kyoto applies artificial intelligence to predict the density of tourists in the city

Kyoto City Tourism Association (KCTA), the tourist office of the ancient Japanese capital, has launched the Kyoto Tourism Navi initiative, based on artificial intelligence, which predicts the level of tourist comfort throughout the city and proposes alternative routes with less visitor density

The objective of this tool is to make visits more comfortable and enjoyable by reorganizing the flow of people, which contributes to increasing the satisfaction of travelers and the inhabitants of this city.

Kyoto Tourism Navi is available on the official website of the Kyoto tourist office (https://ja.kyoto.travel/comfort/) and has the format of a calendar that anticipates, six months in advance, the level of comfort that visitors will find throughout the city.

The prediction is the result of crossing data, from the last three years, of variables such as the geolocation of mobiles, weather, days of the week or the density of visits in certain urban points, which are obtained thanks to the collaboration with private businesses.

Using artificial intelligence, the application can determine, with a high degree of accuracy, five levels of global congestion for all urban areas and tourist attractions in Kyoto.

The objective of the Kyoto City Tourism Association (KCTA) is to alleviate the congestion of the most tourist spots in the city, to make the visit a more pleasant and orderly experience to, in this way, increase the satisfaction of travelers and their residents .

In addition, it allows the city’s tourism authorities to decentralize and reorder tourist flows, discovering travelers places, spaces and monuments less known, but equally attractive, since this tool also proposes nearby alternatives and with less volume of visitors, such as Yamashina-ku, one of the eleven historic districts of Kyoto with its palaces and canals, or the majestic Ohara, where the Sazen-In temple is located, with its gardens and temples.

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Kyoto Tourism Navi is being implemented in several phases. The first, launched on the occasion of the momiji (foliage change season), includes concrete data from the western part of Arashiyama, one of the best known in the city for its famous bamboo forest.

The results of this stage will allow to adjust the tool to expand it progressively, so that specific predictions are offered for neighborhoods such as Gion / Shimizu or Fushimi, very visited by travelers.

Since its launch this fall, the Kyoto Tourism Navi website offers global forecasts of tourist density throughout the city and also answers questions from users, offering less known proposals and routes, alternative plans in fenced areas and time slots in which decreases the volume of visits.

In addition, the tool allows users to readjust the prediction, filling in a questionnaire in which they can show the discrepancies between the level of perceived comfort and the one shown by the application. This helps to make the forecast more accurate, which is updated regularly.