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BBVA and Madrid City Council present an innovative study based on ‘big data’

The Dynamics of Tourism in the City of Madrid, a study of real commercial activity in 2012, analyzing tourist behavior based on this activity, using ‘Big Data’ technology. The study is the first practical result of the collaboration between BBVA and Madrid City Council in the area of promoting innovation and smart cities.

The Dynamics of Tourism in the City of Madrid, a study of real commercial activity in 2012The BBVA Innovation Center hosted the presentation of the study The Dynamics of Tourism in the City of Madrid, a study of real commercial activity in 2012. The work is the result of a year's collaboration between the Bank and Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau.
 
Taking part in the presentation were Hugo Nájera, BBVA's Chief Innovation Officer, together with Dolores Flores, general coordinator of Madrid City Council's Economy and Employment Department, and Mar de Miguel, general manager of Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau.

For BBVA, the Big Data concept is an approach based on intelligent management of digital information, analysis of which may help to inform the making of decisiones that result in improved living conditions for people”, observed Hugo Nájera. This revealing report, showing previously unknown information about visitors to Madrid, is part of BBVA's commitment to innovation, which it considers a springboard for growth, not only in its own business but in society as a whole.

This project is the first result of collaboration in the area of innovation agreed between BBVA and Madrid City Council. This work shows the capacities that grow from joining the concepts of the Smart City and Big Data, that is, combining the capacity to harness the data produced daily in city environments with the technologies for processing big data volumes, transforming them into information of value.
 
Mar de Miguel, general manager of Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau, underlined the importance of this initiative in the city's tourism strategy: "This collaboration with BBVA and the recent Tourism Intelligence Center (CIT) – a platform integrating the city's main tourism indicators and market information – are examples of how the City Council's search for new tools that allow it to orientate its tourism strategy and adapt it constantly to the new trends and circumstances in the sector”, she stated. 
 
The study analyzes the behavior of visitors to Madrid, with a degree of detail not known before, taking as its database the payments made with credit and debit cards in the city's shops and businesses. These data are treated anonymously and are aggregated to ensure the privacy of the users of these payment channels. The study took account of eight major tourism and commerce districts in Madrid: Barrio de Salamanca; Sol, Preciados & Plaza Mayor; Triball, Fuencarral & Chueca; Salesas; Argüelles, Princesa & Conde Duque; Barrio de Las Letras, Azca & Bernabéu; and Barajas & Campo de las Naciones.

First results

Its conclusions describe how visitors from the United States are those who generate most spending in the city of Madrid, followed by tourists from France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Brazil. By continents, however, it is European tourists that generate most activity in the Spanish capital, which saw spending by foreign tourists increase by 13.6% in 2012 in the districts analyzed in this study.
 
The report produced by BBVA also gives details of the economic impact of different events, including Madrid Gay Pride 2011 (MADO), a period in which consumption was up 24% over the same week in the previous month. The same calculation for the following year shows that MADO had an ever bigger economic impact in 2012, with a positive year-on-year change of 9%.
 
The study also analyzes the Puente de la Constitución public holiday, which records a 17% increase in spending by Madrid's residents, while purchases made by domestic visitors were 31% higher than the comparable annual average.
 
These are just some examples of the information gleaned from this study, which also allows us to find the different activities pursued by visitors to the city, and visitor profiles based on place of origin, gender, age and other demographic segmentation variables.
 
The final goal of this project is to gain almost real-time knowledge of tourist behavior patterns, which will provide such detailed information as to change forever the way we analyze and manage tourism in cities.

You can download the report now in PDF
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