Interesting results from a survey conducted by EyeforTravel to identify trends in data sourcing shows the influence of social media when consider product strategy.
A study of "hundreds" of product developers, route planners and investors in travel, tourism and hospitality found that while so-called traditional information providers, such as global distribution systems, WTTC, UNWTO and industry associations, were still considered important, newer sources are also coming into play.
Almost 60% of those surveyed said they rate Facebook data as an "Average" to "Excellent" source for creating new products, compared to 55% for GDS data.
Industry association information and reports were considered less influential than GDS data, the report found.
Google Analytics came out as the best source of external data, with 86% of product developers considering it useful.
EyeforTravel managing director Tim Gunstone says:
"Better data sourcing, analysis and management is viewed as by far the best data to create new products with 81% saying improving the use of internal data is key to improving the profitability and performance of the products the travel industry creates."
The report claims the findings are significant considering the "high costs of buying GDS data" compared to what is essentially free information from social networks such as Facebook.
NB:More information about the forthcoming Product Development Strategies conference by EyeforTravel.