What can data analytics do for the tourism industry post-COVID-19?

Data Analytics And Tourism

The Coronavirus has dealt a heavy blow to the global economy. No industry, however, has suffered as much as either aviation or tourism. 

Tourism makes up to 10% of the world’s GDP and creates 1 in every 10 jobs. It’s the livelihood of many people around the world, and developing nations are especially reliant on the revenue it generates.  

It’s not hard to see, then, how travel bans, quarantines and social distancing can be major roadblocks to travel experiences and how people continue making a living. 

It is yet to be seen how our spending ability and habits have been affected in the long run by the pandemic and we can’t say for certain how it will end—either we cure it completely or learn to live with it. 

Regardless, we can expect a post-vaccination boom in travel especially with the introduction of initiatives like vaccine passports. In the new normal of travel and tourism, how do tools like data analytics help us forge a new way forward?

What data can the tourism industry benefit from and how is it being used?

In today’s global community, data is an undeniable currency. On the subject of tourism, what data would be valuable to the industry and how can it be used?

On a macro level, the GDP generated by the industry and which sectors contributed to it, and to what degree this took place, is invaluable.

Governments, tourism boards and travel agencies can use this data to identify key areas they need to invest in and where they need to improve their infrastructure and services. 

It can also help them identify what’s being done right so critical investments are only funnelled into the right areas.

More important still is understanding the preferences and habits of various demographics. By knowing a visitor’s country of origin, how long they stayed, how much they spent, and which places they visited, tourism companies can create and offer tailor-made experiences. 

While this is being done to some extent at the present, we can expect COVID-19 safety considerations to be factored into travel packages and experiences in the new normal.

By understanding each class of travellers, companies can develop targeted marketing campaigns, identify which countries to focus on, and allocate their marketing budgets accordingly.

Big data also allows governments and companies to understand where and how they need to improve so they can offer tourists safer and more unique experiences. It can also measure success and failure and in the long run, make greater strides in sustainable tourism

How can data analytics boost the tourism industry post-COVID-19? 

When the world settles into some semblance of normalcy, it’s highly likely that most people won’t have the same habits and preferences as they did before. While we can expect an increase in people wanting to travel, it’s reasonable to anticipate that their requirements and priorities will change. 

Travellers might, for instance, opt not to travel to developing countries given the relative lack of medical facilities and emergency services. It is also quite possible that for years to come, tourists will seek destinations closer to home. 

Popular destinations in Asia, Africa and South America may find themselves in a predicament where they need to improve critical infrastructures such as transportation, sanitation, healthcare and other public facilities to convince tourists that these locations are popular, safe, and rewarding destinations to sojourn to. 

Data analytics can also help us identify key areas that need to be improved or services that need to be introduced. 

It can also give policymakers and the spate of travel and tourism companies insight into emerging trends and help the industry prepare and respond better to a post-COVID-19 world. 

Leveraging the right insights will speed up the recovery of the tourism industry  

Given the potential of big data and the range of analytics insights we have access to today, we can expect the tourism industry to be back on its feet sooner rather than later. 
The lean efficiency that is the benchmark of the industry is only possible with the insights offered by data analytics, however. It’s even safe to say that data analytics and data modelling techniques are the cornerstone of the industry’s recovery and retooling in the new normal.

Ari Vivekanandarajah

Ari Vivekanandarajah

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