Wouter Veenstra, product manager for data insights at travel tech company Kiwi.com, explains how travel data can best be employed.
We all know that data is crucial to business, but it’s how you make use of that data that matters. Initially, data delving was the realm of the big players investing in insights, but now no business can afford not to use data for optimal decision-making.
For the travel industry, data is essential and access to booking data is commonplace – understanding destinations, dates and prices – but what about beyond that?
Knowing the audience before the moment of booking, the point of consideration, shows the traveller’s true needs or desires. Data insights are now available from the point of search and at Kiwi.com, thanks to our innovative algorithm and the processing of 100 million searches every day, there is access to this valuable information.
With search data analysed correctly, we can understand journey preferences prior to the click-to-book and with historical search data, such as we have at Kiwi.com, it’s possible to compare the ratio of searches and bookings retrospectively.
Understanding search data
You may wonder why the rise in the value of search data only recently became apparent. This is because not everyone understood how to work with it. The value of search data dramatically rose in the period of Covid; people couldn’t book their travels (so there was no booking data), but they could search for destinations they would like to visit and when. This insight helped travel players understand their audience and get ready to welcome them back.
Adjusting your supply by understanding the demand
Search data allows travel players to understand the type of travellers, the routes they are interested in, the time they would like to travel and how to monetize their insights. At Kiwi.com, we have many fields in the search data set that help understand the traveller and can tailor accordingly, based on predefined criteria. Understanding and characterising a traveller makes it possible to analyse further if there’s enough suitable supply and if the offer is right. Just because a route is served, doesn’t automatically mean that all demand for that route is met.
For example, tourism boards, considering their ideal traveller profile, can set up their campaign addressing those already interested and attracting them at the time of search. If a passenger searches for a route that doesn’t exist or doesn’t support high demand, it brings an opportunity to adjust and tailor the offer to the passenger’s needs. Search insights can show the types of travellers interested in the offer that don’t book because of high price or inconvenient days of availability. Search data can see this missed potential through the ratio of Search vs Book, showing how many travellers were interested in the offer, but didn’t continue to the booking stage.
Search insights for all
Kiwi.com searches help airlines and airports quantify demand and open new routes. Tourism boards and DMOs [Destination Marketing Organisations] also benefit from our search intel, locating their ideal travellers and running targeted campaigns, bringing them to the destination and therefore contributing to the local economy.
Kiwi.com analyses different types of travellers and combines demand with supply – prices and available routes across low-cost, legacy airlines and ground transport. Our booking engine is connected with the travel ecosystem, including major meta players and airlines in the USA, Europe, the Middle East, and APAC, giving us a broad global picture of different travel markets. We also work with industry regulatory bodies and governments to optimise European airspace, passenger traffic, and connect cities.
Search data does not impinge on an individual’s privacy, as during a search, you do not capture any personal information as the data collection happens prior to booking. What it identifies is potential demand and preferences.