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The four phases of travel

How data helps identify strategic opportunities and improve visitor experience

Some say that a trip is lived four times: when you imagine it, when you prepare for it, when you live it and then when you remember it.

mabrian travel phases

These different stages of a trip also themselves go through different phases, including: travel inspiration, searching for opportunities, destination analysis, price comparisons, planning, making the actual reservation, in-destination experiences, memories and recommendation.

And from each of them, infinite data can be extracted that can be used by tourism companies to maximize and improve upon their presence in each part of the process.

The key to a successful tourist experience is to put yourself in the place of the traveller and anticipate their movements and decisions. To actually ‘be in their shoes’. At Mabrian Technologies, multiple data sources are analyzed and made available to destinations and tourism companies with the aim of knowing a tourist’s behavior during these four phases of the  trip cycle.

Having  travel intelligence tools, data and information like the ones provided by Mabrian makes it possible to improve tourism planning and find out what the trend is this year compared to previous years, in which parts of the world there is more interest in a destination/product, how to attract new visitors, identify strategic opportunities and make decisions based on real and verified data.

But what are the four phases of every journey and what data can we extract from each one?

mabrian travel phases

This is the first phase of a trip, in which the future traveller is dreaming of his or her next vacation and begins to investigate different destinations to better understand their tourist offer. The goal is to choose the option that best suits his or her preferences and wishes at that time.

This is where marketers and tourism businesses, as well as destinations, can capitalize on these moments of inspiration. The data that is interesting in this first point refers, above all, to the search. The analysis of search patterns allows us to understand the origin of the demand (by countries and cities), the time in advance with which they start planning their vacations, what dates they search for most frequently or how much time they plan to spend in the destination.

These data points make it possible to establish the strength of potential demand for the destination, and whether there is greater interest in traveling to it from each of the places of origin. On the other hand, having this data and this real information allows the communication plan and marketing budget to be adapted to possible changes in search trends.

In addition, the semantic analysis of opinions and mentions shared on tourist portals and social networks allows us to know in advance what information future visitors will find during their searches. For example, by analyzing reviews, we can find out how the destination is perceived, which products or attractions are best valued, or the views regarding the quality of the hotel or vacation rental offering available.

mabrian travel phases

During this phase, the potential traveller analyzes aspects of the different destinations they are considering, mainly: ease of access and cost.

Mabrian has the schedule of future flights, as well as the prices of flights and accommodation published on the main tourist portals. With this data, you can understand where the destination stands against the competition in terms of connectivity and price.

Another important piece of information at this point, and that the Mabrian platform analyzes, is the number of future flight reservations. With this data, the destination can know how  confirmed demand is situated with respect to other periods, and if it is growing in a specific segment (leisure, business, couples, families, etc.).

Cross referencing the information of the advance search and reservation period, it is possible to identify the optimal moment to influence travellers interested in your destination, which is called the “window of opportunity“.

The cross referencingof capacity data and flight search makes it possible to detect routes where it would be desirable to increase capacity, routes where it is necessary to stimulate demand and potential origins of new routes.

Once at the destination, we can continue analyzing data that allows us to evaluate the impact of  actions carried out at the destination. At Mabrian the behavior of  visitors is assessed from the analysis of the mentions shared spontaneously n in social networks. In the same way, data is obtained on spending at the destination, mobility patters retrieved from mobile devices.

  • The behavior of visitors is measured from spontaneously shared mentions on social networks. These data points help to discover the main interests shown by tourists in the destination in relation to the offer of tourist products and attractions available, in addition to discovering their demographic profile. The behavior and sentiment expressed by visitors through these social platforms is calculated using natural language processing (NLP) techniques. With them, the perception of  important aspects such as safety or the climate is measured.
  • Expenditure at the destination: the expenditure analysis complements the information about the profile of tourists and their interests in a specific destination. It is possible to know how spending is evolving over time and by market of origin, so that it is possible to identify those markets that provide greater value.
  • Data from mobile devices:  this information gives us an overview of the number of visitors, differentiating between tourists and excursionists, and the number of overnight stays. The country of origin of these tourists and hikers can also be identified.
  • Mobility patterns: this allows knowledge of the destinations visited by the traveller before and after the trip to our destination, as well as detecting the area of influx by time slots and markets.

This last phase takes place during the trip itself and once the traveler has returned home, when he or she shares their opinion and experience. The interesting data in this phase is extracted from social networks and the most relevant opinion platforms in the tourism sector. The objective is to understand the degree of satisfaction of tourists. Mabrian has developed a series of indicators that measure the perception and level of satisfaction of visitors with relevant factors for choosing a holiday destination: how they value the tourist product available, tourist activities, safety, climate, the hotel infrastructure and generally what was their level of satisfaction with the complete experience.

This data is relevant because it allows for identifying the aspects and services that add more value to the experience, as well as those where there is room for improvement. In addition, it is information that future visitors will find when they are in the inspirational phase.

The importance of these data points

All this data is translated into information of vital importance for a tourist destination and companies in the sector. It can not only be used to understand the tourist experience and improve its offer and tourist services, but also to understand the image that travelers have of the destination and how they remember their experience. With this data it is possible to identify repositioning opportunities and adapt and personalize communication messages.

By having access to all this knowledge, tourist destinations and companies in the sector have the opportunity to better understand their current and future visitors. With this data, it is possible to design more appropriate marketing and destination management strategies, personalize communication, improve the visitor experience and manage tourism in a more efficient and sustainable way.