Smart Islands vs touristic saturation

The sustainable development of tourism, main theme in the World Smart Islands Congress.

Last April, the second edition of the Smart World Islands Congress was held in Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), where a total of 100 islands from all over the world met to jointly seek solutions to the new tourism challenges in the present and future.

Among the most important topics, the need to develop sustainable models of touristic development was discussed, as well as the economic and technologic development, and the exchange of knowledge between the islands.

During the last years an increasing of the touristic pressure has been detected, witch is exacerbated during the summer season in the main Mediterranean Island destinations, reaching to triple the population, with its consequent effects: lack of resources, saturation of services, generation of waste, as well as coexistence problems with the local inhabitants.

With the aim of alleviating these effects and preserving the territory, some islands are already developing control measures, such as limiting the number of tourists per day in Capri, advance ticket sales in Murano and Burano, or limiting the entry of vehicles in Formentera and Ibiza, among others.

Through the touristic Big Data analysis, Mabrian Technologies’ platform offers the way to identify and predict possible saturation problems of the destinations, measuring months beforehand such important data as flight searches, effective bookings, or the intention to travel to a destination at a global level, through the analysis of Social Networks. In addition, the study of the interactions in Social Media in relation to a destination, during and after the visit, allows to understand concrete interests and satisfaction levels with the main touristic indicators of the destination, the hotel satisfaction or the security perception, among others.

Taking as an example 5 Mediterranian islands throughout 2017: Menorca, Mallorca, Mykonos, Santorini and Capri, we can clearly see how the volume of mentions increases considerably during the summer season, being an indicator that clearly shows that these are the months of more touristic pressure. However, the Global Satisfaction index (GTPi) calculated by Mabrian for these destinations doesn’t seem to be affected during the high season, showing values even higher than the annual average during July and August. All the destinations exceed the average score of 80 points (out of 100), being Capri the best valuated island with 90,23 points in the index GTPi.

As it is well known, the main travel motivation of the different origin markets to the 5 islands, is the sun and beach product. Mabrian Technologies allows to listen and analyze, not only the most demanded venues or products by the visitors, but as well allows to discover potentials to be developed. Those can be opportunities to create new products that help to deseasonalize the destination, distributing the touristic pressure in a more homogeneous way.

Thus we can observe, for example, how Cultural and Natural products obtain a large volume of mentions in almost all the islands, and also the Active and Gastronomic. This information, followed by a more exhaustive study of the interests and perceptions of each one of the origin markets and different seasons of the year, provides very valuable information when making decisions. This helps to establishing a long-term strategic approach based on making the most of the resources and the sustainability of the destination.

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