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Top five pieces of advice to make a destination ‘smart’

Top recommendations from travel intelligence provider Mabrian on how tourism destinations can become ‘smart’.


MAHON, SPAIN –  Mabrian Technologies  has published its top five recommendations on how to make a tourism destination ‘smart’. Many destinations now recognize that they need a deeper understanding of the forces driving demand for their location, so that they can better anticipate and even influence travellers when deciding to book a holiday.

But once you recognize this need for change, how do you go about achieving it? What separates an average destination from a ‘smart’ one? One of the most important – but perhaps hardest to achieve – things that really makes a smart destination is that they have a data-driven culture.

Carlos Cendra, Sales and Marketing Director at Mabrian comments “The current recovery scenario – in particular with the emergence of Omicron recently – has put on every destination’s agenda the need to become agile and resilient in order to face this crisis and even exit it in an advantageous position to make
up for lost time.

“We firmly believe that the solution lays in the proper use of ‘travel intelligence’. That’s because the use of data, based on an analysis of multiple sources of information, can help destinations to have valuable insights in order to anticipate market trends so that they can design both tourism marketing plans and strategies.

“To help the whole sector along we have recently put together the top five pieces of advice we believe destinations should be considering right now to make their destination a smart one.

1.Identify and choose the right data sources and tools for you 
There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ data source. Each one has its strengths and limitations, providing analysis from a different perspective.

This is the reason why at Mabrian we work with multiple data sources which permit you to select the right dataset combination for your destination depending
on tourist destination typology and specific needs. Our tourism advisors team is experienced in working exclusively with tourism data sources helping tourism destinations around the world to choose the right sources and to get the most from their data. For example, you might need a detailed analysis of your air connectivity if you are a remote destination or an island, but you would probably gain more from hotel demand or in-destination geo-location data if your destination is based on the mainland or focused on the domestic market

2. Use actionable insights based on real-time data – and not data for data’s sake Data alone is not useful.
 This is because it first needs to be processed, analysed, and converted into valuable information. Only then can decision-makers make better choices and manage tourism more efficiently and effectively. At Mabrian we help our clients to generate insights from data, strengthening the analytical skills of their organization by offering training and workshops for the organization’s team.Mabrian’s customer success team is led by a reputed tourism professional with more than 20 years of experience in consultancy and tourism  management & marketing.

For partners who don’t have the in-house resources, our team of advisors becomes their team – so as to bring the right information to the right person at
the right time so that they can make the right decision.As an example of this, we often see how the daily workload of teams managing a destination is too high to add an extra task – even though our services are meant to be a solution to save time and introduce more efficient decision making. So we work specifically with all the departments (Strategic planning, Marketing, Product development, etc.) to provide them with only the specific information they need, not anything more.

3. Incorporate a data-driven decision culture into your organization
Travel intelligence provides answers but it is people that drive changes. Establishing a data-driven culture is key to becoming a Smart Destination. We work hard take our clients through a progressive process of incorporating information into their operational and strategic decision-making processes. But you must understand that this is a mid- to long-term process. You can’t change the whole current decision-making process all in one go. So first of all we do a preliminary analysis of the structure and decision-making flow to identify the priorities and establish a clear road map of the short-, mid- and long-term milestones to achieve.

4. Be resilient and respond to changes quickly
We truly believe in Darwinian theory. The ability to adapt yourself to an evolving context will determine your success and survival. But you can’t adapt to changes you can’t detect. To stay competitive in our continuously changing environment therefore it is essential to have access to updated information to identify new opportunities an trends on a global scale.

The best way to do this is via access to real-time, useful data that permits you to react to changes quickly and efficiently. Mabrian’s data sources are updated on a daily / weekly basis, helping you to stay tuned into the market’s changes. To give an example of this, during 2021 inspirational demand trends based on travel searches have been much more valuable than confirmed bookings as a measure of how a destination is positioned for the recovery.

5. Measure, analyze, improve
Monitoring and measuring the impact of a decision is critical if you want to improve.
Mabrian’s platform has a set of indicators that all you to measure the impact of strategic and marketing plans. By covering the full travel cycle we are able to create insights about tourism behavior: pre-, during-, and post-visit. The integration of historical data with real- time data provides you with the needed analysis of the impact of your actions on visitor behavior and satisfaction levels.

For example, measuring your on-line campaigns with direct demand indicators rather than using only on-line metrics. Is my campaign really increasing the demand based on searches and bookings to my destination? Are the hotels increasing their prices? Is there more holiday rental demand due to our campaign?

To be a smart destination means to effectively and efficiently manage available resources to enhance the quality of both the lives of residents and the experience of tourists. Continuous monitoring and analysis of the right real-time data source provides the needed information to help to achieve this goal.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.