Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Data? For many destinations and travel suppliers in the USA, the numbers on sentiment and intention to travel among potential international visitors for the final quarter of 2021 have been encouraging to the inbound tourism market in the United States. 

While Asian markets, largely because of the way in which they have confronted and dealt with the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, are simply not active, there seems to be much pent-up desire spread out across key overseas markets in Europe. 

At the same time, the marketplace in South America and Central America, although weak, is constant. In fact, according to the latest figures released by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), Colombia is experiencing its strongest year ever—it looks as if 2021 will record more than a million visitors to the USA. What, then, is next for our industry?

From Zero to Digital Infinity: Have we gone from a business in which there was zero information to equipping ourselves with too much information? Yes, as soon as DMOs are finishing their first visitor location tracking studies and are preparing to revive marketing campaigns for 2023 and what remains of 2022, they confront the reality of information overload.

Travel and tourism isn’t the only economic sector suffering from this malady. It is a global condition. For example, we’ve gone from a few hundred books worldwide in the 1450s, when the printing press was invented, to about 1.3 million earlier this century—and this figure does not include online material and/or self-published products and content.

The Long Room in Trinity College, Dublin
Too much information? The Long Room in Trinity College, Dublin, is the longest single-chamber library in the world and houses some 200,000 books.

Since the days of Zero. From the 1970s, for about two generations, we relied on a distribution system in which receptive tour operators or international tour operators would mostly purchase our wholesale products through our sales missions or trade shows. From the operators, we knew how many travelers—either in groups or FITs—would visit the USA, and why.

Now, as we approach digital infinity and marketing, and have drifted away from face-to-face, in-person transactions, where and how we market is a challenge—a challenge not only to ourselves, but to the city councils, local boards of directors and state and local advisory groups that approve the funding for, tourism marketing and promotion. They need to share the strategic vision of the tourism professional. But first, they need to understand the tourism industry’s potential and vision, and in language and data that are clear and direct.

Be Strategic, but be Tactical: It seems only natural that the people who staff, direct and oversee tourism marketing operations for DMO think strategically and/or give life to the strategic vision of those who do. But, if the global pandemic that began nearly two years ago has informed the tourism industry about anything, it is that we must always have in our sales and marketing arsenal our tactical tool kits. We must be able to operate in and through emergencies (and pandemics) that test our staff and keep us focused. So, be strategic, but tactical.

***

Located in Lander, Wyoming (population 7,555) and about the same distance from Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park, Herrmann Global is international in both its staff and purpose—helping destinations and organizations develop and achieve their vision. For more information, visit https://herrmannglobal.com/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.