This article talks about mobile network data that is originally collected for network quality purposes and can also be translated into smart insights that empower better decision-making for Swisscom clients. We take an example in the tourism sector with the famous Crans-Montana resort.
Text: Yann Steimer,
Crans-Montana is one of the major tourist destinations in Valais; it is hosting prestigious events throughout the year from world-class ski competitions to horse jumping and golf tournaments. To adapt accommodation and infrastructure needs, it is crucial for the tourist office and the authorities to know the genuine demand as well as better understand visitors’ movements and behaviors.
The Mobility Insights Platform is a web-based platform that provides insights on the flows of visitors as well as demographics data for a defined area and time period. The data, originally collected from the mobile network for quality reasons, is first anonymized, aggregated and then transformed into meaningful insights by using big data and machine learning algorithms.
You can see an example of our technical capabilities in the following video:
The tourist office of Crans-Montana chose the two weeks of Christmas 2018 and decided to analyze the following area of interest (in purple) across the municipalities of Crans-Montana (in green), Lens (in red) and Icogne (in blue).
View of the area of interest (in purple) across the municipalities of Crans-Montana (in green), Lens (in red) and Icogne (in blue)
When they looked at the origins of their incoming visitors, they were surprised to see that the top 10 locations were all based in Valais. This can be explained by the fact that those are not the home locations of the visitors but the origins of their last trip prior to arrival in the ski station.
Origins of visitors for the Crans-Montana area of interest: drilling down to the Sion municipality where 23'597 traveled from there to go to Crans-Montana during the two holiday Christmas weeks of 2018.
In fact, the Mobility Insights Platform works the following way: It detects mobile phone movements and records a trip until the phone stays fixed at a position for more than 20 minutes. When it moves again, it will start a second trip until it stops again and so on.
So, a first learning was that at least 15% of visitors do a stopover in Sion or Sierre (probably for grocery shopping) before driving the last part to get to Crans-Montana.
We also looked at the visitors’ municipality of residence and discovered that guests from Lausanne and Geneva are part of the top 10.
Another very interesting insight we introduced was the tourists’ country of origin. Apparently, the Italians are the first foreign visitors to the resort during Christmas and New Year.
The tourist office also used the platform to compute day by day the evolution of trips entering and leaving the area. They saw immediately the importance of New Year’s Eve during which a lot of visitors came to the station.
The Mobility Insights Platform has been originally built to suit cities, urban planning and transport optimization needs and hence shows mostly mobility-based information. Other insights related to the population density of an area as well as its evolution over time would be very valuable for new segments like tourism as well as events and retail. New developments from Mobility Insights are already in progress to suit these needs.
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