Smart destinations find and attract the ideal tourist

Brigitte Loehl

Head of Amadeus for Destinations, Amadeus

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Everything seems to be smart nowadays. Smart phones, smart TVs, and smart cars. It only makes sense that destinations too are becoming smart in how they connect travelers.

This was the topic of discussion of the 2nd UNWTO World Conference on Smart Destinations held in Asturias, Spain. What makes a smart destination? It’s when destinations connect with public and private sector travel players to put data and technology to work creating efficiencies.

These partnerships are the way forward to build a sustainable and connected industry. The technology is available and through collaboration digitalized smart destinations can be created. But no one side can do it all. Especially when using many datasets from players in different areas. Each needs to do their part in creating smart destinations.

Amadeus has the technology and expertise to be advisors in this endeavor. Along with the UNWTO, we are creating the right framework to make the necessary connections between different players. In this collaborative model international companies need to find ways to work together with the public sector and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) towards common objectives.

A great example of this in action is our work with the UNWTO and Principality of Asturias. We’ve been sharing our expertise in digital transformation and big data to provide a study on Asturias as a destination. The study leveraged our data analytics capabilities to give the Spanish destination insights into their ideal visitor. With this understanding, a multi-channel marketing campaign to convert them from travel consumers to visitors can be created. As travel consumers interact with a whole array of channels multiple times throughout the entire traveler journey – from dreaming to booking and traveling – smart destinations can position the right content at the right time through the right channel. These include online social media advertising, offline travel agency networks, travel documents, and even travel influencers.

Big data enables a destination to define its goals. Whether it aims to boost visitor arrivals over all, attract higher value travelers who are likely to contribute more to the local tourism economy, address over-tourism or improve sustainability. With big data destinations can understand these aspects and attract their ideal visitor, which is the key in achieving their goals.