Oct 8, 2016

Three main threats/opportunities for hotels.

The other day I shared this video in OUR twitter account
Today, I want to provide a wider review. At the end of the day, Accor's strategic action, try to give a successful answer to one of the three main threats/opportunities facing hotels companies nowadays. 
For starters… 
Threat/Opportunity Number 1) Online travel agents (Expedia/Priceline) and central reservation systems, for instance Booking (a member of Priceline group), are becoming an oligopsony   
Threat/Opportunity Number 2) Data Aggregators/Meta-Search Engines and infomediaries are playing all the cards. Tripadvisor was only a social networking site to share reviews, now you also can make reservations. Trivago was a Data Aggregator, now you also can make direct reservations. Google makes its own movement with Google Hotel Ads also allowing direct reservations in exchange for a commission. You can choose to pay for CPC (cost per click), CPA (Cost per Acquisition) or a mix of both. Here you can see more information… 
  Threat/Opportunity Number 3) The sharing economy. We debate a lot about this topic here and here   
Focus on 1 and 2 Accor created their own distribution channel and invite independent hotels to use it (not afraid to upset franchisees). In order to create this new channel, Accor bought fastbooking which allow them to change prices in all their chain of value in a responsive design way? I love Touristology’s games!!! Here you can enjoy this video: 
From a strategic point of view…. What is the point to open MY channel and transform it into OUR channel? 
To attract more customers (because they will see more offers)?!?!? 
To send a message to Booking, Expedia…. If you increase your commission… I will mark down mine!?!?!? 
To control the chain of value!?!?!? 
Is this a good movement for an independent hotel in EU (remember they are 70% of the rooms in EU BUT only a 30% in USA)? OR if you join, you are just helping to create another member of the oligopsony (By the way, a member that it is also your competitor. So, hotelier? YES! Competitor? As well! 
BUT…Jordi what about the third one (The sharing economy) Well, Accor is active in this field too. They acquired 30% of oasis collections. They also acquired 49% of squarebreak and the Jo & Joe brand that appears in the video of the tweet try to give an open space for locals and tourists. 
So, you can buy/make agreements with apartments intermediaries. You can add value combining sharing economy and professional service as Room-Mate is doing with Bemate as we saw here. Or Choice hotels opening a new division.
What about to join to another movement…Touristology’s one?!?!?! 
1) Looking for specialized segments avoiding the oligopsony! (By the way, be sure that you avoid Dr. Frankensteins segmentation!!!)
2) Competing with value not with low prices! 
3) Selling all the things Touristology can provide (international contacts, bounding experiences, boost of creativity…) and avoiding to compete with nowadays commodities: rooms, food and beverage and meeting places!!! 
You can find some examples here...
But the best option is to talk to any of my Touristologists!!! They will say to you: Do you want to deal with a fast-changing distribution landscape? Maybe is time to be proactive!!!!

Aug 23, 2016

Cruises as a transport, NOT as Tourists provider!

Cruises? Of course! But…much better as a transport for OUR tourists that only as a parking for THEIR tourists!!!  #Touristology
Do you REALLY want to be leader in Tourism? Bring your own Tourists. Don’t wait to someone else (you can call it Tour-Operators, big search engines, big social networking sites, the new group buying and flash sales sites.…. A cruise!!!) brings theirs.
Some years ago, some tourism destinations did the same actions with low cost airlines, giving to them better conditions in order that they bring THEIR tourists to them.
I repeat! Do you, REALLY, want to be leader in Tourism?
1) Find good international segments (Please, forgot about Dr. Frankensteins segmentation)

Be sure, that you can create groups inside this segment. Be sure that you can add layers of profit.

Then, use the airlines and the cruises as a transport companies for YOURS Tourists!!! Not as a Tourists provider!

2) As WE, Touristologisty said, nothing wrong with generic tourism BUT we have to combine it with specialized one. To tell the truth always better combine specialized with generic...
that the other way around. But if this is not possible… be sure that you add some specialized layers over your generic tourism! In this way, you always will have a good swimming pool level (the percentage of occupancy that you already have for sure). Then, your negotiations with some tourist providers will be much easier!!! Show to the world that we are leaders in Tourism!!!
Any doubt? Don’t’ ask me… Ask any of my Touristologists!!! You don’t know who they are? Very easy, just ask them… what is your profession? They will proudly reply “Touristologists!!!”
They are the best minds working in the best sector ever!!!

Aug 3, 2016

Don’t like THESE tourists? Bring your own ones!

