4 Market Research Options for the Travel & Tourism Industry

After hitting the pause button, the American travel and tourism industry appears to be revving back up. 

For instance, our studies show that while 44% of respondents have not traveled domestically in the past 6 months, 75% plan to travel outside state lines within the next 6 months.

With screenings at airports across the country hitting a high spot since the beginning of the pandemic, people are ready to hit the road and climb the skies.

And as people begin to plan their revenge travel, now is the time to better understand who is visiting, why they’re visiting, their expectations when traveling, and how the travel and tourism industry can improve guest experiences.

This post will share several different market research options for those in the travel and tourism industry.

Any one of these types of market research methods detailed below can be used to inform your organization’s marketing and other business strategies.

Market Research Options for the Travel & Tourism Industry

Option #1: On-Site Intercept Surveys

Intercept surveys are one of the quickest ways to capture accurate and relevant information from the people spending time at your destination.

What better place to gather insight from visitors than at the most pivotal points of their visit?

Intercept surveys are a form of quantitative research and can be conducted wherever there’s a steady flow of visitors. Think airports, museums, hotels, stadiums, and more!

Typically, a market research company like Drive Research would send a team member to administer the survey via a tablet or other smart device.

The visitor can take the survey themselves or the team member can record the visitors’ responses on the device.

The Benefit of On-Site Intercept Surveys for the Travel and Tourism Industry

With the ability to collect data even in an offline environment, intercept surveys are great for getting feedback from people as their visit/interaction is still fresh in their minds.

  • Did they enjoy their visit?
  • Could any improvements be made?
  • How far did they travel to the venue?

You can get answers to these questions and so much more.

For more about the process behind this type of travel and tourism market research option, read Case Study: Airport Uses Intercept Surveys to Create Customer Personas.

Option #2: Ad Concept Testing

Have you and your team created new and improved advertisements to showcase all that your city or region has to offer?

If so, you’ve probably put a lot of effort into them. Don’t let that go to waste!

Ad concept testing can be done in several different ways. 

The most common types of ad concept testing for the travel and tourism sector includes:

  • Focus groups
  • Online surveys

Focus Groups for Ad Concept Testing

Focus groups are a qualitative approach to ad concept testing.

They commonly involve a market research company specializing in travel and tourism to recruit a mix of individuals to come together either in-person or virtually.

During the group discussion, your target audience shares real-time feedback on various aspects of the advertisements you have created.

This allows for a more in-depth discussion about the advertisements and provides you with greater insight as to how the advertisement may be perceived by potential guests or visitors.

Online Surveys for Ad Concept Testing

Alternatively, you can employ an online survey that asks a random audience to evaluate the advertisements and explain which one they prefer.

Here, you can use the data collected to compare the advertisements side by side. 

Interested in learning more? Watch our short video on the benefits of ad concept testing surveys.

Option #3: Visitor or Traveler Surveys

Visitor surveys are not only a great way to better understand the people visiting your location, but to also evaluate the success of any past or current marketing campaigns.

As a quantitative form of market research, visitor surveys can provide a boatload of insight.

Here, you can ask questions to better understand who’s visiting you, why they’ve decided to visit, and where they’ve come from.

Visitor surveys are great tools for creating traveler personas, which allow you to visualize the kind of person who visits your destination!

Additionally, this option for travel and tourism market research is a good channel for evaluating the success of your marketing efforts.

  • Did the visitor see an advertisement online about the area?
  • Was there something on the radio in their city?

With visitor surveys, you can ask travelers how they perceived your marketing materials and then make adjustments as needed!

Recommended Reading: 7 Tips to Help With Traveler and Tourism Surveys

Option #4: Online Reputation Management

It's universally understood that what goes online, typically stays there forever.

But what if you had the magical ability to shift consumers’ attention to something that casts your destination in a more positive light? 

Well, it's not actually magic, but rather what we like to call Online Reputation Management (ORM).

Essentially, ORM involves adding new, positive content to the internet that then pushes the older, negative material to the end of the line (i.e. lower in the search results).

After successfully arranging your new content, you’ll have to continue doing so, or else the old material will resurface at the top of the search results after a few months.

ORM is incredibly useful for hiding those one or two negative online reviews that keep popping up, or for keeping new, fresh current events involving your destination in the minds of future guests.

Here are a few resources to help understand the magnitude of reputation management:

Contact Our Travel & Tourism Market Research Firm

Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in the travel and tourism industry. We partner with various airlines, hotels, museums, and stadiums across the country to deliver data-driven insights. 

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Contact our team today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Devan Grant

Devan's love for learning serves him well as a market research professional. With two years of both quantitative and qualitative research in the healthcare space under his belt, he knows what it takes to answer some of the toughest market research questions.

Learn more about Devan, here.

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