2022 Predictions Series: Need for Destination Intelligence

For destination marketers, we know it’s vital to capture insights for learning, evolving your campaigns, and advocating for your program. As destination marketing organizations continue to make evolutionary leaps toward destination management, effective data assets and resources are essential.  

Destinations need data-driven tools to inform decision-making, measure impact, and fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. Added to these critical responsibilities, DMOs need to be able to answer routine, though complex, daily operational questions, such as “what was my destination’s RevPAR for the past 3 months?” Moreover, you need to communicate those answers effectively and efficiently to your community leaders and destination stakeholders.

The Road Ahead

The pandemic is still with us, and it’s unclear how tourism will continue to change or create lasting changes. The only thing that’s certain is that visitation trends and traveler behaviors will be different than what existed before the pandemic. Competition for leisure dollars is also more fierce than ever with destinations routinely competing in an increasingly crowded marketplace. These challenges demand better data and information to create the most effective and cost efficient marketing and media strategies possible.

Chart Your Course

Madden’s destination intelligence platform, Voyage, is a dedicated response to the information and data needs of the modern DMO. Guided by decades of combined direct experience in the DMO industry, Voyage was designed and built to answer routine, but complex, questions in 30 seconds or less while still retaining  all the depth and capabilities needed in a complex industry environment. 

In a single platform, Voyage users are able to access daily updates on visitor behaviors, gather intel on the paid digital media activities of competitors, access hotel and lodging trends, and much more. These powerful tools are accompanied by a dedicated support team led by industry veterans with decades of direct experience in the destination intelligence field. 

Voyage in Action

Traverse City Tourism wanted to collect short-term rental tax, which would significantly increase their operating budget. However, they needed evidence showing a direct correlation between their advertising and overnight stays in short-term rentals to show their local and state legislatures. We used Voyage’s geolocation data capabilities to analyze the origin markets of visitor traffic into highly saturated short-term rental areas.

First, we established geofencing around the top areas in Traverse City with short-term rental density (excluding hotels). Then, we identified the top 20 markets Traverse City Tourism places advertising and analyzed how many devices traveled from those origin markets and stayed overnight in one of our geofenced areas. We then analyzed this data and found a moderate to strong correlation between media impressions and overnight stays in short-term rentals. We integrated this data into Voyage’s visualization dashboard so Traverse City Tourism could easily share the data with the legislatures.

Data is Destiny

It’s more critical than ever to use every available advantage to increase the economic impact of visitation. Whether through attracting new visitors, increasing the impact of returning visitors, or via sustainable tourism initiatives to name a few. As traveler behavior and visitation trends continue to fluctuate due to economic and public health challenges, DMOs need real-time information that helps them lead their communities with evidence-based decision-making. 

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team.

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