Rodney Payne on Tourism Sentiment Index by Destination Think

What do people say and think about a destination? The tools for answering this question used to be surveys at the point of check out, or questionnaires as follow up by email, after a visit. Those times are now over. Destination Think!, a leading destination marketing consultancy, just launched its Global Tourism Sentiment Index, benchmarking destinations in terms of buzz - quantity and tone (positive or negative). But how does it work, and which destinations are the most admired? To find out, we caught up with Rodney Payne, CEO of Destination Think!.

Rodney, what is the Global Tourism Sentiment Index about?

Destination marketers know that word of mouth influences travel behavior. Today, destinations can learn so much from what people say candidly online about the places they visit or live in. The Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI) gathers that enormous amount of data and presents it in a way that destination marketers and their stakeholders can instantly understand how their destination is performing. The initiative provides destinations with the most comprehensive consumer sentiment data available, in order to foster confident leadership. The index helps destinations explain what is going well in their place or destination, and what the challenges are.

The Global report that we published aggregates data across 100 different destinations that have received their own TSI report. The global index gives the industry a peek at what is performing well, what is performing not-so-well, how they might compare their performance to other destinations, and a taste of the data available to them.

This is only the beginning, this first report was a snapshot from our earliest partners. We're heading towards a much more comprehensive report across hundreds of destinations in Spring, 2019.

Why did you launch it?

In many of the large recent brand, strategy and marketing projects that Destination Think!’s team has led in recent years, online sentiment analysis has proven to be the most valuable research from which to draw insights. The Tourism Sentiment Index offers a report that makes this data available to any destination; simply and affordably.

For nearly a decade, Destination Think! has been helping destinations adapt to a world where word of mouth, amplified by technology, is the most powerful force impacting their destination's future. We've seen the power of word of mouth first-hand during our work with hundreds of tourism destinations.

Now our industry can measure and begin to manage that word of mouth. The data in TSI acts as a catalyst for destination management, and meaningful conversations with stakeholders.

Which are the top-performing destinations in terms of volume and overall sentiment?

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