As the business press continues to recount a brutal 2020 for air travel and accommodation, we’ve heard a little less about the woes of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), which are tasked with enticing people to choose Paris rather than Rome, or India rather than Indonesia, and then book accordingly.
The situation is so dire for much-needed tourist dollars in destinations around the world that the travel advice platform Tripadvisor partners with a Vancouver-based company Think! X Innovations and the live version of the latter Tourist sentiment index (TSI), with the aim of bringing travel experiences to life.
By a Tripadvisor announcement Thursday, February 25, “This offering is part of Tripadvisor’s broader suite of data intelligence products for DMOs, known as Tripadvisor Information Platform. The live dashboard provides customers with essential word-of-mouth destination insights, combining Tripadvisor’s unrivaled reach and traveler behavior insights with the industry-leading technology of the Tourism Sentiment Index.
The Tripadvisor Insights initiative provides data-rich dashboard views, allowing CMOs to “quantify [the] total economic impact” of tourism spend, a “tool to prove return on investment or spend for your customers”, coupled with “competitive data and… baseline trends”. The dashboards are designed to give DMOs “global visibility and intent within Tripadvisor’s community of travel enthusiasts,” serving as a cross-section of the general traveling public.
‘Feeling’ gains new cachet as a travel marketing metric
Analyzing large consumer sentiment datasets is one of the ways that DMOs can use digital marketing to connect on a one-to-one level with consumers who are displaying buying signals.
“The new Sentiment Dashboard for DMOs enhances the service offering of the Tripadvisor Insights platform by providing customers with actionable insights on a daily basis, using insights from 50 travel touchpoints, including the air access, accommodation and attractions”, according to the declaration. “Dashboard analytics are drawn from real-time conversations across half a million platforms, including Tripadvisor. Destination and travel sentiment contributes to an overall score that reveals a destination’s popularity relative to its competitors, allowing them to update campaigns, product offerings and messaging more quickly and efficiently.
From its TSI Live dashboard, Think! X Innovations said, “We’ve combined our deep destination marketing experience with artificial intelligence and applied it to hundreds of thousands of conversations to develop a method for researching and categorizing content into three categories: promoter, passive and detractor. Understanding the roles of communication patterns, like frequency and distribution, we categorize content and analyze it with a view specifically calibrated for tourism-based conversations.
ITS complaints being able to “detect and calculate nuances, including sarcasm”. This is useful data for destination marketers dealing with a traveling public still quite unnerved by COVID.
Use rich data to put heads in beds
Ever-richer datasets are becoming a crucial method for connecting would-be travelers with experiences, even as endless pandemic purgatory stretches into 2021.
As PYMNTS reported in February, “Airbnb now offers flexible travel options based on location instead of specific travel dates, a solution the company says should appeal to people who will continue to work from home for the near future.
Airbnb news Flexible dates feature enables new types of rental searches for the COVID generation, and, according to the company’s statement, the feature “allows [travelers] to search for homes in a whole new way. Instead of selecting exact dates at the start of a search, customers can search for new options like a weekend getaway, a week-long vacation, or even a month-long or multi-month stay. This will allow them to browse more options while remaining flexible on their exact travel dates to fit their trip into their schedules.
Steven Paganelli, Americas Destination Marketing Manager, TripAdvisor Group noted that DMOs “need data and business intelligence tools to help maximize competitiveness and drive recovery in the wake of COVID-19. This live dashboard puts actionable insights at your fingertips. hand of DMOs to help them make more informed and strategic marketing and media placement decisions. For example, being able to understand travelers’ willingness to travel in real time helps DMOs update their marketing with messages the most effective, and therefore to deliver the most impactful message to the right people, at the right time.”