By María José Tomé, Data Innovation Manager, Telefonica I+D
27 May 2014, Barcelona: Together with RocaSalvatella, we’ve rolled out an exciting new study – Big Data and Tourism: New Indicators for Tourism Management. This provides a new methodology for the Spanish tourism industry.
Smart Tourism, a Telefonica I+D big data project uses actionable data indicators to help the tourism industry create a more sustainable co-existence between tourists and residents. These indicators come from mobile network data analyzed with a variety of add-on data sets. The project can help to better distribute economic benefits for residents, while tourists enjoy a higher quality and more meaningful experience.
The purpose of the study? To make use of the opportunities for the sector, in particular the hotel industry, of incorporating macro-data collected from the electronic activity of anonymous foreign tourists into their market research.
When visiting a foreign country, travellers seek an authentic experience, but sometimes expectations are not met. Travel gives people adventure and spontaneity, yet this isn’t always possible when the destination is overcrowded. Residents, on the other hand, are willing to share their culture and local knowledge, but can become overwhelmed and upset when their way of life is compromised by foreign visitors.
The tourism industry and stakeholders (both public and private) need to find ways to maintain a city’s authenticity which satisfies both tourists and residents. These considerations have led to the new trend of ‘Responsible Tourism’. Telefonica is in a position to help solve these issues around smart, connected, sustainable and responsible travel.
With data from Telefonica, the public sector can know when, where, and for how long to advertise MACBA as opposed to Museu de Historia de Catalunya, when to guide tourist groups to Montserrat or when to encourage a visit to Begur. Such responsible tourism is culturally sensitive, encourages respect and builds local pride. A clever balance of resident and tourist activities could result in an improved wellbeing of the Barcelona community (and other cities in the future) while ensuring that popular destinations remain admired and attractive.
As a first tangible step in this path Telefonica I+D partnering with BBVA and RocaSalvatella has published a Big Data & Tourism report titled Big Data and Tourism: New Indicators for Tourism Management with insights and recommendations. This pioneering study introduces data based on users’ anonymized actions generated from mobile phones and credit cards. The report shows, among other indicators, the following: predominant countries of origin among visitors, visiting patterns, length of stay, spending behavior and preferred accommodation.
To read the full report click here.