Travel Websites Personalize with First-Party Data

Personalization|4 Minute Read

Travel Websites Personalize with First-Party Data

Destination marketing organizations (DMO) need to attract visitors to their destination through relevant messaging, provide a breadth of relevant activities, and ultimately, get travelers to partake in tourism at their destination.

To stand out, travel websites need to use first-party data to appeal to the wants and needs of each individual traveler and understand their preferences. However, with audiences becoming more concerned with privacy, obtaining first-party data requires transparency and trust.  

In today’s dynamic marketing world, you have to capture an individual’s attention while marketing to a broad and often diverse audience. As a DMO, you might have three specific goals for first-party data:  

  • Manage data usage and consent for first-party data collection  
  • Unify your data to have a rich understanding of the visitor’s preferences, history, and actions across platforms  
  • Enable real-time personalization to serve up relevant travel information and experiences

We’ve outlined how a CDP can help you achieve these goals.  

Leveraging consent management tools for data collection

According to research by Skift, destination websites believe that travelers are willing to share their information, despite privacy concerns, to plan their perfect trip.

In part, this stems from the fact that DMOs are often asking for information that isn’t too personal- such as preferred weather or activities.

You’re collecting data because you want to know whether a traveler wants to see museums or experience outdoor adventures. But data collection outside of those preferences, like cookie collection, poses another challenge.

By leveraging GDPR compliance solutions, and asking for low-stakes information, you have an opportunity to collect data in a compliant way.

Take, the Dutch Tourism Board’s main website, for example.

When GDPR rolled out in Europe, they struggled to personalize the onsite experience to a majority of individual travelers – only 28% of site visitors were opting into their consent policy.

To deliver a personalized web experience to each visitor, used BlueConic’s end-to-end GDPR solution to manage consent on an individual levelThey A/B tested different consent messages and placements to find the optimal one and increased their GDPR consent rate to 75%. 

Harnessing first-party data with persistent profiles

So, now that you have traveler’s consent to use data, you want to get a single view of the traveler by collecting their interactions with your website, track direct mail, email opens for your owned sites as well as partner and affiliate sites.

The problem is getting all your marketing systems to talk to one another can be difficult. But using a CDP, like BlueConic, you can collect data on both known and anonymous users across various marketing channels.

As a traveler explores your site or receives direct mail from you or your partners, data about their interactions and preferences are stored in a persistent profile.  

For example, you send a “Surf & Scuba Guide” to John, whose mailing address is in your CRM system. John is also exploring family-friendly activities on your website and is not currently subscribed to your newsletter.

Using a CDP, you could nudge John to sign up for your newsletter to receive discounts on a partner’s surf shop, or to get the latest information on family-friendly activities at your destination, and in the process, collect his email address for further communications.   

Using real-time personalization to drive visits

Over one-third of travel companies who measure the ROI of personalized marketing surveyed in Skift’s Research found that personalized tactics generate significantly higher ROIs than non-personalized.

Personalization on websites is on the rise with DMOs.  

There are a few ways to personalize your website experience with BlueConic:  

  •, Bend Oregon’s tourism board, recently re-launched its website with a focus on personalization and saw a 15% increase in returning visitors. To maintain transparency and build out a personalized experience, they encourage site visitors to create an account with them, save their itinerary, and save their preferences. Using BlueConic, builds persistent profiles of their visitors that update in real time with these preferences.  
  • Visit Savannah, on the other hand, uses the traveler’s current location to dynamically change the destination of a pop-up message on their website. Using BlueConic, the “Flights from” destination changes based on a traveler’s location to facilitate booking a flight.


With a CDP, tourism boards can create meaningful, personalized experiences in a compliant way.

Whether you need to unify data across on and offline channels or cater to diverse audience needs, BlueConic can provide a platform to help you get a unified view of your customer and market to travelers based on that data.

What is a CDP

See what BlueConic can do for you.

Whether you’re looking for operational efficiencies or improved marketing effectiveness through data activation, our customer data platform can help.