UNWTO Big Data for Better Tourism Policy, and Sustainable Recovery

An 86-page text-heavy report prepared by UNWTO and the Asian Development Bank which considers the topic of Big Data on the back of accelerated digitalisation brought about by the pandemic. 

It is argued that big data cannot only support recovery but is critical for guiding future decision making and planning.  However, the report describes in detail some of the barriers which stand in the way of some destinations in taking full advantage of big data including lack of financial resources, privacy concerns, skills gaps, data reliability and inadequate governance and infrastructure. 

The report is helpful in defining big data in a tourism context, discussing data sourced from tourism entities as well as broader non-tourism data that helps shine a light on trends. 

A helpful section describes the ‘5 V’s of Big Data’, namely Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity and Value. 

A chapter is dedicated to describing how governments are using tourism big data before an in-depth exploration of the many challenges and limitations faced by those wishing to embrace big data.  Case studies focus on the use of Big Data across Asia-Pacific. 

The ways in which big data could potentially support tourism’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic are presented followed by a discussion relating to the role that big data might be able to play in ensuring this recovery is sustainable. 

In addition to setting out a number of conclusions the report ends with a series of policy recommendations ahead of a useful Appendix which looks at the skills required for Big Data collection and analysis.

Download UNWTO Big Data for Better Tourism Report