In the ever-evolving landscape of travel and hospitality, the only constant is change. As a result, businesses in this industry are increasingly recognizing the significance of understanding and leveraging consumer behavior data to navigate the challenges and seize opportunities in this dynamic environment. In fact, according to Near’s new study, the State of Global Consumer Behavior Data, data leaders in travel & hospitality are relying on consumer behavior data more than other industries including Retail, Restaurants and Commercial Real Estate.
Near’s recent survey of 590 data leaders found that 77% of data leaders overall, and an overwhelming 87% of data leaders in travel and hospitality, agree that consumer behavior data is critical for their team’s business decisions. This reliance on data in Travel & Hospitality was stronger than any other industry:
No Data Found
The 97 data leaders in travel & hospitality who answered the survey were also more likely to be using third-party data to understand consumer behavior (82% versus 75% overall), and to be planning to use more consumer behavior data in the coming year (73% versus 57% overall).
In addition to having higher reliance on data, data leaders in travel & hospitality also indicate more uncertainty around consumer behavior and the economy. 70% of travel & hospitality data leaders say that “changes in consumer behavior have caused our organization to rethink business strategy in the past year,” compared to 60% of data leaders overall. Plus, 78% of data leaders in travel report that “there’s concern within our organization on the economic impact the potential recession might have on our business,” versus 70% of data leaders overall.
As travel data leaders navigate an uncertain future using consumer behavior data, they have run into some challenges in fully utilizing it.
Challenges in Utilizing Data for Travel & Hospitality
Finding sources of high quality data is a top challenge for data leaders in travel & hospitality – 43% of them listed this as a hurdle to using consumer behavior data, versus 34% of data leaders overall. In fact, 61% of travel data leaders were extremely or very concerned about poor or unreliable data quality – even higher than the 58% of data leaders overall who expressed this concern.
This concern around data quality translates into what data leaders look for most in a third-party data provider. Data leaders in travel and hospitality list data quality as the number one feature they look for in data providers, with 74% citing that as a key feature they look for – higher than 64% of data leaders overall looking for quality. This was followed by data security (69%, on par with data leaders overall), and ease of use (64% vs. 56% for data leaders overall).
Beyond data quality, travel & hospitality data leaders had other hurdles to using consumer behavior data – here are the top 3:
Travel & hospitality data leaders were notably more likely to struggle with data siloed across the organization (28% vs 23% overall).
How Travel & Hospitality Organizations Leverage Insights
Travel & hospitality data leaders leverage consumer behavior data for 3 use cases on average, which is on par with data leaders overall. More than any other industry, travel data leaders are using data for Visitor Insights & Customer Profiles (69% vs. 46% overall). Having a clear understanding of visitors – from their demographics to brand affinities to specific travel patterns – is critical to better serving travelers with the experiences, airline routes, hotel locations and more that will resonate with the right audience.
The top 3 use cases for travel & hospitality data leaders are:
Data leaders in travel and hospitality utilize more insights than any other industry studied as well – 4.7 on average versus 4 for data leaders overall. The insights that travel data leaders use most are Demographics (71%), Visitation Over Time (63%) and Visits by Day of Week (45%).
Focus on the Customer Going Forward
When it comes to the top metric data leaders want to prioritize for 2023, leaders in travel & hospitality were more likely to prioritize customer experience than other industries. 46% of travel data leaders said improving customer experience was their top goal, compared to 33% of data leaders overall. This isn’t too surprising, as in travel and hospitality, experience is paramount. Online visits & sales were also a priority for many data leaders in travel & hospitality (20%) followed by growing footfall to their locations (12%).
To enable improved customer experience and hedge against economic uncertainty, the travel & hospitality industry will continue to rely heavily on consumer insights. 73% of data leaders in travel & hospitality say they will be using even more consumer behavior data in the coming 12 months, versus 57% of data leaders overall. In the coming year travel data leaders also plan to use consumer behavior data for more use cases (61%) and get more teams involved in using data for decision-making (59%).
The travel and hospitality industry is undergoing a profound transformation driven by changing consumer behavior. To thrive in this dynamic landscape, organizations must embrace the power of consumer behavior data. By going beyond surface-level demographics and embracing personalized insights powered by location intelligence, industry players can develop tailored strategies, improve customer experiences, and unlock new growth opportunities. The era of data-driven decision-making has arrived, and those who harness its potential will undoubtedly lead the way towards a brighter future for travel and hospitality.