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SECTUR have presented a pioneering project for the application of big data

The study, “Big Data and Tourism”, has been developed by BBVA Data & Analytics – BBVA’s data analysis center of excellence – and will help Mexican authorities to strengthen the design of public policies to boost the orderly growth of tourism activity in Mexico, which represents 8.7% of GDP.

In this first stage, the project has collected information on the commercial behaviour of 86 million users of national and foreign bank cards during one year, in 12 statistical analyses, which include the 111 Magic Villages and the main tourist corridors of the country. Of these more than 20 million are customers of BBVA Bancomer. In one year, 1.5 billion transactions were recorded for a total of 813 billion Mexican pesos. The “Big Data and Tourism” project was developed in strict compliance with the rules on data protection and user privacy

The study

The massive adoption of big data technology has led to the generation of contextual, geo-referenced and user-mobility related information. Given this situation, BBVA Bancomer, BBVA Data&Analytics and SECTUR have collaborated to extract and analyze large amounts of data in order to describe the activity of a territory. This analysis, which is carried out by studying the fingerprint of visitors, shows, for example, that Cancun mainly attracts foreign visitors from the USA and Argentina, while in Cozumel the main expenditure made by Mexicans was on restaurants and travel.

The information used for this analysis comes from the activity of 100% of national users of BBVA Bancomer credit and debit cards who visited and made electronic payments on site during 2014 and 2015, in addition to the activity of international users who made at least one transaction at one of BBVA Bancomer’s Point-of-Sale terminals (POS) during the second half of 2015. The data used have been anonymized and the results correspond to aggregate data statistics. It should be noted that this is the first time an analysis of this type has been carried out in Mexico, where information from the financial sector is analysed and monitored digitally.

All the information, infrastructure, displays and the database for the electronic payment systems came from BBVA Bancomer, and the analytical tools, results and generation of statistical and geographic displays were provided by BBVA Data & Analytics. The Mexican Secretary of Tourism has had experts to interpret the statistics and draw up the conclusions of the study. The main conclusions of the study are:

Expenditure by international tourists is concentrated in Playa del Carmen, an area where approximately 35% of the total expenditure recorded in the destination by this type of visitor takes place. On the other hand, national tourists have more presence in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, representing respectively 25% and 27% of the total expenditure in the destination.

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