The main methodology for obtaining all this information is to carry out interviews with tour operators when visiting them, in workshops and during the fam-trips.
The collaboration and complicity we may establish when helping them with business & product development is the key to obtaining all the intelligence. The privileged position as collaborators allows us to obtain more information and more easily than an independent consultant.
The information to research a market segment may be obtained with a few interviews with the key tour operators, complemented with other sources like publications, brochures, surveys and interviews with experts and related associations.
The information for elaborating tour operator company profile programming our destination should be obtained through in-depth interviews and brochure analysis; whereas the information about tour operators not featuring our destination may be obtained through telephone interviews and brochure analysis.
The main sources of information are:
- Tour-operators and travel agents
- Publications and newsletters
- Tourism fairs
- Congresses, conventions and seminars (papers, thesis, studies, presentations, etc.)
- Specialized consultants and journalists, special interest associations, etc.
- Internet and social networks.
For the aforementioned research goals and objectives, would you consider any other methodology or information sources?
The market intelligence studies provide the necessary information for both operators and Destination Management Organizations (DMO) to design their marketing strategies and actions optimally and efficiently. This can be summarized in a series of specific objectives:
Analyze for each new market and segment:
- Market dimension, evolution and perspectives.
- Public types and characterization of their demand: sociological profile, seasonality, length of the trip, types of services demanded, trip organization, advanced booking, motivations, expenditure and price elasticity.
- Purchasing behavior: information sources, decision key factors, etc.
- Possibility of fostering customer loyalty and multiplying effect/fostering prestige
- Quantitative and qualitative trends of both supply and demand.
- Key players, advisors, opinion leaders and other trendsetters.
- Associations, publications, events, fairs, portals, forums, blogs and social networks.
- Key competitiveness factors and requirements.
- Best practices in management and destination competitiveness improvement, marketing, products, business models and technologies.
- Marketing strategies and actions. Minimum investment recommended.
- Tour operators, travel agents and web portals working with this segment. Positioning and market share of every one, segment concentration, entries and exits. Estimated percentage of FITs.
- Segment attractiveness: analysis of the 5 competitive forces and growth potential.
- Analysis of competitiveness/price, distribution and offer variety compared between destinations. Positioning of each destination.
- Knowledge and assessment of the destination by the tour operators and travel agents.
Analyze for each tour operator:
- Turnover and market share (globally and by segments). Volume of tourists per segment and perspectives. Knowledge and assessment of our destination.
- Brochure portfolio, products and destinations for each product.
- Kinds of target audiences and percentage of loyal customers.
- Positioning of the tour operator in the market.
- Kinds of packages offered (length, accommodation, seasonality, etc.)
- Interest in receiving information, participating in fam trips and receiving commercial proposals.
- Programming calendar and contracting strategy.
- Financial data
Analyze for each tour operator currently programming the destination:
- Activities and visits carried out during the trip.
- Effectiveness and profitability of the current marketing actions. Evolution of demand towards our destination along the last 5 years.
- Client share (% of trips to our destination) per product, actual and potential value of the tour operator.
- Explore strategies and actions to increase sales and customer loyalty
- Other destinations offered by the tour operator and compared analysis: positioning, strengths, weaknesses and strategy of every one.
- Perceived positioning of our destination and suggested positioning.
- Destination assessment: strengths, weaknesses, satisfaction and resignation risk.
Analyze the projected image of the destination and brand awareness:
- In the tourism guides and specialized publications
- Articles and reports in the press and TV
- Social media and related web pages
- Tour-operator brochures
Do you miss any specific goal to be considered?
When researching on the outbound markets in search for intelligence, there are many key goals to consider:
- Assess market and segment attractiveness, as well as feasibility of penetrating such markets or segments and developing new products.
- Improve the quality of the strategic and operational decisions.
- Stimulate strategic and product innovation, as well as competitiveness improvements.
- Identify trends, opportunities and threats.
- Provide the necessary information to the operators for their International Marketing Plan, also orientating and facilitating their commercial missions in the outbound markets.
- Analyze the dynamics of all the factors that may influence the strategy success.
- Monitor the image and positioning of the destination in all markets and segments.
- Evaluate possible cooperation strategies with tour operators and other companies.
