Big Data Analytics in the Tourism Industry: Overview and Trends Analysis

Posted by Shirish Wadaskar on March 20th, 2017

Over the past few years, online tools have transformed the travel and tourism industry. Earlier, the collection and collating of information involved massive processes, and it was tough to create accurate tourist profile segments. It is essential to a business to understand traveller trends to provide convenient and exciting travelling experiences to the tourists. Big Data helps in analysing the traveller trends by collecting the information from different consumer centres and developing a specific marketing strategy for the target audience. Big Data technologies such as Hadoop and cloud-based analytics provide ample data storage space and presents information collected from a wide range of sources in a structured manner. It enables businesses in the travel and tourism industry to take immediate decisions as per the changing customer demand. Big Data applications help organisations not only in introducing new products as per changing traveller needs but also provides predictive modelling analysis and key insights.

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Big Data Analytics in Tourism: Analysis and Trends

Big Data allows airline operators to not only understand passenger behaviour and choice of travel but also helps in understanding the industry performance on the whole. Big Data helps airline operators in their revenue management and strategic pricing which enables them to maximise their income opportunities and offer best travel experiences to passengers. Big Data tools also help airline service providers to increase their network connectivity as per the market demand. With the use of Big Data tools, operators in the travel and tourism industry can identify the new patterns evolving in the industry and respond with new product offerings. Big Data tools allow travel agents and tour operators to negotiate the rates with suppliers, maximise the revenues of each transaction and uncover hidden sales opportunities. Business analytics enables the operators to understand existing demand for the specific brands and accordingly forecasts the demand and supply position. 

Hotel chains also use Big Data tools to create customised and relevant packages and offer add-on services and discount coupons based on travel patterns. Further, the tourism boards in few countries are also turning towards Big Data applications to understand tourism flows and discover more investment opportunities in their country.  The Cuban government is using Big Data to collect customer reviews and monitor travel accommodation performance in the country. Big data is not just about quick decisions and data analysis, but also about ensuring enhanced internal or customer focussed decisions and improving the business. Globally, hotel operators are targeting millennials with personalised offers and additional amenities as they are expected to become the largest consumer group in 2017. The international hotel chain, Starwood Hotels and Resorts integrated Big Data analytics for dynamic pricing to increase revenues.  For example, the hotel combines information such as economic factors and local events to offer accommodation at more competitive prices. Technology adoption and constant innovation are essential for operators in the travel and tourism and hospitality industry to sustain in the business.

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Further, predictive analytics which uses statistical algorithms and machine-learning techniques allows scanning and analysing reports in the newspapers and social media feeds so that operators can always track the latest developments in the industry and its environment. Further, it is inexpensive compared to the traditional data storage systems.

Big Data Analytics in Tourism: Challenges

Big Data provides two kinds of information that include structured and unstructured data. The data collected from websites and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, blogs, and forums will have unstructured information and will be based on individual opinion. Interpreting the unstructured data and acquiring relevant insights is a big challenge facing the tourism industry.

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Shirish Wadaskar

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Shirish Wadaskar
Joined: December 22nd, 2016
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