Simply trying to upsell guests add-ons or upgrades isn’t always the best plan to boost revenues. Instead, destinations must use data to anticipate and fulfill guests’ needs before they even know they have them. How can you reach them before they need something so that when they’re ready to buy, they already know the best option for them?
Data from sensors throughout the destination, guest devices and digital transactions all help indicate consumer behavior and intent and allow destinations to offer the right products and services at the right place and the right time. Albeit, while ground-up builds have advantages by building these sensors into infrastructure from the beginning, older destinations are also stepping up to the challenge.
Dublin, for example, recently hired its first Smart Tourism Manager who’s tasked with using digital technologies and data to create a more sustainable, accessible and equitable destination. One of the position’s priorities is using the city’s open data sets, which include data like pedestrian traffic and noise levels in different neighborhoods, and aggregated, real-time consumer credit card spending data to help local businesses better understand consumer behavior and prevent things like congestion that inhibit sustainability. Although the goal of Dublin’s work isn’t to offer automated bespoke experiences to luxury travelers – at least not yet – it’s an example of how making data accessible could allow destination decision-making and design to be more aligned to luxury customers’ expectations.
Shopping is another area where accessible data is an imperative. The process needs to be centralized and connected to guests’ accounts to keep them within the destinations’ all-in-one information hub. Guests’ time is precious and they don’t want to spend hours shopping and picking up their orders, and by creating an ecommerce engine within the guest hub the destination would know activity schedules and bookings and determine the best time and place to deliver an order. Heathrow Airport, for example, offers a service that lets travelers buy products from terminal shops online and pick-up and pay before their flights. Smart destinations could offer a similar service to show guests that they understand shopping has to be convenient and on their terms.