Technology Driven Tourism Intelligence

Tourism is the world's largest industry, certainly if you include Hospitality as part of tourism, which we do. Yet there has been little development of advanced technological analysis of tourism, leisure and hospitality till quite recently. "Build it and they will come" has been the driving force for many years. Unfortunately the cost of "building it" is now so high that more scientific insights into tourism trends, perceptions and needs are required to stay profitable.

We have been working closely with the global tourism industry, especially investors, since 1990 when we moved operations from Dallas, Texas to Orlando, Florida, besides our European base outside of Norwich, England. The many case studies around Florida clearly showed the "Boom or Bust" nature of the industry, and the need for more scientific approach to Tourism Intelligence. Today we have the computer resources to become the leading Tourism Intelligence operation in the world, with the ability to monitor the pulse of the holidaymaker, conference attendee, and traveler.

The software can find and scan up to 150,000 articles an hour, read the 113,000,000 blogs and comments, and sort through millions of Twitter messages and take the pulse of the social media. No other tourism media company has anywhere near this capability.

News Patterns Engine

In 2005 we announced the development of a whole new paradigm of covering news and Open Source Intelligence with the fusion of newsroom and intelligence center. The technology engine News Patterns has now been announced to the public and we can acknowledge how it drives our collection and analysis of information. Today we are moving forward at breakneck speed in bringing these new technologies to government and business leaders around the world.

The fusion of Newsroom and Intelligence Center has finally arrived! But it is far more exciting and has far more potential than we ever imagined. The biggest leap forward came when the text based presentation was replaced by a constantly updating graphical and video presentation of the tens of thousands, even millions of news and communication items offered to the user. It would be impossible to read the aggregation of 10,000 news articles but the graphic which the human brain reads at 10 million b/s instead of 200 b/s for text articles. In today's high speed digital universe it really does not make sense sending busy executives, news directors and intelligence managers displays that haven't changed since the Middle Ages. If a trend or data point interests a manager they can click on the underlying information path and delve deep down to the original source within a couple of seconds.

The ComLinks tourism analysis and media strategy is the wave of the future.

From the Press Room:

Journalists Find Revenue Beyond the Newsroom

ComLinks, the Fusion of Newsroom and Open Source Intelligence. Newsrooms and freelance journalists are realizing the unproductive information sitting in their computers is the raw material of OSINT, or Open Source Intelligence, and valuable to companies around the world. Many are signing on to the ComLinks OSINT Network and making their skills available for companies and organizations worldwide.

Washington, DC, USA, December 27, 2005 -- Savvy News Directors, investigative journalists, freelancers, and news bureaus are realizing the unproductive information sitting in their computers is the raw material of a booming new industry, that of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). The world of journalism is shrinking rapidly, thanks to takeovers, downsizing and the changing face of electronic media, but OSINT companies, in the business intelligence or competitive intelligence fields are growing by leaps and bounds. That validated information is decaying in value by the hour, and in most cases has already been paid for. The ComLinks plan is to recycle and reuse that information as the raw material for corporate client's OSINT programs.

Alan Simpson, President of Communication Links, Inc. who pioneered the fusion of newsrooms and OSINT analysis is often asked the difference between investigative journalists and OSINT. His answer is "None! In fact ex journalists make the best OSINT Analysts. They are used to wading through misinformation and hype, to get at the facts underneath, especially those from trade publications." he explains. "We experimented as early as 1985 with what has become to be known as OSINT, and developed the fusion of newsroom and in depth analysis."

He has developed the ComLinks OSINT Network, staffed mainly by current and ex investigative journalists, as well as legislative, economic and technology experts, to meet the needs of US and international industry, investment banks, and private clients. Most work from home using the ComLinks web based Intranet. The OSINT Center is the newsroom of the future, highly focused, and using the benefits of distributed technologies to create a world wide net for news and expert in-depth analysis.

The speed of modern commerce, and global competition means the successful players in every industry need to know, where the industry is going, what their competitors are up to, and what analysts predict their future intentions could be. Investment Bankers and Hedge Funds need to know which are the companies and industries with growth potential, and which are in decline. Politicians too are of keen interest to corporate planners, and trends in rule making and environmental, or commercial legislation can make or break a corporation.

What has changed since those early trials in 1985 is that OSINT has now entered the mainstream, and thousands of new analysts are recruited every year. Even the US Government has finally accepted its value and allocated $2 Billion to develop resources. But this government spending is dwarfed by the tens of billions spent on OSINT by corporations in the USA and around the world, estimated at over $50 Billion, directly and indirectly. Now there is a shortage of qualified collectors and analysts.

A database of resumes has been created to provide corporations access to expertise in report writing, investigation, and analysis for special assignments. Often these relate to a particular industry such as aviation, telecommunications, pharmaceutical or to a specific geographical location, such as New Orleans, China, India, US Rust Belt, or Silicon Valley. All companies and organizations need to know about the environment around them, and detailed projections on important scenarios. The rate of clean up after Hurricane Katrina is a good example, should companies rebuild, or relocate?

As a Member of the National Press Club in Washington, Alan Simpson has seen hundreds of experienced journalists put out of work these past few years, and that accumulation of years of experience and knowledge lost to the world. That knowledge may be just the information Corporate America is needing for their strategic planning.


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