A profile of Spanish tourists who travel around Europe

They are mostly under 35, mainly interested in culture and gastronomy, and show positive perceptions of their experiences in general and in particular regarding Berlin and Paris. These are some of the features of the Spanish traveller who chooses European destinations, based on the analysis of millions of tourist mentions shared by Spaniards during their trips on Social Media. The study has been carried out by Mabrian Technologies in collaboration with Interface Tourism Spain.

Spain is still primarily a receptive tourist destination. The majority of Spaniards (91.2%), choose domestic destinations for their holidays, as shown in the “Residents tourist survey” by the National Statistics Institute in Spain (INE) for the second quarter of 2018. Even so, a notable increase in trips abroad has been noticed in the last few years. In total, 4.47 million trips, 8.8% of the total, according to the mentioned survey.

Mabrian Technologies, in collaboration with Interface Tourism Spain, has carried out a study of Spanish tourists who travel to any of the four main tourist capitals in Europe (according to European Marketing Cities Benchmarking Report 2018). To do so, the company which specializes in tourist Big Data analytics has analysed 324,190 tourist mentions shared on Social Media from Spanish users in relation to the destinations: London, Paris, Rome and Berlin.

Furthermore, 11,229 hotel reviews from 783 hotels have been analysed as well. The study spans the period of 1st January to 31st October 2018.

The Travel Intelligence platform created by Mabrian Technologies enables the analysis of all those mentions by using Language Natural Processing techniques. This technology permits the identification of interests and perceptions of the Spanish tourists that visit those cities. Thus, specific profiles of the users can be drawn, to better understand their motivations and offer them a more accurate service based on their preferences.

The perception and satisfaction indexes calculated by Mabrian indicate that on average, Spanish tourists shows a higher global satisfaction from their visit to Paris or Berlin than to Rome or London. This global satisfaction is measured by aggregating more specific satisfaction indicators, related to satisfaction with the tourist products, the accommodation services and the perception regarding security and climate. It has been observed that the global satisfaction index has been penalised for London by a drop in the perceived security* during that period and for Rome due to its lower hotel satisfaction index.

With respect to the tourist products that attract the most attention from Spanish visitors, culture is the one that generates the most interest, specifically in Rome. This is followed by gastronomy, which is the second most important factor in London, Paris and Rome.

On the other hand, some differences in the other incentives for Spanish visitors have been noted. Berlin and London stand out for their nightlife, Paris for family trips, and Rome for active tourism.

Advanced analysis of the data collected from Social Media also allows Mabrian Technologies to draw a demographic profile of the users by facial recognition techniques. According to this, we can observe that the average age of the visitors to Paris is comparatively lower than the other analysed destinations (66.5% under 35). Visitors to London or Rome, are on average older (over 18% are above 45).

To complete the study of these tourists, the perception and satisfaction levels with the accommodation services has also been analysed. By using the semantic analysis of the hotel reviews shared on the main review sites (11,229 reviews from 783 hotels), it has been concluded that Berlin is the capital with the highest hotel satisfaction index, while Rome is the destination with the lowest rating.

If we analyse the hotel services by category, London leads the satisfaction rating in the 3-star hotel category, and Berlin in the 4-star category, while similar values are shown for the 5-star hotels in both destinations. Regarding Spanish guests’ reviews about the different aspects of the hotel services, the location, the staff and the cleanliness are the best valued, whereas there is room for improvement in the room and the reception areas.

Considering the information revealed by the study, Interface Tourism Spain, a specialist consultancy firm in tourism, claims that “the utility of this data is unquestionable to better segment the Spanish market, and enable travel agencies, tour operators and destination managers to meet the demands of their campaigns and ensure a higher return on investment”.

As for Mabrian Technologies, the firm argues that “the tourist sector must not overlook the data currently available in the decision making process. The market evolves too fast to count on only historical and dated data”.

*The death of a Spanish tourist in strange circumstances in a hotel in London, significantly impacted significantly London’s perceived security for Spaniards. See news article: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-43310296

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