Big data techniques for assessing the impact of web distribution strategies on performance in the hospitality industry

PhD Program in Management, Production and Design


Paolo Neirotti –
Marco Mellia –
Elisabetta Raguseo –

PhD Student: Alessandro Destefanis

Context of the research activity

In the last decade, Internet‐related technologies have enabled radical transformations in the structures of many industries, causing the rise of new rules and roles that circumscribe the division of labour and the distribution of profits along a value chain. In this scenario, the tourism industry is one of the settings where changes enabled by the Internet are more visible. New mechanisms of intermediation over the Internet are marginalising the role of traditional ‘bricks‐and‐mortar’ travel agencies, and are changing the way travellers’ experiences are created and shared. In such scenario, big data techniques can support the data gathering on the Internet about customers’ behaviour, reviews of hotels, and hotel pricing strategy, in order to support hotel managers in their decision making process.   Based on data collected from the Internet through big data techniques, many analyses can be conducted in order to understand the impact of the Internet in the tourism sector at different levels of analysis. For example, data collected from the Internet through big data techniques could be useful for understanding the dynamics behind the pricing strategy of hotels, the key actors that create economic value in the hospitality industry and in shaping the rules of competition, and the way hotels can control fake reviews that can undermine the decisions of actual and prospect customers in favour of online intermediaries. The research activity fits to the aims and scope of research of the SmartData@PoliTo interdepartmental centre, since it requires competencies in data acquisition from the Internet and in data analytics for econometric analyses.


The objective of the research is twofold. First, the research will investigate the usage of big data techniques in order to gather data from the Internet about hotels’ visibility, reputation, pricing and distribution strategies on the main online channels . Second, the research will complement the usage of big data algorithms for analysing data gathered with econometric analyses with the aim of investigating how the Internet distribution strategies impact on operational and economic performance, on both a daily and a year basis. In this regard, a collaboration with some companies operating in the channel management can be envisaged to access their proprietary data on hotel’s pricing and distribution strategies in the online world.

Skills and competencies for the development of the activity

The candidate must have good knowledge of big data techniques, and excellent knowledge in management (web marketing, strategic management, economics) and econometric analyses.


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