Empowering tourism stakeholders: Collaborating and sharing data for an optimal visitor experience
Home » Empowering tourism stakeholders: Collaborating and sharing data for an optimal visitor experience
Promoting a tourism destination is a team effort.
After all, a destination’s success depends on its tourism stakeholders, including DMOs, operators, and their ability to find shared ways and solutions to achieve their common goals, such as:
Target investments to attract tourists in line with a destination’s tourism offer
Ensure an excellent visitor experience while respecting natural ecosystems and residents’ lives
Portray the destination’s image to build an optimal reputation
Which tourism stakeholders should be involved in the planning process for investments and initiatives?
Industry operators, such as hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants, are key to providing high quality services to visitors.
Often found on the front line, tourism stakeholders play a vital role in welcoming guests, serving at tables, and guiding tours in museums and attractions. They act as a crucial filter between the destination and the tourists, making them the primary advocates and promoters of the destination’s image and reputation.
Similarly, local tourism stakeholders are involved directly in shaping the identity of the destination and preserving the environment and culture.
Local tourism stakeholders include all those individuals or organisations that are actively involved in the management and promotion of the area. These include public entities, cultural organisations, associations, and residents, whose interest is negatively or positively influenced by the performance of tourism in the area, and whose action or reaction in turn influences tourism in the area.
So, the key industry figures needed to support tourism promotions or initiatives include:
Tourism operators: such as hotels, resorts, B&Bs, tour operators, travel agencies, restaurants and other local tourism businesses
Local tourism stakeholders: such as public institutions (municipalities, provinces, regions), cultural organisations, trade associations, tourism promotion committees
Public services: e.g. transport to car parks, environmental hygiene, etc.
Business partners and sponsors: local and regional companies that can work together to offer integrated tourism packages
Media: websites, newspapers, magazines and influencers that can help promote the destination
Technology providers: companies that offer destination management solutions and analysis tools to support decision-making.
Tourists can also be considered as stakeholders, as their behaviour and choices create the offer and change it over time.
As we can see, DMOs cannot operate independently and must consider the interests, objectives, and needs of all tourism stakeholders to perform effectively.
How to engage tourism stakeholders through data analysis: 4 practical examples
To make effective decisions, any tourism destination needs reliable, and up-to-date data, such as data on tourist flows, hotel and flight bookings, perception and sentiment, where visitors are coming from, and more.
This type of data can serve as a crucial tool to support and involve tourism operators and stakeholders throughout all stages of managing and promoting the tourist destination:
Train: Use destination information to organise courses and seminars and support all stakeholders in the area to make decisions based on real data and information
Inform: Keep professionals up-to-date so that they keep abreast of the latest tourism trends
Anticipate: Inform the stakeholders in the area about any forecasts, especially during the peak season
Support: Provide valuable data and information to empower businesses and organisations to improve their performance, increase sales or correct their pitch to better satisfy visitors.
Many of the destinations that use our destination management platform, D / AI Destinations, also use the available data to engage and support many of the territory’s stakeholders in their activities.
These are four examples where DMOs used data analysis to help promote sharing of information and collaboration between different parties:
1 – Newsletters, reports and bulletins: Sending periodic informative newsletters providing updates on tourism activities, upcoming events and destination performance data. These reports can help operators make informed decisions and identify areas for improvement. And, at the same time, they also offer the media useful information to support their own articles and insights.
The Italian National Tourism Agency (ENIT) Studies Office, regularly releases an updated tourism bulletin online. Starting February 2020, amidst the pandemic, the agency began sharing information through a monitoring system to promptly track sectoral changes. All data are also compared with international competitors.
2 – Educational webinars: Leveraging tourism data analysis forms can provide operators and stakeholders with valuable insights and opportunities to exchange experiences, ideas, and best practices. These insights can be used in webinars and online events to encourage collaboration and inspire the development of new strategies to attract visitors, utilising the collected data to enhance their on-site experiences.
PromoTurismoFVG’s online training
Training is a key asset for PromoTurismoFVG — the Friuli Venezia Giulia promotion agency — making it a strategic element that plays a vital role in fostering the growth and enhancement of the regional tourism offerings. Since 2022, the agency has been organising periodic webinars dedicated to analysing the region’s tourism data. All of this to create a data-driven approach, that is, to set up hospitality and tourist activities relying on solid data to understand how to meet and exceed visitors’ expectations.
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3 – In-person events and training and networking workshops: Conducting in-person events, training sessions, and networking workshops offer valuable opportunities for operators and tourism stakeholders to engage in professional development, backed by industry data and reports. These face-to-face interactions facilitate the exchange of knowledge with competitors and other industry players, enabling a better understanding of best practices to adopt and the potential to establish strategic partnerships for the region.
4 – Set up a tourism observatory: Creating a local, regional, or national tourism observatory, and making it available to the public to collect and analyse data on tourism. This data can be used by both small operators and large stakeholders to identify trends, measure the impact of initiatives and make evidence-based decisions.
The Veneto Region applied this approach successfully by launching the Veneto Tourism Observatory, a public platform where data on tourism, bookings, sentiment and visitor composition are made available free of charge.
Evaluating initiatives in real-time with trustworthy KPIs
Any partnership, initiative, or project shared by the region and stakeholders must be measured over time to identify any critical issues to be resolved, weaknesses to be worked on, or — even better — best practices to be replicated in the future.
For instance, let’s imagine a destination sentiment data survey revealing complaints from visitors about the internet connection in the location’s hotels and restaurants.
The impact of visitors’ internet usage, whether for browsing, downloading content, using maps, or connecting to social media, significantly affects their holiday experience.
The DMO can share these analyses among local operators and essential stakeholders, facilitating meetings to comprehend how to enhance the service. Plus, they can explore opportunities and allocate resources to improve it in both private and public settings.
Once the necessary steps have been taken, the destination should analyse the sentiment related to the topic over time, to understand whether after the interventions the tourists’ opinion on the topic has changed and to what extent.
This brings us to a question: How can you identify and acquire reliable KPIs?
To get the best results, you’ll need a destination marketing and management tool, with clear KPIs that can identify sentiments from online reviews and feedback received from people online.
The following is an example of an analysis of the topics frequently discussed by people online regarding Amsterdam’s attractions. It includes the corresponding Sentiment Score, a proprietary synthetic score provided by Data Appeal. This score effectively collects and interprets user opinions from various sources, including over 130 websites, social networks, and online tourism portals.
(Analysis of the most discussed topics related to attractions, city of Amsterdam – source: D / AI Destinations)
Consistently collaborating and sharing information with stakeholders, operators and residents lies at the heart of destination management. However, it should be an ongoing activity, rather than just a one off, on which to invest time and resources.
By fostering collaboration among all stakeholders and leveraging effective tools and technologies, you can enhance the promotion and management of your destination, while ensuring the satisfaction and respect of all stakeholders.
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