Working strategically with Big Data in the tourism sector: a qualitative study of twelve European destination management organisations


This article presents the results of 12 semi-structured in-depth interviews with data experts from destination management organisations across Europe. The analysis revealed three overarching themes concerning the use of Big Data in the tourism sector: (1) size matters when it comes to utilising the information from Big Data sources – bigger is not perhaps better, but larger companies are more capable of harvesting the full potentials of the information; (2) companies lack the required competencies to work with Big Data strategically; and (3) one of the proposed solutions from the respondents was surprisingly a desire to share their data with the competitors thereby gaining a competitive leverage. Concluding on the above we suggest further areas for potential research: clarification of relevant competencies when working with Big Data, furthering collaboration between tourism companies to maximise the potential of sharing, and research into the effect on COVID-19 on Big Data and strategy.

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