Tourism in the Information Age
Big data and analytics have become increasingly relevant in recent years. Simply put, Big Data is a term that describes the large volume of data-both structured and unstructured- that business collects on a daily basis. How people and organizations use this large volume of data is becoming more and more important in the modern marketplace. For the tourism industry, Big Data has huge potential as it can track information on human activity and preferences that will benefit companies and their customers.
The tourism industry is a major contributor to the U.S economy. In 2016, the U.S. travel and tourism industry generated over $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported over 7.6 million U.S. jobs. Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international travel to the United States should grow by 3% annually through 2021. This demonstrates how tourism benefits the U.S. economy on a national and local level as restaurants, hotels, ride services and many other businesses generate significant revenue from tourism.
Big data and technological trends in tourism
While many people associate a personalized consumer experience with tech giants like Netflix and Amazon, companies in the tourism industry should not be deterred from creating a more personalized experience. Making travel arrangements (flights, lodging, activities, etc.) can be a time-consuming process. For many working men and women, time is a valuable resource and a personalized experience would simplify a customer’s ability to find the right travel package.
2. Mobile Friendly Platforms
Across the world, smartphone usage is rising and future metrics indicate that this trend will only continue. Companies are developing their marketing strategies and platforms in order to reach consumers on their mobile devices. Mobile big data can be utilized by companies in the tourism industry to create personalized marketing campaigns. An increase in mobile internet traffic will force companies to develop a user-friendly platform for customers interested in traveling.
According to Criterio, airline and mobile bookings made up 27% of all online travel bookings worldwide. Additionally, smartphone bookings have seen a significant increase with 33% more bookings year-over-year during the second quarter in 2016. This represents a shift in consumer behaviors as travelers are rarely separated from their smartphones
3. Affordable New Destinations
Before the emergence of the internet and big data technology, travelers mainly explored historic and noteworthy sites like New York City, Los Angeles, Walt Disney World, etc. However, with big data analysis and other technological tools, travel companies have the ability to understand the travel habits and travel patterns of modern consumers. Knowing this type of information can be very beneficial as companies can respond with new offerings and packages that cater to the needs of individual consumers.
Big data and technological tools have been adopted in many industries as consumer data increases in importance. In a highly competitive industry like tourism, leveraging the right customer analytics to gain a competitive advantage will be crucial for the for success of any firm.