In the first months of 2023 the Netherlands is going to welcome travellers mainly from the United States (30%), United Kingdom (7%), Italy (4%) and Spain (4%). On average, Americans booked their trip earlier – about 176 days in advance – while Italians can afford to plan just 112 days in advance, as they live closer. The average hotel rates, taken from OTAs, range from €106 to €293.
Travel predictions and insights like these are invaluable for tourism destinations. Forecasting tourist flows and knowing how visitors think and behave during the entire visitor journey are key aspects to plan sales and destination marketing strategies with confidence.
So how can you use this data to make better strategic decisions?
- Analyze flight and hotel data to precisely plan where and when launching your next marketing campaigns
- Use Case: Leveraging the Netherlands arrivals and bookings for marketing purposes
- Better profile your marketing personas
- Boosting your Marketing Messaging and Visitors’ Experience with Sentiment Analysis
- Success Story: How the region of Piedmont in Italy leverages Sentiment Analysis and Big Data to boost tourism and overcome competitors
Analyze flight and hotel data to precisely plan where and when launching your next destination marketing campaigns
Flight data can be leveraged in a variety of ways to support and improve your destination management strategies, but accessing real time data about bookings and arrivals into the airports in their destination – at a city, regional or country level, is essential.
This kind of data is usually retrieved by official regional or country institutions, and typically delayed up to six to nine months. By the time the data is accessed and evaluated, it’s become obsolete. While historical data is important to consider, it must be supported by forecasting analysis, especially in periods of uncertainty like the Covid Pandemic.
DMOs, DMCs, and tourism organizations should also look for the same data for neighboring and competitor destinations. By benchmarking the difference of arrival volumes, or tapping into the markets and seasonality trends that other destinations are already taking advantage of, you can gain an unparalleled competitive edge.
What data should you integrate into your analysis to effectively manage your marketing advertising plan?
- Upcoming Flight Bookings with 12-month forecast
- Historic Visitor Arrivals
- Traveler Insights: Distribution of bookings and booking window by country of origin
- Main routes by airport
- Length of stay by country of origin
- Cabin class, number of passengers per booking and one way vs. round trip
- Cancelation trends
Having this information at your disposal, you can compare today against last year’s trend to more effectively allocate budgets.
By knowing where your visitors come from, when they book their trip and when they arrive, you can target the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.
Along with flight data, you should take into account accommodation bookings, occupancy and prices from the major OTAs (Online Travel Agency; i.e Booking.com).
Booking behaviors and hotel preferences can reveal a lot about your present and future visitors.
- How do hotels’ occupancy fluctuate over time and why
- What kind of events do have the highest impact on hotels’ occupancy and rates: Exhibitions, congresses, sport matches?
- Where are the hotels with highest occupancy located?
- What are the maximum, minimum and average rates and how do they change over time?
How much are travellers willing to pay to stay in town during an event or in a specific period of vacation?
Retrieving this information will help you offer demand-based pricing and packages, and additional services based on the target audience.
Use case: Leveraging the Netherlands’ arrivals and bookings for marketing purposes
Let’s take a look at visitor forecasts in the Netherlands, where we’ve taken the data directly from our destinations’ D / AI Destinations platform.
We analysed flight bookings and arrivals forecast for the next 3 months to determine what is the best strategy to reach travellers in the most effective way, according to their country of origin.
If Americans plan their trip 176 days in advance, the destination should plan U.S.- targeted brand awareness campaigns or special offers for these months starting from September.
Instead, if the Swedish book their flights 54 days in advance, they can choose to invest in ready-to-go social media campaigns to attract weekenders or those looking to use their remaining few vacation days for a quick trip south.
This little analysis of the Netherlands is a perfect example of how flight data is a good starting point to build a more budget-conscious marketing strategy.
Better profile your marketing personas
Profiling your personas is key to any successful marketing strategy or campaign. Knowing the origin, language, type of your visitors, booking and accommodation preferences is crucial to send the right message.
You can effectively combine this data with other data collected with surveys or historical information to make your personas even more realistic.
Highlight travelers’ likes and interests, while overcoming their pain points and frustrations.
- What are the main countries of origin of your visitors?
Better invest and allocate your marketing budget to meet and exceed traveler expectations. Discover where you should invest available funds to reach new customers that prefer competitor destinations.
- Which type of visitors do you attract, and when?
Couple, family, solo, group, or business? Design and tailor promotional ads accordingly.
- How long do your visitors stay for?
Target travelers with longer lengths of stay. They’re typically more sustainable and have a higher ROI.
- What kind of cabin class or accommodation do your visitors prefer?
Are your visitors mostly luxury travelers flying business and staying at 4 or 5-star hotels? Or are they budget adventurers opting for wallet-friendly hostels? Or perhaps they fall somewhere in the middle?
- How much are they willing to spend?
Define specific offers and packages featuring the right price
Boosting your destination marketing messaging and visitors’ experience with sentiment analysis
- Most discussed topics to highlight visitor preferences and a destination’s strengths. This can be enhanced with events, conferences and promotional campaigns.
- Most criticized topics, such as internet access, parking availability or transportation, can be used to improve services in main cities and airports. It can also be useful for adding information on the destination’s website to keep travelers informed and avoid unpleasant surprises upon arrival.
This sentiment and semantic analysis helps destinations to identify where and how to invest to improve services, mitigating the risk of wasting resources while concretely improving the visitor experience.
At Data Appeal, we collect and analyze all online comments and reviews from over 130 channels. Using Artificial Intelligence, Semantic Analysis and Natural Language Process, we then interpret this information to produce an index from 0 to 100.
We call it Sentiment Score – the higher the score, the more positive visitor perception about the destination, services and local business.
In a recent sentiment analysis of the Dutch city of Rotterdam, we unveiled that the majority of online content by international visitors was written by travelers coming from Germany, Belgium, France and the UK.
However, the Sentiment varies slightly by nationality. The most satisfied travelers in this top five were the Brits and the least satisfied were the Germans.
The Brits’ most discussed topics are restaurants’ atmosphere and food quality. Food Quality scored an impressive sentiment of 90/100. When zooming in on the hospitality industry, British travelers appreciate the hotel staff, food and atmosphere the most, yet complain about complain about Internet and digital services.
On the other hand, Germans mostly criticize the lack of parking availability, probably because the majority of them travel to the Netherlands by car, and cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam are often more bike-friendly with less frequent parking spots available.
In this way, the destinations can define marketing content and messaging that is tailored to visitor types, origins, language and their most appreciated aspects and places.
Since Brits like food quality, a social campaign focused on restaurants or cuisine would work better in Rotterdam.
Considering that Germans complain about parking lots, this might be an opportunity for the destination to tailor its marketing messages to encourage train travel.
Success Story: How the region of Piedmont in Italy leverages Sentiment Analysis and Big Data to boost tourism and overcome competitors
VisitPiemonte, the destination marketing organization (DMO) of the Italian region of Piedmont, is a perfect example of how flight, hotel and sentiment data can be leveraged to improve the tourist experience.
In 2020, VisitPiemonte adopted D / AI Destinations to start tracking the sentiment of their destination and local businesses, analyzing traveler behaviors and benchmarking competitor regions.
Curious about Piedmont’s strategy?