India’s travel and tourism sector took a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nationwide lockdown resulted in the number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India decreasing to 1.52 million in 2021 compared to 2.74 million in 2020, registering a negative growth of 44.5%, the Ministry of Tourism stated in a report.
This, however, changed in the following year. As lockdowns lifted and borders opened, FTAs during January-August 2022 period were 3,263,219 compared to 638,524 in January-August 2021, as per an IBEF report.
The travel market in India is projected to reach $125 billion by FY27 from an estimated $75 billion in FY20. Besides, by 2028, the report added that international tourist arrivals will reach 30.5 billion, generating revenue of over $59 billion.
And, destination marketing startups or tourism startups are trying to leverage this market with the help of technology, especially big data analytics, to gain a competitive edge.
Big data refers to the wide variety of structured and unstructured data generated by various sources, including social media, online reviews, search queries, and website traffic, which can be mined for information and advanced analytics application.
In recent years, big data has become a critical tool for businesses across a variety of industries. Tourism startups can gain a competitive edge with the help of big data, and better understand their target audience, make data-driven decisions, and create more effective marketing campaigns.
Here are some ways Indian tourism startups can leverage the technology:
Understanding customer behaviour
Tourism startups can gain valuable insights into customer behaviour by analysing data from various sources, including where are they from, what they’re searching for, and what factors are most important to them when making travel decisions.
Startups can tailor their marketing efforts with this information to better meet the needs and preferences of their target audience.
They can also leverage big data to create personalised travel experiences, including customised itineraries, recommendations based on customer preferences, and targeted promotions and discounts.
Big data can be used to optimise pricing strategies by analysing factors, including seasonality, demand, competitor pricing, etc. Startups can use this to adjust their pricing in real-time to maximise revenue and attract price-sensitive customers searching for the best deals.
It can also be used for predictive analytics, where startups can predict future trends and customer behaviour, to make better marketing campaigns, pricing, and overall business strategy.
Destination marketing startups can stay ahead of the curve and identify opportunities for growth by monitoring the competition. Big data can analyse competitors’ marketing efforts, pricing strategies, and customer reviews. Startups can adjust their strategies to better differentiate themselves and stand out in the marketplace.
Social media is a valuable source of data for destination marketing startups, where they can gain insights into customer sentiment, preferences, and behaviour.
Tourism startups can leverage the technology to identify potential collaborations with complementary businesses to create partnerships that offer value to customers.
Destination marketing startups need to integrate big data into their operations, including using data analytics tools, implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software, and automating marketing campaigns.