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Business intelligence is one of the complex issues that many destinations are tackling and for many, they are only touching the surface. The tourism industry continues to shift towards adopting more data-driven approaches and a business intelligence mindset. For many destinations, business intelligence is helping to quantify what success looks like and how the destination can measure developments, identify opportunities for growth and shape marketing messages. 

Big data and technological advances are transforming the travel industry today, allowing destinations to take advantage of unprecedented insights and gain access to vast sources of data to create smart destinations. 

It facilitates a holistic approach, allowing DMOs to have an overview across the whole customer journey, presenting the opportunity to reach visitors throughout the many different touchpoints that now exist. With this insight DMOs can create highly focused and personalised marketing messages to deliver to key segments and relevant times, tailoring content and offers in line with the current demand. 

As the industry continues to change at an unprecedented pace, it is critical for DMOs, if they haven’t already, to look at incorporating data-driven strategies to identify new marketing initiatives and secure a competitive advantage within an already extremely competitive marketplace.  

How can destinations use big data?

Earlier this year, The Government of the City of Buenos Aires presented the new Tourist Intelligence System (SIT). A visual platform on which information on tourism and big data is open and available for both public and private sectors, publishing up to 820 million data records.

For Buenos Aires, this means valuable insights from data sources that traditionally, would be complex and maybe even impossible to get from traditional sources such as surveys. Before, DMOs would likely have to work retrospectively after receiving data insights at the end of a quarter or at the end of the year for example.

With big data and business intelligence, DMOs are able to benefit from real-time data from a variety of key stakeholders, enabling efficient forecasting and the position to anticipate the needs of customers ahead of time. This allows DMOs to be more proactive and agile in their approach, shifting to more flexible decision-making where necessary, for example, tweaking and optimising live campaigns or publishing new content in relation to a particular data insight received.

Another key benefit to utilising data intelligence is the ability to clearly measure ROI of campaigns. Banff & Lake Louise implemented a conversion pixelling strategy in order to better understand the visitor and to be able to measure the quality of leads received from different channels. 

Geneva Tourism is a great example for a destination that has a lot of experience with business intelligence. Over the years, they have moved away from using Excel sheets for business analysis to develop an impressive data dashboard using business intelligence tools and tapping into the huge wealth of data that Geneva Tourism either has or has managed to gain access to.

Geneva Tourism use a tool called QuikView, helping them to accumulate, analyse and compare business performance. Geneva Tourism is not only selling 24, 48 and 72 hour City Passes but in 2016, they also launched their own accommodation booking service via their website.

Both activities have lead to a huge amount of data that they receive on an ongoing basis, helping them to track business performance and overall success of activities. Geneva Tourism receive in-depth insights on activities not only per day but also per hour, being able to determine the real cost of the city card and overall sales performance. This can give them valuable insights to see how they can increase sales.For the full talk on how Geneva Tourism developed this data dashboard, click here.

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