If you’ve ever considered experiencing a truly exotic vacation, it’s time to make your dream a reality. Travel is one of our most beloved pastimes, so let’s get a taste of the exotic with a trip to a faraway land that’s filled with adventure: Cannabis tourism. In fact, the cannabis industry continues to grow at a record pace. Tourism is now a $10.7 billion industry, and growing at an even faster rate. Browsing Instagram feeds of exotic destinations can be fun, but it’s not nearly as exciting as actually visiting these places in person.
Did you know that we currently know more about the cannabis plant than we do about any other plant? While this is somewhat insignificant compared to the amount of information we know about other plants and animals, it is important because it does show that we have a lot of information about this plant.
Good news for everyone who has ever wanted to travel to Amsterdam and buy some weed: the Cannabis Regulatory Agency finally released data about the country’s tourism market yesterday. The news is: Amsterdam, which has been ranked number one in the world for both tourism and cannabis for the last eight years in a row, is doing incredibly well. In 2017, the number of travelers that came to the Netherlands and bought cannabis jumped by 54 percent from 2016. The agency counted 266,000 visitors from all over the world who bought and consumed cannabis, and if you compare this to the US, the Netherlands attracts more tourists than New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas combined!. Read more about best stoner cities in the world and let us know what you think.The concept of cannabis tourism and its potential impact on global tourism in general has received a lot of attention recently.
Over the past two years I have participated in several webinars and information sessions for tour operators, restaurant owners and hoteliers on how to prepare and reach potential audiences.
It seems that working in the cannabis tourism industry will never be easy.
Even if you think you know your audience, it can be hard to run a business like this, and it depends on what part of the world you’re in.
Light up a joint in some parts of the world and we may never hear from you again. …..
Banning certain substances is not new.
Alcohol was prohibited for some time in the United States and Canada, and when it was slowly and inconveniently reintroduced in many cases, public consumption areas were created in many railroad hotels to cater to the business and leisure segment.
Is it possible to do something similar for cannabis?
With today’s strict anti-smoking laws banning indoor smoking and vaping, this seems unlikely.
Even at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California, named the world’s most cannabis-friendly hotel by Forbes magazine in 2019, smoking is strictly prohibited in the rooms, on the balconies or on the grounds.
Amsterdam remains one of the few places in the world where public consumption of cannabis with other people, not under the bleachers of a school football field, is permitted.
Cannabis is not legal in Amsterdam, or for that matter in The Netherlands, but tolerance is regulated by law.
Because the product is illegal, stores that sell cannabis are not allowed to advertise what they are selling.
Henk de Vries, a living legend in Dutch culture, coined the term coffeehouse to describe The Bulldog, Amsterdam’s first legal cannabis retailer.
Nowadays, there are more cafés in Amsterdam, including several Bulldog Cafés.
If they serve coffee or anything other than cannabis and props, it’s a coincidence.
Professional advice: If you want coffee or pastries, go to a cafe – there are several good cafes here.
The idea of cannabis tourism is not new either.
I remember in high school hearing stories of friends going to Morocco or to the markets in Jerusalem to look for hashish.
The proof is that the Bulldog exists in people’s minds as a must-see place in Amsterdam.
With its hotels, social clubs and merchandise, The Bulldog can be considered a global brand in the cannabis industry.
Where and when do their patrons come from?
Are there any conclusions to draw as new and emerging cannabis tourism companies try to revitalize their businesses in a post-COVID-19 world?
This is where the world of cannabis meets the world of Big Data.
Location Based Services (LBS) data includes millions of phones and billions of data points.
It requires specially developed software for its collection and analysis.
As part of the research, 10GATES Smart Data for Travel examined LBS data from 2,000 mobile phones that visited the geofence around The Bulldog the First (original location) in 2019.
The map in Figure 1 clearly shows that The Bulldog is known worldwide and attracts many international visitors, although most come from Western Europe and the UK.
This place receives 34.6% of the visitors from Holland.
It should be noted that the blank areas on the map include most of Africa, Asia and small countries in South America.
Digging deeper into Figure 2, we see that of the LBS activated phones, 2/3 of the visitors (66.7%) are from Amsterdam itself, confirming that the main activity of this place is driven by local activities.
Other cities topping the list are Berlin (6.1%), Barcelona (5.6%) and Paris (4.5%).
Rome, Brussels, Munich and Cologne make up the rest of the European top 10 – around 2% each.
The US is represented on both coasts in the top 10 – New York with 3% and Los Angeles with 2%.
