There’s an old adage that goes: You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
Every destination around the world measures its tourism performance on the number of arrivals and how much these visitors spend. However, as we have seen over the last 30 years, tourism is affected my many external factors ranging from wars, terrorism, and disease, through to the global economy. You can run the perfect marketing campaign but still see numbers go down! So by measuring tourist arrivals it can be argued that destinations are measuring what they can’t (at least completely) manage.
This has led several destinations to start looking at what they can manage, and measuring their progress and success on that. One such measure is TripAdvisor ratings. The rationale is that destinations can have a direct influence on how visitors feel about accommodation, attractions and tours.
We have been working with the Falkland Islands Tourism Board for nearly 10 years tracking their tourism performance. The Falkland Islands has 10 accommodation establishments, 21 attractions, 4 tours operators, and 10 restaurants and bars rated on TripAdvisor. By taking the scores of each one and creating an overall out-of-10 score for these different groups we are able to see how visitors rate the Falkland Islands’ tourism sector. The results are shown below.
Not only does this allow the Falklands to see where they need to improve, but by tracking these ratings it is possible to monitor changes over time. This is something the Falklands can manage and measure!
Airbnb’s new Experiences and Places has been filling the news recently – however we should not lose sight of the fact that it continues to expand its influence in the accommodation sector.
A recent report from Morgan Stanley Research indicates that the threat of Airbnb is greatest for the hotel sector. Data in 2015 and 2016 shows a significant increase in the number of travellers who have used Airbnb in the last 12 months. In 2015, only 15% of leisure travellers surveyed had used Airbnb, however this rose to 19% in 2016, and is forecast to grow to 25% in 2017. For business travellers, only 12% had used Airbnb in 2015, but this increased to 18% in 2016, and is forecast to grow to 23% in 2017.
Considering this level of interest in Airbnb by the consumer, it is of no surprise that destinations are increasingly looking at tracking the use of Airbnb in their area. Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) is the first destination to add Airbnb data to their Acorn T-Stats System, and already some interesting trends and findings are becoming apparent.
Airbnb room occupancy rates in Newcastle tended to follow the same pattern as the hotel industry during the summer season (May-September), albeit achieving a much lower rate; however they drop off significantly in the winter.
Average room rates in hotels and Airbnb properties are difficult to compare as the Airbnb properties vary considerably from bed and breakfasts through to apartments. Overall Airbnb properties are generating higher average nightly rates, which would be expected as they include multi-room properties. The surge in room rates in Airbnb properties over the period November-December is mainly due to higher rates in rented houses.
If you would like to include Airbnb statistics in your T-Stats system, or would be interested in using T-Stats in your destination, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
7 April 2017