Big Data in Making Smart Decisions on Tourism Promotion Strategy

By Víctor Muñoz of Interface Tourism Spain on January 23rd, 2017

Spain is a world leading destination in receiving international tourists, for this reason we have extensive information from rigorous and reliable sources about markets of origin. And, what about the Spanish outbound market, do we have the same quantity and quality of information to make strategic decisions?

Though increasingly this kind of information is expanding, new technologies and advances in storing large amounts of information, provide an invaluable database but it needs to be organized and to be read then, in most cases by using software that projects results and allows you to change multiple variables. The analysis and interpretation of such data and making decisions strategically and with an intelligent connection to the context in which and for which such data have been received, are key in this process.

When the big data is well applied, the marketing budgets are more efficient, competitive and profitable, with the ultimate objective of increasing the ROI of the tourist offices and travel companies.

The large corporations in the travel industry such as GDS, online travel agencies, airlines and hotels; collect billions of searches, requests for information, bookings and transactions, providing them the ability to redirect their marketing or sales actions by adapting them to the changes in customer behavior.

Now, how can a destination have this information to develop an intelligent marketing plan?
On one side there is the possibility to analyze the present and future air capacity and bookings worldwide by Forward Keys, a business intelligence tool that monitors traveler flows and trends in real time of data given by GDS, travel agencies, Airlines etc.

With such analysis, Forward Keys showed that bookings improved from Europeans by + 5.0% after the Referendum of the United Kingdom, very likely due to the sterling depreciation against the Euro. Moreover, Forward Keys can show new routes from strategic markets with six months in advance helping to inform the private sector that new clients and new requests from travelers are coming for good!

However, Social media may help us to identify which products or segments are real awakening interest of travelers in a destination, what level of satisfaction and the perception of security are. Mabrian is a fast-growing startup thanks to the managing to find the lack of qualitative information on travelers.

In our case, it was key to know that between June and August 2016 were 275.000 mentions of Jamaica from the Spanish travelers using Social Media, mostly Twitter and Instagram, and all performance indicators of the destination that were collected showed excellent results (including PSindex measuring the perception of safety and which stands at 89.45 points).

The only exception is the satisfaction with tourist products (offer) of Jamaica which stands at 56.06 being a clear area for improvement. Tourism products most talked about by visitors are in this order: sunbathing, nightlife, and cultural, the rest appear in a minimum context.

By Víctor Muñoz of Interface Tourism Spain on January 23rd, 2017