Figure 1 – World markets for the demand for bulldogs
Figure 2 – Bulldog Metro Demand Markets
We compared data from Bulldog the First to a sample of 8,317 mobile phone users who visited the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California, as described above.
Interesting similarities and notable differences were noted.
Figure 3 – Visitors by country – The Bulldog & Fairmont SM
While the Bulldog receives only about 35 percent of its visitors from inland, at the Fairmont Miramar nearly 95 percent of visitors come from the United States.
This is typical of many U.S. destinations found in the data – destinations receive visitors from many source countries, but national numbers far exceed them.
Canada has the second highest participation rate at just under 2%.
Another interesting contrast is the percentage of American visitors to the Bulldog.
In comparing the size of the US market with that of other countries, we found that the US represents a much smaller percentage of visitors, just over 6%, than what we typically see in the data for many other destinations, where the US often represents 20-30% of total visitors.
Given the high percentage of American visitors to Fairmont, it is important to understand their distribution.
When we break down the data to the state level (Figure 4), we see some expected trends and patterns.
More than ¾ (76.6%) are from the state of California.
The coastal region also attracts visitors from New York (5.4%), Texas (4.1%), Florida (3.7%) and New Jersey (2.2%).
Neighboring states Arizona (2%) and Nevada (1.4%) are also important.
The Midwest is a relatively quiet region for this hotel, with notable exceptions like Illinois (2.8%) and Colorado (1.3%) rounding out the top 10.
Figure 4 – Visitors by state – Fairmont SM 2019.
We now know in which markets the demand for Fairmont is greatest at the state level. From which cities do these visitors come?
Figure 5 – Visitors by zip code – Fairmont SM 2019.
As with the Bulldog, more than 2/3 (73.3%) came from the local market – in this case, the Los Angeles demand market area.
Since we are working with sample data in this case, we cannot filter out the cell phones of all workers who may have entered the fenced area, but the number of visitors displayed is unique, so each worker is visible only once in the data.
Figure 6 – Los Angeles market demand area – Fairmont SM 2019.
Outside of the Los Angeles demand market area, other key markets reflect the unique nature and price point of the high quality product provided, such as the cannabis concierge program, in this market – New York (8.1%), San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose (4.9%), Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas – Ft. Worth, Washington, D.C., Miami and Boston, rounding out the top 10 in descending order from 3% to 1.6%.
Let’s get one thing straight: People from all over the United States are not supposed to travel to this area to consume cannabis and related products.
The fact that the company is targeting this segment of the market is a positioning that seems to be accepted by some of the public and the media.
We’ve covered some of the geographic features in detail, but if we were responsible for marketing these locations, are there temporal features in the data that we can use in our marketing plans?
The answer is shown in Figure 7.
The monthly data shows that the visitor peaks are December-April for Fairmont and August-November for Bulldog.
Further analysis could be undertaken to compare these peaks with the usual seasonal patterns of the respective areas, but this is a more in-depth topic than we wish to address here.
Figure 7 – Data by time segment – Bulldog & Fairmont SM -2019
If we look at the daily distribution of these two sites, we see an interesting similarity.
Both sites tend to increase traffic by the weekend – starting Thursday.
This trend is more pronounced in Fairmont than in Bulldog, where traffic is more regular on weekdays.
The spread over one day of advertising expenditure in digital or audiovisual media often increases the profitability of advertising expenditure.
Cannabis tourism businesses showing a similar trend may be able to take advantage of this by maximizing the number of visitors on weekends or increasing the number of visitors during less busy periods.
Can smart data be used to improve cannabis tourism marketing strategy?
That is the question we asked ourselves, and the answer is clear.
Smart Data can efficiently and cost-effectively identify areas of highest demand and peak traffic to maximize advertising revenue at key times or increase traffic during periods of low demand.
The disruption of the travel industry based on cannabis or otherwise has led to the closure of many travel companies, some permanently, and the departure of millions of workers around the world.
Surviving companies will find it difficult to continue to grow with the initial drop in cash flow or take on additional debt to fund marketing expenses.
The pressure on budgets will increase in terms of efficiency.
It is critical that cannabis tourism companies focus their marketing dollars on the markets and at the best time to get the most out of their marketing spend.There’s a lot of data available about cannabis, including how many people light up every year–and how many will be a part of the green rush over the next few years. But how smart are these numbers? If you’re new to the cannabis industry, read on to find out just how smart the data is.. Read more about average dispensary income 2021 and let us know what you think.
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