In this paper a new approach to determine spatial visitor behaviour using GPS-based measurement of tourists' velocity is given. I prove that GPS-based velocity measurement is valid and feasible, even in urban areas. Furthermore, I illustrate that the possibility to interpret spatial visitor behaviour, as well as the choice of transportation type, can be drawn out of the recorded data. The suggested procedure delivers several benefits for destination and tourism management, given that the knowledge of spatial visitor behaviour is central to a successful and sustainable destination management. As an example, two studies (Freiburg, Berlin) are presented in this paper. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.