Project Description

The Dominican Republic – Ministry of Tourism

“The capacity to anticipate future arrivals has become key to tackling the effects of this pandemic in the tourism sector. Forwardkeys has provided the Dominican Republic with the right tools to construct a realistic and efficient action plan. In these rapidly changing times, our marketing and international cooperation strategies rely deeply on an ability to predict the near 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 its market penetration in existing ones.

Destination marketing challenges

The marketing team faced the challenge of identifying untapped direct air routes allowing tourists immediate arrival in the Dominican Republic without any stopovers. However, the type of microdata that would allow this kind of analysis was not collected in the country.

Furthermore, the marketing team had to concentrate its budget and efforts on markets that were still producing high ticket sales despite the pandemic. Destination marketing had to resume, but with focus on audiences who were still flying despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

“Planning a destination marketing strategy that does not take into account the effect of current Covid-19 lockdowns is wasting budget on efforts with no immediate returns,” said Enrique Penson, Intelligence Unit of Dominican Republic – Ministry of Tourism

ForwardKeys’ data solutions

With ForwardKeys’ historical data revealing the importance of the United States as a source market for the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Tourism’s Intelligence Unit made the country its main focus. Meanwhile, ForwardKeys’ forward-looking ticketing data showed that other typically important source markets were still not yielding high ticket sales due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

To guide its business intelligence strategy, the Ministry of Tourism used the information reported in the segmentation of the number of inbound gateways by trip origin city in flights to the Dominican Republic.

“We identified which trip origin cities in the US had an average of more than 20–30% of passengers travelling to the Dominican Republic via a stopover and were amongst the top 20 tourism-emitting cities for the Dominican Republic,” said Penson.

Furthermore, to reinforce its newly shaping marketing strategy, the Ministry of Tourism kept close track of its competitors.

“Monitoring our competitors helped us to evaluate the effectiveness of our measures during Covid-19 times as new waves were announced around the world,” added Penson.

The outcome

Following the data analysis, 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 number 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,” adds Juan Gomez, Insights Expert at ForwardKeys. “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.”

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