How are countries using big data to develop tourism?

05:00:24 - February 10, 2022

“Big data” is a term that has received a lot of attention in recent years thanks to its important role for businesses and the economy in the digital age. For the tourism sector, using big data brings important benefits to help countries utilize resources and develop tourism more efficiently. Let’s take a look at typical examples in some countries around the world that have applied big data to the development of the tourism industry.

Singapore uses big data to understand tourists

In 2018, the Singapore Tourism Board developed the Singapore Tourism Analytics Network (Stan) platform to deepen insights into data from their sources, other government agencies, and industry big data providers. By integrating more than 20,000 internal data domains and signing 15 data-sharing agreements with the world’s largest data providers such as Grab, Tencent, Expedia, the Stan platform has helped the Singapore Tourism Board analyze key source markets and uncover trends in Chinese and Indonesian tourists, helping retailers tailor campaigns and products to better attract to these group of tourists.

In addition, Stan has been also used to analyze the hotel stay habits of tourists, helping hoteliers design product packages that better meet the tourists’ needs and increase cross-selling among their properties.

The high-level dataset on Stan allowed people to access tourism statistics and big data. The Singapore Tourism Board said it will also update the platform to increase the number of data sets, providing anonymous geographic location information to find out what activities tourists often experience when visiting Singapore. Eventually, Stan helps companies benchmark their performance against their competitors and gain a better understanding of their target audience.

New Zealand uses big data to build tourism statistics

In 2011, the Ministry of Economic Development of New Zealand launched the country’s first Tourism Data Domain Plan, identifying accurate estimates of regional tourism spending in New Zealand as one of the major gaps in national tourism statistics. During the next two years, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment introduced two initiatives regional tourism data collections that use electronic card transaction data, helping provide specific insights into the spending behavior of domestic and international tourists.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment purchased electronic card transaction data from commerce data provider Marketview Ltd, with aggregated values for total card spending and transaction counts broken down by territorial authorities, tourism satellite account product category (international or domestic). Electronic card transaction data was organized and analyzed into regional tourism indicators and regional tourism estimates, helping to monitor changes in tourism spending and assess the impact of marketing campaigns and other factors that affect tourism spending.

ATEED Study Auckland Project

These transaction datasets are publicly available and widely used in the New Zealand tourism sector to assist industry stakeholders in making informed planning and investment decisions and to provide information to the New Zealand government for the purpose of developing policies.

Macao uses big data to recover from pandemic

In the second quarter of 2020, along with the freeze global travel, Macao witnessed a 99.5% decrease in tourists compared to the same period a year earlier. The Macau Government Tourism Office has launched the “Macao Ready Go!” initiative to stimulate tourism. It is a full big data integrated program for tourism. The initiative initially focused on local tourists and offers a range of tourism products at subsidized rates through an electronic coupon program. After that, the program was expanded and many partners from China joined such as Tencent, UnionPay, Alibaba, Air Macau.

Electronic coupons helped the travel office to get in-depth analytics and identify which partner channels and products get the most benefit from the program, based on digital engagement and redemption of tourists.

Also in 2020, Guangdong province together with Macao used blockchain technology to establish a mutually recognized health code system. The system allowed the health authorities of both sides to trace the contact and verify the health status of tourists in seconds, without the need to access their personal data. The system has been extensively tested and helped more than 17 million tourists travel safely from May to mid-October 2020, contributing to the resumption of travel between Guangdong and Macau on a large scale.

* Selected from the UNWTO Big Data for Better Tourism Policy, Management, and Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19 report.

How are countries using big data to develop tourism?


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