From time to time, the future of Touristology, the wannabe future disruptors entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs… proudly say to me.
“ Jordi, I have the new, new thing!
I always reply with this sentence… Are you sure? Everything has happened before! In Internet as well…more often than not… the new business model and the new technological schemes… are the forgotten ones!
Now, people talk about different enterprises changing the Tourism sector giving support to the customer from the beginning to the end of the trip…. TripAdvisor buying Bokun (as I tweeted here); Booking buyings FareHarbor; Marriot buying PlacePass; AirBnB buying Trips/Trip4real…
At the end of the day, they want to become the big Tour operators of the 60’s. There are some important differences BUT some dangerous similarities from the point of view of Tourism destination and their service providers.
What are the important differences?
1) These new digital aggregators change static/prefixed Tourism packages for Dynamic ones. They engage customers making very easy to select the best components of the package. Thanks to syndication they offer plenty of choices (at the best possible price, don’t forget we talk about generic Tourism, right?). Thanks to Machine Learning they proposes the best options and improve the communication and commercialization process. Thanks to pro-am they add the opinion of other relevant Tourists!
2) They change “I own the components of the package OR I control them” TO “I don’t own anything I only get a commission!”
So, clearly, the business model and operations and processes are different BUT the consequences for the Tourism destination and their services providers are very similar…
Get Tourists loyal to foreign’ enterprises which get most of the profit and don’t get any negative consequences.
Get Tourists looking for experiences, BUT low price orientated. So, in order to be profitable, it is necessary to receive plenty of Tourists.
As we need plenty of generic Tourists, usually, appear at the same place and at the same time!
It is very difficult to seduce THEIR tourists when is important for US…
If they were OUR Tourists, we could send them around the world!
Is there a way out of “Different enterprises... same negative consequences”?
Definitely, YES!!! Now, it can be different!
In the 60's it was very difficult to compete with big Tour operators. Basically, for two reasons:
1) They were very focus on the Tourists from where they create the business. If you try to sell Tourism services directly to the Tourists they warn you “We won’t promote your destination!” Nowadays, the big players are international ones! The world is OUR office! Your customers are around the world and it far more difficult that somebody say to you “I don’t recommend YOUR destination TO MY Tourists”!!!
2) To create a Tour operator meant a big investment! BUT now it is different!!! Thanks to cloud computing you can create an internet platform as powerful as the one from your competitors and you have the power of specialization!!!
From 1 to 1 Tourist to N to N. From individual tourists TO Groups' creation of an international community THAT YOU MANAGE!!!!
The world is changing very fast! Do you want to get the opportunities and avoid the threats? Stop doing your operations and processes in the usual way because “That’s just the way it’s done”…Follow the innovation path! Touristology’s one!!!