Do you think there should be considered other goals?
The growth of the tourism business with emerging outbound markets and new destinations is drawing an increasingly competitive scenario with plenty of opportunities. Moreover, the markets are evolving rapidly with new business models, new communication & sales channels and new market segments.
This major dynamism, innovation and market fragmentation requires a systematic analysis to detect new trends, new key success factors, foresee its threats and take advantage of its opportunities. Furthermore, along the last years there has been a significant decrease on the tourism promotion profitability, which suggests the convenience of innovating in more efficient marketing strategies and tactics.
Market intelligence (MI) is a systematic process of search, selection, analysis and distribution of information about the competitive environment, recognized and accepted by all the organization and its stakeholders.
The market intelligence studies are to identify business opportunities and market trends, analyze competitors, their practices and strategies, and all the variables that affect the evolution of the competitive scenario in order to orientate the strategic planning.
The impact of the MI activities consists mainly of the support given to cost reduction decisions -including risk reduction on the decisions to make- and de discovery of opportunities and innovations that produce an increase to the value provided to the client. The knowledge generated by the MI may be summarized in the following points:
- Detailed company profile of all potential collaborators.
- Best practices in marketing, management, innovation and new business models.
- Markets and segments attractiveness. Opportunities, market trends and evolution of all the key factors influencing business development and profitability.
- Key information for the design, innovation and product development obtained from deep demand analysis.
- Key information for the optimization of the company’s commercial missions in the outbound markets, as well as for the Tourist Boards.
At the end, this brings the following benefits:
- Decrease in the risk of failure.
- Business diversification with the penetration in new markets and segments.
- Improvement in the competitiveness and the innovation process.
- A revenue increase from the opportunities of which we take advantage.
- A major profitability of the marketing investment.
Can you envision any other outputs or benefits of the market intelligence?
Fostering the adoption of the practices and values proposed in the Vision of Tourism 3.0 entails transforming progressively the mindset of the tourism industry leaders towards a culture of collaboration and innovation.
Such efforts may well start in the top levels of the regional tourism boards, governments or industry associations. Either of these may take the lead in promoting the practices of Tourism 3.0 throughout the region down to the local levels, and a possible way to do so is by establishing a Destination Intelligence 3.0 system. This entails three main activities:
- Capturing intelligence in the outbound markets
- Monitoring the tourism activity in the destination
- Leveraging the collective intelligence through an open innovation system
Destination intelligence 3.0 sets the stage for tourism destinations to develop their innovation strategy, providing a series of information flows and tools that facilitate and stimulate destination stakeholders to envision the need for innovation not only on the product development area but also on a more holistic approach encompassing all building blocks of the business model to continually improve the destination’s competitiveness. Further, it envisions how this practice is to become a key discipline in sustaining competitiveness and improving the destination’s marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
Apart from the consultancy reports, do you thing that intelligence reports elaborated by industry associations, governments and tourist boards are satisfactory to guide strategy, marketing and innovation planning in local destinations? If not, what is missing?
Beyond developing new business models at a local level, it is possible to foster Tourism 3.0 from the regional level. Destination intelligence 3.0 envisions how the practice of collaborative research and innovation is to become a key discipline in sustaining competitiveness and improving the destinations’ marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Further, by fostering collaboration and innovation at a region-wide level, it becomes a powerful change agent to promote this culture down to the local level.
Destination intelligence 3.0 envisions how the current practices in research and monitoring of the tourism markets and destination performance may be improved to keep track of the fast-changing environment and leverage all the collective intelligence available through the existing networks. Moreover, market intelligence systems may be expanded to become open innovation systems to further leverage the collective intelligence of the industry stakeholders in bringing in fresh, new ideas for business model innovations, new products, management practices, marketing practices, etc.
The key idea is to foster collaboration among all stakeholders to both monitor the market and social trends in a deeper sense to better orientate the tourism development, and to innovate in all aspects of the business models to continually improve competitiveness.
The Whitepaper “Envisioning Destination Intelligence 3.0” explains in detail the vision on this new approach to collaborative research and innovation.
In which aspects do you think there is room for further cooperation between DMOs and operators in producing and sharing intelligence data and insights?