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Taking the guesswork out of travelling with public web data

By Tamir Roter, VP EMEA & APAC, Bright Data

Vacation season is just around the corner. After two years of sporadic lockdowns ruining all our summer plans and social lives, it looks like the travel and leisure industry is finally (hopefully) going to be back in full swing come this June.

This summer of freedom lays over global outbreak of coronavirus backdrop, which for the past couple of years has caused a steep decline in demand for travel and leisure activities, effectively changing the travel world as a whole over the course of the pandemic.

However, the industry is making a return to profitability and projected to cross into the numbers we used to see in 2019. This means that airlines, online travel agents (OTAs), hotels, rental car companies, tourist attractions, etcetera, all need to begin shaking off the rust and the dust to prepare for the busy season ahead.

And while the level of accommodations and expectations will be important to prepare for ahead of the rush, the main focus is that there will be more money on the table than in years past, which many within the industry are in desperate need of after operating under two years of uncertainty.

In order to grab their deserved piece of the pie, the bulk of organisations in travel and leisure use public web data to make better decisions and ultimately gain full market visibility.

While years ago you may have been able to call a travel hotline, airline or hotel to make a direct booking — (using words, I know exhausting) today everything is done online, which makes public web data a valuable, not-so hidden secret, and an absolute must have in every travel and leisure professional’s toolbox.

Within this highly competitive and overly-saturated market, industry professionals use web data to effectively benchmark themselves against their competition, looking into everything from booking prices to hotel breakfast policy, and so on.

Online travel agencies (OTAs), airlines, hotels and rental car companies all understand that this comparison is a critical part of daily operations, and most importantly is what keeps consumer eyeballs on their offerings.

This is because with the weighted shift to online booking arrangements there are now thousands of considerations, levels of accommodation, pricing platforms, and other online travel agents, like, Kayak, etc., that consumers are essentially able to peruse through freely when planning their next trip.

This allows them to not only find the best deal, but also the package that is perfectly suited for their trip expectations.  Whether they need a flight, hotel, car or even prefer in-flight entertainment or a five-minute walk to the beach, there is no deficiency in choices.

Along with the digital booking transformation, there is more web data being created as well as recorded than ever before, and there is also unprecedented demand for it considering it’s a necessity for businesses to compete on this grand scale.

And the reality is that competition is fiercer than ever before, so the only way any organisation can gain market share at the expense of its competition is by making better data-driven decisions faster.

Therefore, to paint a full picture of the market and make sense of the countless offerings out there, travel and leisure industry professionals collect public web data for travel aggregation to understand how visible and attractive their rates and offerings are in comparison with the competition.

A hotel chain, for example, could start by gathering all the publicly available rates of every single competitor out there. This consists of all the prices of every kind of room type, for each property, for the next 365 days, the different booking windows, as well as the accommodation attributes attached to it – this includes a gym, restaurant, balconies, breakfast, and so on, from every country around the world.

Using this small subset of information — compared to the vast amounts of web data out there — the hotel would be able to understand why the rates are set the way they are and the average acceptable price ranges for each level of service or accommodation being selected by consumers.

This allows them to find errors in their pricing strategies, while being able to maintain dynamic rates and update them multiple times a day, which is a true necessity in today’s online booking landscape.

So, just keep in mind that even though the prices of these services seem to fluctuate like the wind, each price change is fully calculated using decision-making backed by public web data. And we will see this very much in action this summer as the travel industry adjusts in real-time with the recent fuel price increases, rising inflation, cost of living as well as soaring car rental rates — hiking summer travel rates up a projected 15%.

The next time you wonder why every time you refresh your search feed for flights and the price seemingly changes, it’s because public web data is working in its purest form, helping you to buy better, travel smarter and enjoy some quality R&R, as you always intended.

Speak directly with Tamir on LinkedIn and find out how your business can achieve success using web data collection. 

For more information on how web data collection can help your business, please visit Bright Data