The other day a journalist asked me if it was possible to have an interview about how residents were worried about the increase of Tourism and all the problems this represents.
Of course - I said - I always have time to talk about my favorite topic! Finally, the interview was not possible… I had prepared my thoughts about this topic… So, what about sharing them with my fellow Touristologists?!?!?!
It is supposed that we are leaders in Tourism. Countries leaders in something has their residents as the bests of the best in that discipline! Take Tae-kwon-do for instance. Korea has plenty of champions! Take chess. Russia has plenty of experts! If we (YOU???) want to be leaders in tourism…
It is NOT enough that our residents like to travel.
It is not enough to have the highest number of tourist visiting the same places at the same time.
If we, really, want to be leaders in Tourism, we have to train our people, to make them able to organize trips and bring people here and then, when they gain the trust of THEIRS tourists, they can send them around the world! Creating, communicating and commercializing their own international routes!
Then, we will be leaders in tourism, because we will have plenty of Touristologists!

But Jordi this is very difficult! Of course! For this reason, Touristology is a science! It is not more difficult than chess or Tae-kwon-do! The only thing that we need is plenty of motivated people, eager to learn. Then, statistics will highlight few champions in the field. Then, the rest will feel more motivated and will follow their example. Then, we will be real leaders in Tourism!
This day, journalists won’t call me about an interview about the problems that tourism brings. Journalists will call these champions to talk about how tourism improves the life of the tourist, creates LOCAL enterprises and well payed jobs for the residents and takes care of the local culture!!!
But Jordi! Are you able to give a single example about this kind of products?
One? I can give thousands!!! What about the ones that appear here?
Don’t like THESE tourists? Bring your own ones! Tourism is NOT something that just happens. It is something that you build! Let’s build a place with the best Touristologists on earth!!!
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

Jul 19, 2016

YOU have to change the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism!!!

Asian tourists going to a small village next to Oxford? Because somebody told them that Harry Potter scenes were shot there OR because somebody told them that they will find love when they return?
People going to a tourist destination because they can catch a Pokémon?  
Good examples of Mass Tourism or Specialized? Do you think that this will endure for a long time? I only hope that when some Touristologists create a dynamic package also appears in the news! Basically, because it will be an example of how Touristology can improve the quality of life, provide international contacts and broader perspectives for the tourist AND take care of the culture and create richness and employment for the tourist destination. BUT… Jordi.. it is not the case of the small village or Pokémon? Open your mind Touristologist! Review again the Da Vinci Code story. Review again the story of Chip Conley and JDVhotels then listen to YOUR Touristology’s voice and…change the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism. You are Touristologists the best minds working in the best sector ever! Time to prove it!!!

May 2, 2016

We are Touristologists! We can choose! Can you?

Let me be clear once and for all! It is OK to use other people/companies CRS (Central Reservation Systems), OTA (On-line Travel Agencies) or SnS (Social Networking Sites) … As a matter of fact usually it is very convenient, BUT what happens when they realize that you need them more than they need you? What happens when they know that we are talking about their customers and NOT yours? Have you seen this ad of Booking (Genius)?
A loyalty program, a way to reward the most profitable customers. Booking is a very successful company and to keep, and even increase their profits they will do (almost) whatever it takes!
Get more customers? What MY customers want? Lower prices? You got it!
Possibility to make a reservation in any hotel? You got it!
Increase the number of bookings? I got it!
Increase my commission? I got it!
It is perfectly OK to use Booking! BUT in order to be (and remain) competitive you have to create more options. In this way, you will be able to choose between their option or yours!
You can create your own SnS, remember Vail resort creating EpicMix. Remember RooMate creating BeMate!
You can create your own CRS or OTA remember Accor!
You can also define your own segments, aggregate and customize an offer to them and communicate and commercialize it through your chain of value (By the way, a good definition of My Own 1,2,3).
One of the ways of defining a segment is the one followed by Chip Conley. Yes! The one who created 30 hotels based on 30 magazines (a meeting place of the segment in Touristologistly terms!)
Please, forget about Millennials or BOBOS! They are very good examples of Dr. Frankenstein segmentation!
So, I repeat… We are Touristologists! We can choose! Can you?
If you can’t, you can always contact any of my Touristologists (the ones that appear here!). At the end of the day, they are the best minds working in the best sector ever!!!

