Data can enable tourism recovery with insights into mobility trends

Share this post

August 24, 2021
Geoff McGrath

data analytics

With the launch of the Mobility Insights Explorer, data specialists CKDelta are preparing for the economic recovery of the post-pandemic period.

The Explorer tool provides actionable, accurate insights into the movement trends of international and domestic tourists and visitors to towns, cities, and sightseer attractions in the UK and several other European countries including Austria and Denmark.

Anonymised data sets can be used to accurately determine the number of visitors to a given location, their point of entry, the country they started their journey from, and locations they visit.

As a member of one of the largest conglomerates in the world, CK Hutchison Holdings, CKDelta has access to a wide range of anonymised data sets which can be used to accurately determine the number of visitors to a given location, their point of entry (if they are overseas visitors), the country they started their journey from, and locations that they visit while travelling. In addition, the data indicates how long a person stayed in a particular location and where they stayed during that time, helping tourism professionals understand which attractions are proving popular and providing evidence of return on investment on marketing spend.

For cash-strapped tourist attractions and tourism boards, understanding who to market to will be key to bouncing back.

Critical to the success of long-term planning for the recovery in a post-pandemic world will be understanding the movement of domestic tourists and their travel behaviours as restrictions are lifted across the country. Domestic data is split out from residents and workers and their catchment area is then highlighted to understand where in the country they have travelled from. For cash-strapped tourist attractions and tourism boards, understanding who to market to will be key to bouncing back.

Using mobility data to drive recovery in the UK tourism sector

In the UK, anonymised data for the popular Roman Baths attraction in the World Heritage city of Bath, for instance indicates that of the 43.2K visitors in the month of November 2020, 42.23K visitors were domestic travellers, with visitors from Spain and France accounting for 0.125K and 0.117K respectively. Of the total number of visitors, 49 percent were day-trippers, with only 24 percent of individuals staying between 3-14 days. In contrast, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland attracted 156.2K visitors in November 2020, with 153.17K visitors originating from the UK. Visitors from Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands accounted for 0.339K, 0.319K, and 0.318K respectively. Over half (55 percent) of those visiting the Castle were day-trippers with 45 percent making an overnight stay.

As regional airports in the UK continue to suffer disproportionately from reduced flight schedules, the data points to travellers moving fluidly across the UK from airports in the south east, with 95 percent of travellers entering through London Heathrow Airport, while 5 percent entered via London Gatwick Airport.

Geoff McGrath, Managing Director of CKDelta, commented: “COVID-19 has decimated industries from retail to tourism. A decline in footfall and visitor numbers at key attractions and to towns and cities has left the economy on its knees..

“What the Mobility Insights Explorer can help businesses, public bodies, and governmental departments to understand is the appetite for travel from domestic and international audiences, and the worth of tourism to the UK economy. This has the potential to fundamentally shift the way we market ‘Brand Britain’ to the world by ensuring that we are targeting those tourists in states most likely to visit us as global restrictions are eased.

“Domestically, we can better plan our transport systems around moving homegrown tourists to where they want to be to encourage more people to travel, thus spurring on the fortunes of our economy. A post-pandemic recovery will not happen overnight but by generating an understanding of movement behaviour and patterns, we can put ourselves in the strongest possible position to not only bounce back but bounce back better.”

Delivering for global industry

Securing the travel industry’s recovery means utilising minimum data for maximum insight. Predictive analytics is not the silver bullet that will precisely map out recovery. But it is far more capable of doing so than outdated historical models.

Modelling scenarios in real time means delivering on sustainable development goals such as net zero. Predictive analytics can be adopted to enable industry to rapidly upscale technologies like EV charging point infrastructure, both in modelling distribution and accessibility needs. The ability to share data between public and private sector bodies also means different sectors can be connected better in planning cycles and provide greater flexibility against evolving long and short-term trends. Now is the time to reset baseline assumptions and deliver smart and sustainable planning for communities.

For more info contact Geoff McGrath.
learn more about ckdelta