Our economy is starting to recover, or so the data tells us.  It may be slow and tentative, but the places we live and work are visibly returning to greater levels of normality, as are those destinations popular with visitors.

However, uncertainty over the speed and shape of the recovery means that planning, development and marketing of destinations, typically assessed every few years, now needs to be updated with the ever-changing climate every few months.  This has led to a scramble for good data, and many of our partners that use T-Stats are reporting increased demand for figures to enable the planning of marketing budgets, promotions and calendars of events in their destinations, and ensure that products are marketed to the right segment at the right time.

Focus has also broadened from measuring core destination indicators such as accommodation occupancy and visits to attractions, to footfall, density of pedestrians, traffic counts, the number of businesses opened or closed, and COVID-19 cases.  These are giving a wider and more encompassing picture of what is happening in a place than has previously been the case.  There has been a shift whereby T-Stats is more than simply measuring the visitor economy to being central to decision making by a wide range of public sector departments such as planning, business support and funding.

The other significant trend that has emerged over the last three months is increased private sector engagement with public sector bodies.  This has emerged in part due to the distribution of financial support funds from local government, and the subsequent willingness of businesses to provide data in return, to enable better decision making at the local public sector level.  A greater level of mutual support and co-dependency is more evident than had been apparent in pre-COVID times.  For places using T-Stats, this means that businesses are more readily submitting data, and collectively this is generating larger and more useful bases of statistics for planning, marketing, attracting investors, and anything else that requires knowledge of a destination to make it a better place for residents and visitors.

So to make decisions based on sound facts, online locally-sourced and centralised data is critical, so that all stakeholders can contribute to it, access it and share it.  It also requires a system that is sufficiently flexible to allow new data streams to be added when changing situations require them, because places change continually – now more than ever, and therefore so must the methods for tracking them.

Take a look at our 90 second video on how T-Stats can help you on the journey to recovery, and beyond.

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