Apr 1, 2016

Creating a Tourism start-up

All my life, I have been planning, experiencing, listening to, reading about people creating new start-ups. This background allow me to see patterns, to propose frameworks… using them  you can try to predict the future of new start-ups just by watching if they stick to the following three rules or not . As a matter of fact, this is true for any enterprise in any sector!
Rule number 1: The world is OUR office!
Forget about LOCAL tourism. Focus on establishing your business in a global environment. The real one!
Don’t be like some entrepreneurs (sorry, they’re definitely… Copyologists!) that go somewhere, copy an idea and then set up the same in their local country. As they are only good at copying ideas, their great hope is that someday the original enterprise will try to establish in their country and they can sell their enterprise to them (better buy than battle, right?)
Rule number 2: Choose wisely generic or specialized tourism (I repeat, the rules are valid for any sector)
If you do something generic, be sure that you can benefit from economies of scale that allow you to provide the lowest prices. Remember, no low prices, no permanent offers, no discounts… NO customer!
-   BUT, Jordi, what if first I seduce low price orientated customers with offers  and then they will come even though at a higher price?
Good example of an Oxymoron, my friend!
If you choose to focus on value instead of price (OR If you are unable to provide economies of scale) focus on a segment (a real one, forget about Dr. Frankensteins segmentation) focus on creating and building a community. So, specialized tourism or specialized business. In this scenario, a competitor can appear offering the lowest prices BUT you have something more important and harder to get... The TRUST of YOUR community!
Rule number 3: Define operations and processes and use web 2.0 business model features (you know:  syndication, customization and pro-am) to improve them. Then design and implement the technological scheme. Do you really believe that you can do that without a two hands mentality? I doubt it!
Let’s see some interesting case in point…
More than one year ago it was very popular to create mobile apps trying to bring customers to your restaurant. Here, we talked about Resy and Groupon…
The flavor of the month lately it has been on-line start-ups connecting restaurants with people willing to order on-line and getting a menu at home or at the office. Just Eat (the global big gorilla), ClubKviar… just to give some examples

After watching the video… How do you clasifly ”just eat” generic or specialized?
Do you see any opportunities for improving processes using the web 2.0 business model?

At the end of the day, those start-ups dream to become a Super 3 in Touristology terms!

How to seduce restaurants? You can increase your sales 25% selling through me! Or you can get to know your customers better thanks to the tools I give you (a kind of loyalty program, a kind of big data system…)
How to seduce customers? Your menu at your finger tips! Get a customized service and access to special discounts in any restaurant inside my system.
Does it sound interesting? Sure! Is it a possible disruptor? It can be!
BUT…If they don’t follow the previous rules (international approach, specialization and two hands mentality) this is the usual outcome…
A lot of new start-ups will appear and at the end (after many broken dreams and loss of money) a few (or just the one) ones will control the market!
Touristologists! Be sure you are part of the winners (the future leaders OR the ones that sell and get the money) Review Touristology rules and keep working, keep dreaming, keep enjoying Touristology!!!

Feb 22, 2016

I’m a hotelier! Why on earth do I have to sell airline tickets?

A few days/weeks ago I shared on my Twitter account this article about Mystifly... 
If you don’t feel like reading the article (which I strongly recommend!)  Here’s a summary… In a nutshell, cross-selling is a good way to increase revenues (and profits, I Touristologistly add!), Airlines practice this selling flights and hotels. So, you can do the same: sell hotels and flights! Mystifly’s APIs allow hoteliers to offer their customers the possibility to make a flight reservation. How is that possible? Does the word “syndication” ring a bell to you?
Eager to learn more? Let’s see this video from Mystifly itself:

In this video the target were travel agents. Now, they are targeting Hoteliers. When I read the article I said to myself, “Hmmm… hoteliers giving support to the customers in the airline company? Using APIs? I have to write a post about that! 
As you know, I love mixing together Touristology and Web-Engineering and this is an excellent case in point.
After the tweet, I got some responses..
“Jordi, I’m an hotelier! Why on earth do I have to sell airline tickets?” My answer? Let me clarify this once and for all… your business it is not ONLY to sell rooms, food and beverage and meeting spaces. Your business is to satisfy your customer, providing what they need, when they need it, in the way they need it! In this way, the tourists will choose you, as THE accommodation provider, OR even better, as my-trusted-partner-in-all-I-need-during-this-trip. On the other hand, you will increase your profits. This is what Yield/Revenue Management is all about!!!
I got another one....  “What? This is NOT Revenue Management? I have been a Revenue Manager for X-years and I never did that.” My answer? Have you been a Revenue Manager for X-years or have you repeated the same year X times?
OK, Jordi stop talking with the past and start talking with the future:.... YOU!!!
Do you have some ideas about how to use Mystifly APIs in an intelligent way (so, the Touristology way, of course!!!)
Can you use the Web 2.0 Business Model?

By the way, do you think that it is possible to connect this post with this one? Where we talked about Beacons, IoT, smart cities, smart chains of value…
Do you think that the web 3.0 principles (integration and synchronization) are beginning to materialize in the tourism sector? It is a great moment to be a Touristologist!!!!
Applications like this (I am sure that, in the near future, hundreds of them will appear) will help to set up chains of value giving support to the tourist from the beginning to the end of the trip. Something, that I strongly believe is the future of the Tourism sector (together with the evolution of specialized tourism and the emphasis on group creation).
Do you realize (as usual) that this enterprise is focused on low price? Can you add something to the business model? Can you think of a way to improve it?
If not you... WHO? If not now... WHEN?