The future of tourism is smart. #smarttourism #smartdestination #smartattraction are commonly used. The Tourism, Technology & Data Cluster focuses on the strategic application of technologies in tourism and hospitality, and data analytics.

Our research expertise lies in the investigation of the adoption and use of a range of technology tools in the tourism sector. Equipped with interdisciplinary research experience spanning multiple areas, such as digital marketing, statistics, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, we aim to generate impactful research and actionable, data-driven insights to support businesses operating in the tourism sector.

Our members engage with visitors, destinations, attractions, communities, and destination management organisations. Working collaboratively with industry partners, we assist in the development of sustainable and resilient tourism.

The cluster is led by Dr Ewelina Lacka and Joshua Ryan-Saha.

View of Edinburgh from Carlton Hill
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Wikimedia Commons

Tourism Recovery post-COVID-19

 

To assist Edinburgh-based tourism businesses in their efforts to recover from the impact of COVID-19, we developed data-driven insights into key visitor markets that intend to visit Edinburgh and Scotland post-COVID-19, focusing on markets that can afford the visit. The insights generated can be used for strategic decision-making and marketing communication activities. In order to ensure that as many businesses as possible benefit from the insights, we developed an accessible and free online visualisation tool: tourism-insights-scotland.co.uk. This project, a collaboration between Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) and the cluster members, was funded by the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) programme.

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image of isle of skye
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Public Domain

Isle of Skye and Internet of Things
 

Working with the Destination Management Organization (DMO) for the Isle of Skye, we have developed a bespoke blueprint for a digital vehicle and visitor tracking system for hot spot sites on Skye. The tracking system generates data that could be analysed for forecasting and planning purposes by local stakeholders. It could also serve as a live streaming tool for optimising the timing of visits by patrons, essentially helping visitors in the scheduling of their visits to different sites of interest by nudging/dispersing them to various sites. Via this innovative digital solution, more sustainable and safer tourism can be promoted on Skye, while visitor experience is also enhanced.

This project was funded by The Interface.

Performer and crowd on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
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Wikimedia Commons

Festival Mobility

The Festival Mobility Project is a collaboration between members of The Edinburgh Festivals Transport Forum, which includes Transport Scotland, Transport for Edinburgh, The Edinburgh Festivals, Festivals Edinburgh, Transport Providers, Tourism Stakeholders, The University of Edinburgh’s Data Driven Innovation Programme (DDI) and The List.

We aim to help festivals and transport providers make more informed decisions to improve public transportation in Edinburgh and The Region, initially with specific attention to the three-week busy August Festival Period. Whilst the initial project focuses on a finite period during the peak festival period, the project has significant potential to provide a wider understanding of mobility into, around and within the City Region with the ultimate goal of improving year-round understanding of flows within the city, to inform future planning and placemaking.

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