The monitoring of data outside the destination: key to analysing tourism recovery following COVID-19

Monitoring data outside the destination itself is key to analysing how tourism will recover following the COVID-19 crisis, according to the “Analysis and information methodology in Smart Destinations” webinar organised by the Smart Destinations Network.

The webinar, coordinated by Luis Javier Gadea, manager of R&D&i at SEGITTUR, also saw the participation of the director of Intelligent Tourism at INVAT.TUR, Mario Villar; the manager of the Visit Benidorm Foundation, Leire Bilbao; the executive consultant for Analysis and Touristic Intelligence in Tourism and Planning for the Costa del Sol, Lourdes Navarrete; and the director of San Sebastian Tourism, Isabel Aguirrezabala.

The monitoring of social networks, users’ search terms online, purchase behaviour reports, skills analysis, airline company movements, measures in source countries and changing prices are some of the data tracked by destinations to analyse the situation for the tourism sector and its future in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

The manager of the Visit Benidorm Foundation highlighted the importance of working on smart tourism and going beyond the data of your own destination, analysing the situation in comparison with other destinations and drawing upon the highest number of sources possible to gain an overview to help in decision making.

Similarly, the director of Intelligent Tourism at INVAT.TUR noted the added value of “Bringing sociology to tourism” and carrying out surveys within the tourism sector and destinations to find out their opinions about the crisis, data to complement that obtained from other sources.

The director of San Sebastian Tourism stated that “Having lots of data doesn’t mean we have better solutions” for tourism, and insisted on the importance of “Clearly understanding what we want the data for.”

Finally, the executive consultant for Analysis and Tourism Intelligence from Tourism and Planning Costa del Sol highlighted that when tourism restarts, we must take other data into account, such as destinations’ capacities, airline company offers, changes in our own and in competitors’ prices and the level of visitor expenditure.