Deploying Hadoop-based big data tools in the travel industry

For many communities, tourism drives the local economy. This is especially true during summer, when millions of travelers board planes to visit coastal getaways and resort towns. When so much hinges on the performance of a single industry, maximizing the performance of that sector is essential to maintaining regional sustainability. That is why so many businesses involved in the tourism and travel industries have deployed big data resources such as Apache Hadoop to identify new avenues for growth and improve revenue streams.

As travel industry expert Frederic Gonzalo noted in a recent article appearing on Business 2 Community, companies have a massive quantity of information available to them, if they choose to use it. However, many organizational leaders can become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data flowing into company systems. Simply storing and processing that information can be a Herculean task, much less extracting any useful information out of it. Hadoop has emerged as the standard solution for solving the inherent challenges presented by big data analytics. Hadoop clusters provide users with ample room to safely store large data sets.

Getting the most out of available data
The Hadoop architecture has been specifically designed to process both structured and unstructured data. So much available information is contained within unorthodox sources such as videos, audio files and email, and depriving analytics projects of that data can place researchers at a disadvantage. Gonzalo explained that the travel and tourism industries can especially benefit from unstructured data due to the overwhelming popularity of travel websites. These sites are filled with reviews, comments, blogs and other sources of valuable consumer information. Businesses can leverage that data to gain better insight into the mindset of their current and potential customers and make changes to their engagement efforts accordingly.

A report released by reservation services company Amadeus recently examined the ways that various members of the travel industry have deployed data analytics tools and the benefits they gained, InformationWeek reported. Amadeus vice president Herve Couturier explained that consumers consider different variables when choosing their travel packages, meaning companies have to be more flexible with their customer engagement practices. To account for the myriad factors informing client behavior, travel companies can leverage the superior processing power of data analytics tools such as those built upon a Hadoop platform.

"It's no longer just about finding the cheapest or the shortest flight, it's about finding the most-favored flight that has the positive sentiment, the destination with better weather or the better family hotel," Couturier stated. He continued, "We're seeing tangible, pragmatic business benefits using big data, whether it's to increase the look-to-book ratio, decrease the cost of operations, boost revenue yields or increase customer satisfaction."

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