Published May 12 2023

Reading time: 10 min

The observatory holds a strategic place in decision-making at the local and inter-municipal level. Observe and analyze with the aim of understanding and co-constructing: discover how it works and how you can access the data.


What is an observatory for? 

To observe, pardi! And in a way you're not wrong. But this is only part of its function. According to the Larousse, an observatory is defined as follows: 

  1. Establishment specially assigned to astronomical or meteorological observations. 
  2. Place where one observes or from where one observes something. 

To simplify, an observatory is like binoculars connected to a computer with two very distinct notions: the first, observation and the second – more scientific – analysis of information.  

Why set up an observatory? 

An observatory offers an overview, like a neutral inventory of the environment it studies. It thus makes it possible to delimit what is commonly called an observation perimeter, with a view to understanding, building and anticipating. 

Like decision-making tool and support in strategy development, the exploitation of data from the observatory allows the various users to see whether, depending on the duration and the given period (one day, one month, one year), the development projects envisaged are moving in the right direction. sense.  

What are the objectives of an observatory in the tourism sector? 

In the tourism sector, the establishment of an observatory allows: 

  • Le survey of the offer, in order to know all the riches of the territory 
  • Le attendance tracking, to get an idea of ​​population flows and seasonality  
  • La measuring the behavior of tourist customers, to create, for example, tourist products more suited to the expectations of visitors but also to the reality on the ground
  • THEeconomic impact analysis 

With a view to:  

  • Better understand visitor behavior 
  • Improve the construction of strategies 
  • Facilitate the anticipation of action plans

Who is the observatory for?   

In the tourism sector, the observatory is aimed at all tourism stakeholders: institutions, elected officials, rental accommodation providers, professionals.  

At the tourist office, Servane has been in charge of the local tourist observatory for 10 years. On regular watch, it analyzes new trends in the sector and processes tourist data. It also ensures the content of the territory's offers to optimize their visibility on the various communication media at local, departmental, regional and national level.  

Useful info

Each year, Servane produces a season report which takes stock of the situation and provides food for thought. As tourism providers, you can access this report. The information present can help you in adapting your offers to the needs of visitors or in the evolution of your business strategy. 

What tools to operate an observatory? 

At the Normandy Cabourg Pays d'Auge tourist office, we use several tools.

Summary :  

Tourism Vision flow  

A solution developed by Orange, Flux Vision Tourisme is a device that collects mobile data by anonymizing it (validated by the CNIL). 

How Flux Vision Tourisme works 
From the geolocation of mobile phones, the tool allows us to observe the tourist frequentation during the day and at night on the territory, but also to know the profile of the tourist, his geographical origin, his socio-professional category and his segment. of age.   

A strategic objective  
The collection of information makes it possible to create indicators to analyze and measure tourist flows in the territory. It is also an excellent way to study the attendance and economic impact of our major events. 

Utilisation du tableau de Flux Vision Orange Business dans le cadre de l'observatoire de l'office de tourisme

A concrete example 
By using the Flux Vision Tourisme solution, we were able to determine the key figures for 2022, which you can find in balance sheet

2022 key figures:

  • 6,5M tourist overnight stays (35% during the summer)
  • 75% of French
  • including 50% of Ile-de-France residents
  • 24% over 65  
  • Saturday July 16 (Saturday): Busiest day of the year 

These figures allow us toadapt the development and tourism marketing strategies of our territory.  

Liwango: the short-term rental market analyst 

This is the barometer of the supply of seasonal rentals on online booking platforms.  

How Liwango works 
It tells us the number of vacation rentals on the territory, the number of reservations, the prices applied, the length of stays, the occupancy rate, the turnover, but also the reservation trends to prepare for the best when tourists arrive. 

Utilisation du tableau de Liwango dans le cadre de l'observatoire de l'office de tourisme

A strategic objective  
The tool allows us to better follow the growth of the short-term rental market and to provide advice in our exchanges with our partners. 

A concrete example ? 
Thanks to a detailed and representative analysis of the dynamics of the destination, the offer can be matched with the demand and the occupancy rate of your optimized rental accommodation. A price adapted to the market = an optimized occupancy rate.  

  • Nearly 2 rentals in 800, 2022% in Cabourg, 49% apartments  
  • Average length of stay in 2022: 4,4 nights  

Tourist tax: an economic weight with strategic value

Paid by the visitor for each paid night spent on the territory, the tourist tax is collected by all the hosts of the territory and the reservation platforms then donated to the Community of Communes, which itself pays it to the VISITOR CENTER.

Its role is essential because it contributes to the tourist development of the resort. Once collected, it finances, for example, the promotion of the destination, the development of tourist numbers or the improvement of the reception of tourists. To learn more about how it works, click here.

Reminder: all visitors over the age of 18 are subject to tourist tax. To learn more, check out our dedicated page.

How is the tourist tax an additional tool involved in the operation of the observatory?

By collecting the tourist tax, the tourist office carries out a weekly follow-up and analyzes the income generated quarterly and annually. This information, cross-referenced with the data retrieved via tools such as Flux Vision Tourisme and Liwango, allows us to:

  • Identify the contribution generated directly by the hosts compared to that of the booking platforms
  • To follow its geographical distribution on the territory or seasonal trends
  • Know the number of nights spent as well as the revenue collected
  • Establish long-term projections

Tourinsoft, our tourist information system

In addition to these tools, the Tourinsoft tourist information system helps feed the observatory by:  

  • listing the tourist offers of the territory, accommodation, restaurants, shops, sites to visit (cultural and natural), sports and leisure activities and also events  
  • facilitating the management, accounting and monitoring of the customer relationship, whether on site, by telephone or by e-mail. The travel advisor fills in the information related to the request: method of contact, department of main residence or country, number of people at the counter, place of accommodation and type if identified, information requested, document given, etc. 

This information thus makes it possible to:   

  • follow the evolution of the tourist offer, services and consumption habits over time
  • evaluate the number of requests carried out with the tourist office, the origin of the visitors, the themes of the strongest demand
  • identify gaps in the territory to better prepare the teams

Key figures 2022

  • Nearly 2 offers are listed for the territory (excluding events)   
  • 172 visitors*
  • 85 requests
  • 80% of requests are made face to face  

*every passage through our front doors is counted by our counting cell which allows us to have the number of visitors to our offices every day and every hour.   

How can I obtain the data extracted from these tools? 

Regularly, your partner referents contact you: updating your availabilities, feelings, attendance trends, anticipation of reservations, occupancy rates are all useful data that allow us to amend the information compiled within our observatory. 

Did you know ?

Your tourist office has a tool that allows you to easily calculate your occupancy rate. Do not hesitate to approach your partner referent to send it to you. 

All these tools are used ultimately to establish attendance reports (by month, school holiday period, year, etc.). Some are communicated to you automatically and regularly, such as the availability monitoring table for professional hosts offering overnight stays. Others are published directly in our Division editorial staff, like our 2022 attendance report. If you haven't consulted it yet, we invite you to do so!