With Memorial Day this weekend, IBM has analyzed social media to see how people are feeling about traveling over the holiday. Will the economy, gas prices, traffic or the high cost of travel keep people home and their wallets closed?
In fact, the results of the IBM Social Sentiment Index for Memorial Day Travel suggests travel providers and transportation officials could see a boost in demand and traffic during the Memorial Day weekend.
The Index – - which uses analytics and natural language processing technologies to aggregate and gauge public opinions from tens of thousands of Twitter, blogs, message boards and other social media – – reveals that Americans are much more optimistic about their plans for the Memorial Day weekend, with a huge increase this year in the amount of people talking about traveling and spending compared to last year.
Travel site reviews, Twitter and Facebook recommendations from friends and more are very influential in how we determine our travel plans. To be able to understand the nuance of social media conversation and evolving topic discussion threads can help airlines, hoteliers, transportation officials better react, respond to and predict consumer behavior.
For example, an airlines could use sentiment analysis to put together highly targeted last minute deals related to hot topics of conversation like a family reunion or a relaxing spa weekend to fill seats that would otherwise fly empty over the holiday weekend.