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Why Last Year’s Data Does Not Matter

Stating the obvious – after an unprecedented growth cycle, the tourism industry has found itself in uncharted waters. As an industry, we must find a way to tread water then swim forward. We have found ourselves in confusing times with ongoing changes in travel and gathering restrictions. In the past year, we had to get comfortable with uncertainty and unpredictability.

A look at the precovid tourism industry

Taking Canadian tourism data from 2009-2019, pre covid, we can predict tourism expenditure in Canada with a simple linear regression model. As you can see, there is 3.6% of growth rate with very predictable results (98%). 

Covid has thrown a highly predictable sector into an unpredictable state. We can no longer forecast based on a simple growth curve utilizing last year’s data. We need to leverage real time analytics for decision making helping our local small and medium sized businesses navigate the upcoming months.

Optimize product offerings for local customers

We do not know exactly how the travel market will reopen but we can speculate that it will start locally and as restrictions ease, move towards nationally and internationally. For now, local and small business operators need to alter and test product offerings that appeal to local customers; these offerings can be optimized based on real time analytics and insights. These insights can help to identify targeted groups of potential customers throughout the trip planning process, increase the quality of offerings and number of bookings, and predict which new offerings might work well for a new local customer base. Watching real time analytics will also help to adjust the offerings as the market expands.

Changing trends are revealed by real time data

Trends in the travel industry are changing quickly. From the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the number of visitors to BC has dropped more than 70% each month and BC hotel occupancy has dropped from 71% in January 2020 to 30% in January 2021, this is illustrated in Destination BC’s Signals and Sentiment Dashboard

As we are no longer able to look at past data to predict future trends in the tourism industry, we should be moving towards using real time data to monitor new trends as they are taking place. Responding to local tourists over the past 12 months, our industry has seen a shift in trends surrounding visitation, booking process and the overall customer journey. By quickly adapting to these patterns as they emerge, we can help move the tourism industry forward. 

The power of real time analytics extends far beyond the tourism industry’s ability to weather this storm but can serve as a critical driver to come out stronger than before COVID.

Moving the tourism industry forward

The integration of using real time analytics will help move the tourism industry towards recovery by playing a pivotal role in understanding current consumer trends and how to adapt to them. 

Through testing, learning, and iterating can we understand the mechanisms that will aid in tourism thriving once again. To accomplish this, we need to move in a coordinated, agile method leveraging real time data for swift decision making.

Yervana’s new DMO dashboard and real time analytics helps DMOs support their stakeholders – the SMB’s navigate these new unprecedented waters.

Learn how Yervana can provide your Destination Marketing Organization with a customized real time data dashboard, get in contact with us for a demo.

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