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Managing supply, demand and visitor flow in other destinations

Examples of using data to address the challenge of improving the attractiveness and experience of destinations.
I think things like Amsterdam or doing, just something as simple as putting a chip in their visitor card, so they can track visitors, I think is really useful and then giving real-time messages to visitors so they know if they’re going to be queuing for a long time at an attraction, they might want to reschedule their visit. That kind of real-time information, I think for visitors can really help. I think Lisbon as well have started a smart city, that they’ve opened up. So I know that Edinburgh is very aware of these things and looking at what might work for us, as a city.
The tourism within Edinburgh, has, yes there are lots of, lots of good points, lots of points that maybe you’re a bit of a sticking point for people, that I think there are lots of things, that data has a lot of potential for improving. So just even managing the way that people move around the city, how they get around the city, I think there will be lots happening soon. Collaboration around data is also really important and we have to have joined up thinking in this area because, if, well data sets are basically so diverse and wide and varied.
The Transport for Edinburgh project is a really good example of this because what we have, festivals who are actually prepared to share commercially sensitive information and transport companies who are actually prepared to share commercially sensitive information, with the understanding that actually the whole result is going to be better for everybody. It’s going to be better for all the companies involved, It’s going to be better for all of the festival promoters involved and it’s a really good example of where, you can have joined up thinking, collaboration, between a range of different companies who every other time of the year are very, very competitive with each other.
Basically what we’re doing is, we’re looking at all of the live events that happen across the key, three-week period, of the Edinburgh Festival and we’re taking that data, we’re analyzing it. We’re matching it up with accommodation data. We’re matching it up with transport data and we’re beginning to be able to predict demand patterns for transport, before it actually happens. Now this is absolutely key, because at the moment transport services, are not as efficient as they might be. The city is obviously very logjam during the festival. So the work we have here and the work that we complete here, will help make transport journeys around the city far more easier.
It’ll improve everybody’s festival experience, that in turn will make Edinburgh as a city, a far more attractive Festival City for people to come back to. It’s also going to make the transport companies far more efficient, in terms of the routes that they can put on. It’s going to help ordinary citizens get around the city far more easily. There’s a huge wealth of benefits to the festivals, to transport companies and to the city as a whole, that can come out of a project like this, and that project is being driven purely and totally by good, intelligent, use of data.

This video gives insights into how a range of destinations are working on solutions to improve visitor flow around a destination to improve internal operations and increase visitor satisfaction.

While watching the video, think about what is said about

  • How tracking visitor flow in real time may enhance experiences and manage crowds during the high season
  • How various data sources such as from events, transport and accommodation can be integrated to improve flows around your destination
  • How joined up thinking can help tackle some of the mobility issues within a destination by being able to predict demand patterns ahead of time.

Now thinking about your wider destination, can you think of any particular issues around the high season? Who would you need to be collaborating with to tackle these issues and what data would you be looking to have shared with you. Similarly, would you be willing to share this data with them for wider benefits?

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Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

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