When it comes to the travel and tourism industry and location intelligence, the sky is the limit.

Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Destination Marketing Organizations, and other travel destinations can significantly benefit from the addition of location intelligence into their market research strategy. Location intelligence is an excellent complement to visitor profile surveys and other traditional data collection methods. When paired together, destination marketers can uncover an array of new visitation insights and visitor demographics.

Location intelligence can help CVBs, DMOs, and other travel destinations to:

  • Determine how many people are using a specified space
  • Evaluate foot traffic
  • Analyze visitation trends
  • Identify untapped markets
  • Gain information on targeted points of interest
  • Conduct competitive analysis
  • Determine the effect of seasonality on visitation

Case Study: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

In 2018, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater turned to location intelligence to assess the effectiveness of their marketing budget. Together with AirSage and their Travel & Tourism application, Visit St. Pete wanted to find answers to a few key questions:

  1. How many visitors were coming into St. Pete area?
  2. Where were visitors coming from?
  3. What places were these visitors going to while in their market? What beaches, restaurants, and entertainment venues were most popular amongst visitors?

To find the answers to these questions, the AirSage team conducted a study on the entire St. Pete/Clearwater area. A 50 mile residency buffer was drawn to assure that locals were not included in the study. Points of interest were assigned to popular beaches in the Clearwater area, the local aquarium, and other popular attractions. Nearby theme parks were also selected as points of interest to determine how many visitors to the St. Pete area visited them during their stay. The Orlando and Tampa airports were also included as POIs in the study to see which airport was used more by St. Pete vacationers.

St. Pete/Clearwater study area (blue), selected POIs (orange) and residency buffer (white).

The study produced findings that came as a big shock to many members of the marketing team. Initially, it was assumed that a majority of visitors to the St. Pete area were coming from the colder states in the north and midwest. However, results from the study showed Orlando, Florida was their top feeder market year-round, even in the colder months.

“It came as a big shock to us that the majority of our visitors were not coming from the assumed colder states in the north and Midwest, and that they were coming from Orlando; we would have never known this if it was not for the data that AirSage provided us.” - Leroy Bridges,

It was also determined that the Tampa International Airport was the most popular travel hub for visitors coming into the St. Pete area. It had been previously assumed that the Orlando airport was more popular amongst visitors.

Visitor counts by MSA. 

Armed with this new knowledge, the Visit St. Pete/Clearwater team was able to revitalize their entire marketing strategy. They shifted most of their media spend to the Orlando area and increased the number of OOH ads in the surrounding areas. These changes brought a rise in new visitors to the city and higher success rates in their marketing campaigns.

“We have shifted our entire marketing strategy based on what we have received from AirSage; we are a big fan!” - Leroy Bridges, Vice President of Digital & Communications at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater