Project Description

The Dominican Republic – Ministry of Tourism

“The capacity to anticipate future arrivals has become key to tackle the effects of this pandemic in the tourism sector. Forwardkeys has provided the Dominican Republic with the proper tools to construct a realistic and efficient action plan. In these rapidly changing times, our marketing and international cooperation strategies rely deeply on the upcoming future.”

Enrique Penson

Intelligence Unit
The Dominican Republic – Ministry of Tourism

The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism oversees both the regulation and promotion side of the sector. On the promotion side, it handles not only top-of-mind presence and marketing efforts directly to consumers but also the promotion of new air routes that allow the country to penetrate new markets or broaden the market penetration in existing ones.

The background

Destination Marketing Challenges

The marketing team faced the challenge of identifying potentially untapped direct air routes allowing tourists immediate arrival in the Dominican Republic without any stopovers.

However, obstacle 1 – the type of microdata that would allow this kind of analysis is not currently collected locally in the country.

Obstacle 2 – the marketing team needed to concentrate its budget and efforts in markets that are still producing high ticket sales despite the pandemic. Destination marketing needed to resume, just better reach audiences who were still flying, despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

“As a destination marketing strategy that does not take that into account, especially the effect of the current COVID-19 lockdowns, would waste their budget in efforts with no immediate returns,” said Enrique Penson, Intelligence Unit of Dominican Republic – Ministry of Tourism

The solution

ForwardKeys’ Data solutions

With the ForwardKeys data, the Intelligence Unit selected the United States as the main source market focus, since they could see its importance through the historical data, and use forward-looking ticketing data, revealing that the other important historical markets for the Dominican Republic were still not producing high volumes of ticket sales because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Then, to guide their business intelligence strategy forward, they used the information reported in the segmentation of the number of inbound gateways by trip origin city in flights to the Dominican Republic.

“We evaluated which origin trip cities in the US had both an average of more than 20-30% of passengers travelling to the Dominican Republic through an intermediate stop and were amongst the top 20 tourism-emitting cities for the Dominican Republic,” said Penson.

Furthermore, to reinforce the newly shaping marketing strategy they closely kept track of their competitors.

“This monitoring focus helped us evaluate the effectiveness of our measures during COVID-19 times as new waves were announced around the world,” Penson wisely added.

The outcome

What was the outcome?

Following this analysis of data, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, travelled to the United States, specifically to the newly discovered top tourism-connecting cities for the Dominican Republic (in terms of quantity of travellers) to set up a joint agenda for better tourism and trade relations.

“Now the whole sector will pursue this new focus on the key US cities for transfer flights and improve flight connectivity via new routes identified through the ForwardKeys data,” said Penson.

“How the Dominican Republic has handled the pandemic is truly inspiring. It encourages other destinations to think outside the box and apply more data-supported business decisions to find other ways of generating tourism on newer channels to perhaps different source markets even during a crisis,” adds Juan Gomez, Insights Expert at ForwardKeys.

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