Say bye to surveys and hello to online sentiment analysis: A guide for tourism boards

By Charlotte Slater, Program Associate of Trove Tourism Development Advisors

Sentiment analysis allows tourism boards to get a real-time pulse on what past and prospective travellers are saying about their destination. Through analysing the sentiment of text data, such as social media posts, online reviews, and customer feedback, tourism boards can determine whether the sentiment is positive, negative, or neutral. Additionally, online listening enables the monitoring and analysis of specific keywords, phrases, and mentions of a brand or product to gain insights into how people are talking about it.

All of this information can then be used to make informed decisions about marketing strategies and tourism development. Our agency, Trove Tourism Development Advisors, has many learnings from working with 25+ destinations on analysing traveller sentiment using our tool TroveSentiment. We have released our recent thought leadership piece, “A Guide: How Tourism Boards Can Effectively Analyse Traveller Sentiment”, to help you make the case to transition to sentiment analysis and to give you the tools you need to succeed with online listening tools.

Four reasons tourism boards should be using sentiment analysis and online listening tools

1. To better understand traveller preferences and behaviours:

By analysing social media posts and online reviews, tourism boards can gain insights into what travellers like and dislike about a destination, what activities and experiences they prefer, and how they behave while on vacation.

2. To keep track of brand reputation:

Tourism boards can monitor online conversations and mentions of their destination to track their brand reputation and identify areas for improvement. They can also respond to negative feedback and address any concerns that travellers may have.

3. To improve marketing and communication strategies:

By analysing conversations, tourism boards can gain insights into which marketing and communication strategies are resonating with travellers and adjust their strategies accordingly. They can also understand where these travellers are from and what their demographics are, helping tourism boards make marketing that much more targeted.

4. To improve tourism planning and development:

By understanding what people are saying about their destination, tourism boards can develop new tourism products that meet the needs of their target audience. For example, if people are saying that they are looking for more adventure, tourism boards can develop new tourism products that offer hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.

Four best practices for tourism boards to effectively use sentiment analysis and online listening tools

1. Choosing the right tools:

There are a variety of sentiment analysis and online listening tools available, so it's important to choose the right tools for your needs. Consider factors such as the types of data you want to analyse, the size of your budget, and the level of analysis you require. Here at Trove, we have developed a tool that is specific to the tourism industry. We are able to, in real time, filter all online conversations by ones directly related to travel and tourism-related conversations about your destination. This makes our tool directly tailored to tourism boards. You can find out more about TroveSentiment, the leading online listening tool for tourism boards, at the end of the article.

2. Defining your goals:

Before you start using sentiment analysis and online listening tools, define your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with these tools? What insights do you hope to gain? What KPIs will you be tracking?

3. Analysing a tailored range of data:

Sentiment analysis and online listening tools are great for analysing data such as online reviews and survey responses, and online listening tools can also provide insights from unstructured data such as social media posts and comments.

4. Evaluating metrics and KPIs on a regular basis:

Marketing, analytics and product development teams should plan to meet on a consistent basis to review trending data and apply findings to marketing and tourism product development plans.

Case Study 1: Cambodia

Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia wanted to measure consumer sentiment and conversations around Cambodia as a travel destination. By using a social listening tool, TroveSentiment, the Ministry is able to analyse the sentiment of certain market segments (e.g. France, Germany, UK, USA, Japan, and UAE) towards Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Koh Kong, and some competitor destinations. Based on the resulting comparative analysis and overall insights about key themes and topics, a market segmentation and a marketing strategy have been developed and included in the destination’s overall marketing plan.

Case Study 2: Japan

For Japan, it was important to understand the inbound market coming into the country and the potential for post-COVID arrivals. With a focus on the North American and European markets and their potential for MICE and business travel, TroveSentiment was used to capture insights on key conversations on Japan’s MICE offering as well as their distribution across different channels. This not only highlighted the importance of having a strong online presence and distributing content effectively across channels but helped develop targeted messaging and campaigns that effectively communicated Japan's unique value proposition to potential event and meeting planners.

Why It Matters: Sentiment analysis and online listening are powerful tools for tourism boards to gain deeper insights into travellers’ opinions and experiences. By analysing online data, tourism boards can understand traveller preferences and behaviours, track brand reputation, and improve their tourism development, marketing and communication strategies. By following best practices such as choosing the right tools, defining goals, analysing a tailored range of data, and evaluating metrics and KPIs on a regular basis, tourism boards can improve their overall destination offerings.

For more information on Trove Tourism Development Advisors and for a consultation session to learn more about how we can analyse traveller sentiment towards your destination, contact us.


Here at Trove, we have developed and configured our online listening tool - TroveSentiment - for the travel sector. We have worked with our technical team to filter all conversations only by ones directly related to travel and tourism-related conversations. This includes the destination, 150+ keywords related to the destination, and 150+ words that are "exclusion" words meant to make that tracker that much more specific.

With seven main components including:

  • Brand performance: How much travel and tourism conversations about a specific destination are trending?

  • Top themes: Conversations that are trending about travel and tourism related to a destination.

  • Sentiment: The positive, neutral, and negative sentiment related to travel and tourism to a destination and how it changes based on geography or demography.

  • Audience analysis: Who is talking about a destination's travel and tourism product the most?

  • Influencers: Who is influencing the conversation about travel and tourism to a destination and on which online and social media channel?

  • Location: Geographies in which travellers are having trending conversations.

  • Conversations: Where are conversations related to travel and tourism to a destination trending across online and social media channels?

TroveSentiment is the ultimate all-in-one tool for tourism boards working to more effectively analyse traveller sentiment.

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