Research & Business Intelligence Division
2015 YEAR IN REVIEW
The tourism industry is a fast-changing market. Up-to-date and relevant intelligence is necessary to create a competitive advantage and meet travellers’ desires.
The Research & Business Intelligence division (RB&I) continued in its remit in 2015 to provide consumer demand and behaviour research and business intelligence to the Bermuda Tourism Authority to help shape strategic decisions, make tactical choices and achieve business objectives.
Collaborating on research and data programme development projects with internal stakeholders remained a focus, as each division worked to develop strategies for their target markets. The collaborative efforts have proven to be extremely helpful in providing a thorough understanding of what the travel industry and visitors look for in a destination, allowing the BTA to support new initiatives and find new market opportunities as well as follow current trends.
Over the course of the year, a number of research, tracking, and analysis projects were completed by the RB&I division, including the provision of valuable data and tourism industry intelligence to external parties as well as internal departments. Some of the highlights of the work carried out in 2015 follow.
The division completed analysis on historical and current air service to Bermuda in comparison to hotel inventory and occupancy. This included capacity and load factors, which will be used to assist the BTA’s and the Government’s efforts in maintaining and increasing air service. As a part of this project, members from the RB&I team attended the World Routes Conference in South Africa to explore opportunities with new airline partners, alongside Airport and Ministry officials.
The RB&I division assisted the Product & Experiences division by tracking Return on Investment (ROI) on BTA-sponsored events and activities as well as Return on Experience (ROE), such as satisfaction, value perception, activities participated, spending, etc. In addition, the division developed a programme with the Product & Experiences division to measure and track quality across the tourism chain vs. competitors.
Our division also assisted the America’s Cup Bermuda (ACBDA) team by providing all tourism metrics related to the America’s Cup Louis Vuitton World Series event held in October, including arrivals and hotel performance.
A “Digging into Data” session was developed and held by the RB&I at the 2015 Annual Tourism Summit in November to give stakeholders a better understanding of the types of data collected and analysed and how it can be leveraged for their businesses. The feedback from this session has been very positive and has encouraged industry partners to avail themselves of key data.
In line with our strategy for transparency and the provision of information to interested parties, we began development of a CRM partner portal, which will enable stakeholders to input data and have access to industry reports.
The RB&I division also saw the full implementation of the new Visitor Arrivals Card and reporting in 2015, which will provide the BTA with more detailed information on the purpose of visit, first time vs. repeat, type of accommodation and America’s Cup-related visitation, and help the BTA to better assess how it is performing relative to growing vacation and group travel air arrivals. To better inform the public and industry on the improvements in statistical reporting as a result of the new landing card, a video was produced in conjunction with the On-island Communications team.
Research & Data Collection
A number of specific research initiatives were conducted through the year, namely:
Research on the vacation rental market in Bermuda
The presentation, first made public at the Bermuda Tourism Summit, shows the growth of the vacation rental market in and outside of Bermuda and provides samples of two very different regulation models recently enacted in the United States. A BTA working group, led by COO Karla Lacey, compiled the research and public feedback for the creation of a discussion paper that was delivered to the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport in the second quarter of 2015. Government officials will use the paper to determine whether current legislation that speaks to Bermuda’s vacation rental market is sufficient, should be amended or whether new legislation should be drafted.
Research on travel to Bermuda
Qualitative research (focus groups) was conducted amongst target personas and previous visitors to Bermuda in the key source markets of New York and Boston to determine perceptions/awareness of Bermuda, barriers to travel to Bermuda, and opinions on desired nightlife/entertainment and beach options. We furthermore completed a conversion study to determine the largest barriers to travel to Bermuda amongst customers who considered a trip. Online intercept methodology was used and results shared with on-island stakeholders.
Research on transportation, service standards and golf
BTA’s proprietary panel of almost 10,000 Bermuda visitors was used to conduct research on the topic of rental cars, beaches, entertainment, transportation (taxis, buses, ferries), national service standards and golf.
Hospitality and Tourism Forecast 2016 – 2020
A recalibration was completed in 2015 to update the tourism industry forecast for 2016-2020, including arrivals and visitor spending based on current market conditions and outlook for Bermuda.
We completed a conversion study to determine the largest barriers to travel to Bermuda amongst customers who considered a trip.