Big Data and Artificial Intelligence solutions for the tourism industry

Telefónica Tech    27 September, 2022
Photo: Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash

Big Data technologies and Artificial Intelligence techniques offer an infinite world of opportunities in all sectors of the economy, and especially in tourism. We are talking about having the ability to understand the real needs of tourists, as well as making it possible to optimise the resources of cities, allowing the activity to be more environmentally sustainable.

The tourism sector, which generates one out of every ten jobs in the world, is aware of the importance of applying Information and Communication Technologies in its areas of activity.

As the World Tourism Organisation rightly mentions, applying innovation in the tourism industry will allow the sector to stay at the forefront of business models by generating initiatives associated with digital transformation, which increase the knowledge of tourists and improve decision-making.

Mobile device use, a social revolution

Parallel to the technological revolution that all sectors are experiencing, the so-called social revolution is present in all of us. Tourists are becoming busier, more connected and on the move through mobile devices. They leave footprints for us to know through their connections, what we call “digital footprints”.

This information, applied in the context of associated data protection, allows public and private entities to make decisions for the intelligent development of tourist destinations, helping to obtain a 360º vision of the tourist in order to anticipate their needs and adapt public services to the visitor’s reality.

Several years ago, Telefónica, as a global telecommunications company and through its company Telefónica Tech, began the path of providing solutions in line with the digital footprint that our customers leave us. Anonymously, aggregated and extrapolated, with the prior consent of the customer, we are able to generate information that helps in commercial decision-making.

In the words of Gonzalo Martín-Villa, Global Director of Telefónica Tech AI of Things, our mission as a technology company has always been “to drive the digitalisation of companies and organisations so that, using technology, they can be more efficient and competitive”.

What information do tourists leave us with their connections?

Dynamic data from the mobile network are obtained from the analysis of the real behaviour of national tourists, always anonymously, respecting data protection, which allow us to extract insights on origin, segmentation, volume, location, length of stay and behaviour at the tourist’s destination.

Based on the study of variables such as tourist activity, length of stay and origin, several questions can be answered such as:

  • How many tourists visited my city?
  • What periods have the highest flow of tourists?
  • How long do tourists stay in the municipality?
  • Which areas do they choose to spend the night??

Faced with a permanently connected tourist, in search of personalised experiences, insights extracted from the mobile data network, and the application of technologies such as Big Data, advanced analytics, IoT and Artificial Intelligence, become essential allies to help the tourism sector understand behavioural patterns and improve the offer.


Without a doubt, being able to approach at the right time, with the right information, and provide services in accordance with the real needs of tourists, will be the competitive advantage in any activity in the tourism sector.

All this will allow us to become data-driven organisations, i.e. organisations where data becomes the most relevant asset for decision-making, being able to make decisions based on the reality that surrounds us, and no longer on inferences or intuition.

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