Having a deep knowledge of the holidaymakers’ needs is of fundamental importance in order to improve their reception. From this point of view, despite the exhaustive literature on conceptual models developed to understand the tourist decision-making process, few concrete attempts to examine such models have been made.
Petrick et al. (2007), make use of qualitative techniques (focus group) to investigate the role played by social influences and motivations on the possible alternative travel choices considered by the average cruise passenger. Brida et al. (2012) conducted a survey on 402 cruise passengers in 2009-2010, highlighting the need to segment the analysed sample according to the length of stay of the travellers in the home-port city before and after the cruise: transit passengers, passengers with short or long stays in the city of origin/destination for the cruise. For the first category of travellers it is rather important the choice of the itinerary, so to ensure a pleasant stay before the boarding.
Lew et al. (2006) proposed some models describing possible tourist spatial movement patterns within an area. These models are developed using an inductive approach based on the integration of urban transport models and tourist behaviours, in an attempt to define those variables likely to influence mobility patterns among tourists. Discovering tourists’ favourite itineraries and the influencing factors behind their choice might help public transport agencies to attain a more efficient management of the transport demand and an improved coordination between the mobility patterns of tourist-cruise passengers and the existing public transport structures.
With this aim, the use of complex behavioural models (similar to transport models) can be helpful in generating “what if” scenarios which reproduce changes in both transport and tourist infrastructures (Itami et al., 2001).
In this project, mainly dealing with incoming and outgoing goods in the port of Cagliari, the issues analysed belong to the category “Vehicle Routing Problem with Backhauls” (VRPB), in which the importers’ freight truck routes have the priority over the exporters’.
CagliariPort2020 aims to develop a platform for the optimal planning of inner and external logistics in the port of Cagliari from the previous modelling of “Smart Nodes”.