CenStates members share some information they learned at the June conference:
The latest Portrait of American Travelers (POAT) study by MMGY Global found that there are really two different segments in the millennial generation. This is due to that generation aging and now the older segment once considered millennials are starting to transition into a different stage in their lives. The older millennials are now 38 years old. For instance, older millennials are seeking relaxation on their vacation while the younger segment travels more for thrill-seeking. The older millennials and young millennials also vary greatly in average spend with the older segment spending $4,558 per trip and younger segments spending $3,648 per trip. They also vary greatly in their use of shared accommodations. 43% of the younger segment have stayed in shared accommodation while only 31% of the older segment has. This seems to indicate a widening gap in travel trends with the millennial generation.
Another interesting finding of the POAT is that obligation vacations are on the rise. These are trips that are the primary reason for traveling is due to a wedding, graduation or anniversary of a friend or relative.
Kirk Hulstein, South Dakota Department of Tourism
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as the ability of a program to imitate intelligent human behavior. For tourism purposes, AI could be an automated chatbot on a Facebook page or on a website providing responses to questions asked by viewers. The use of an AI system would provide a 24/7 source of knowledge for visitors, potentially affording them a more enjoyable experience since their questions can be answered relatively quickly no matter the circumstances. With the rise of AI-assisted interfaces, we could start to collect and analyze entirely new data sets. The real question is how are we going to turn these new data sets into meaningful and actionable insights?
William Graves, Visit Wichita
In a session on How Data Analytics is Shaping the Future of Our Industry, Ashley McHugh with Memphis Tourism shared some of her insights on the battle between survey results and behavioral data:
SURVEY DATA IS STILL USEFUL…
Our website visitor profile survey can still give us indicators about what our current website visitors want to find. Additionally, we can segment our survey to analyze what nightlife visitors find appealing about Memphis to guide more nuanced content creation across our organization. Relying on this kind of segmentation is more likely to give us strong results than creating generalized conclusions about how the overall preferences of our website visitors will correspond to the in-destination behavior of actual visitors.
…BUT BEHAVIORAL DATA WINS
While our website visitor profile survey can certainly guide our website content creation process, it does not accurately reflect in-destination behavior. Our website seems to attract more potential visitors who are interested in museums, while actual visitors are more likely to go to entertainment districts when they arrive. Because of this data, we are trying to reach our nightlife visitors more effectively with targeted video content and digital ads, attracting them to our website so that we have the opportunity to influence their trip planning process.
Kim Caplinger, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department