This paper proposes to visualize acoustic comfort along tourist routes. Route-based tourism is crucial to the sustainability of tourism development in historic areas. Applying the concept of route-based tourism to guide tourists rambling along cultural and heritage routes can relieve overcrowded condition at hot scenic spots and increase the overall carrying capacity of the city. However, acoustic comfort along tourist routes is rarely addressed in academic studies and decision-making. Taking Macao as an example, this paper has studied pedestrian exposure to traffic noise along the cultural and heritage routes. The study is based on a GIS-based traffic noise model system with a high spatial resolution down to individual buildings along both sides of the street. Results show that tourists suffer from excessive traffic noise at certain sites, which may have negative impact on the promotion of route-based tourism in the long run. In addition, it is found that urban growth affects urban form and street layout, which in turn affect traffic flow and acoustic comfort in urban area. The present study demonstrates spatial techniques to visualize acoustic comfort along tourist routes, and the techniques are foreseen to be used more frequently to support effective tourism planning in the future.
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