May 13, 2017

Success? Only if you have YOUR own Tourists!!!

The other day (yesterday), I was in class listening to a wonderful presentation about Uber from one of the best Touristologists I have had the privilege to practice intellectual dancing with.
When she mentioned that Uber’s drivers don’t work for the company… “They are their own bosses!!!” I began to think that maybe the drivers believe that they are entrepreneurs… that they have an enterprise….
Suddenly, a metaphor appeared in my mind (I am the king of metaphors remember?) Some Tourism destination and tourism enterprises believe that they are doing well enough even when they don’t have their own Tourists but, instead, Tourists from other enterprise (you can call it a tour-operator, the biggest search engine /Social Networking Site or the new group buying or flash sales site….)…
Let me be crystal clear!
Drivers of Uber… You are not your own boss! You will be your own boss when you have your own customers/tourists!
Tourism destinations/ Tourism enterprises you will be successful when you have your own Tourists! Otherwise, you are the warehouse or the supplier of other enterprises! Nothing wrong with that BUT, we are talking about becoming your own boss or becoming a successful enterprise or Tourism destination, right?
It is NOT about quality tourism… It is NOT about other enterprises bringing their tourists that spend more money…
It is all about who owns the Tourists!
it is all about who gets the trust of the Tourists!
It is all about who gets the profit
it is all about who avoid (or get) the bad impacts (you can call it, carrying capacity)
It is all about enjoying the tasks of Touristologists seducing Tourists from around the world and making them YOUR TOURISTS!

A good example is this article that made me tweet this...

Most of the revenues of Priceline’s group came from outside United States. They sell THEIR Tourists to other countries… to small chains of hotels or independent ones.
For Priceline’s group is far difficult to do that in United States. Big chain of hotels build their own loyalty programs (think about Marriot for instance, with more than 100 million affiliates!) AND ALSO small ones which customize their services thinking about specialized segments:
Here, we talked about Chip Conley and their hotels based on magazines…
Here, we talked about Vail Resorts who target international customers creating a chain of value: An incoming travel agency (snow.com) and a specialized social networking site (epicmix.com). So, building and managing their OWN chain of value!!!
Interested in pass from THEIR Tourists to YOUR Tourists? Don’t’ ask me… Ask any of my Touristologists!!! They are the best minds working in the best sector ever, making wonderful presentations and making me feel the proudest Touristologists builder on earth!!!

May 2, 2017

Winners and losers in Tourism

Which Company/Tourism destination will win in Tourism? 
The one(s) giving support to the Tourists from the beginning to the end of the trip!
Will WoT/IoT help to give this support? Definitely!

 
Will Blockchain /Smart Contracts help to give this support? Definitely!

Touristologists connecting the dots! Touristologists changing the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism!!!

Apr 26, 2017

From the city of the tourists to the tourists of the city


We need less criticism about tourism and more actions. We need more people applying Touristology and less people managing the tourism sector saying that tourism is not manageable (that make me tweet… “this is a good (and very sad) example of an oxymoron!!!)
We need to change from Top-Down strategies to Bottom-Up ones, as we analyze here AND here using analogy’s power…
We need to use the most important resource of any tourism destination… OUR people. They have to create, communicate and commercialize THEIR own tourism products.
We need less promotion efforts focused on foreign enterprises bringing THEIR tourists. We need less foreign investors and more use of the real sharing economy using OUR apartments, OUR hotels to seduce OUR tourists (as we discussed here).
We need to educate our people. We need to seduce OUR tourists, in this way we will love them and everybody will love Tourism!
Time to look for results NOT excuses! Time to create a stimulating alternative for everybody. Time to take the tourism sector in OUR own hands.
Yes, definitely, we need to change from the city of the tourists to the tourists of the city. OUR people have to select, seduce, bring OUR own tourists here! Proving that tourism is manageable, proving that we can create richness, good quality jobs and successful start-ups, proving that we are leaders in Tourism!!!

Apr 1, 2017

Let’s code some dreams!!!

One month ago… this was my tweet...
Teaching my students how to code his/her dreams in native mobile apps (iOS/Android) is one of the most gratifying things in my life!!! 
On Monday I will practice it! It will be the first day of a new subject! I love first days!!! 
I have been working in mobile development for the last 5 years, helping both, big organizations and start-ups to select the best approach to a multi-screen world.
I mean… 
1) Responsive web design: I enjoy dealing with Bootstrap and its approach to responsive web design!
2) Hybrids apps: Today the most popular approaches are… 
  2-1) Cordova/PhoneGap for people loving to reuse their HTML+CSS+JavaScript knowledge. 
   2-2) React Native for people thinking about using JavaScript in the frontend and also in the backend! 
  2-3) Xamarin that has the powerful support of big software enterprises like Microsoft (by the way... Great integration with Visual Studio), Oracle… but… you have to learn C# 
   2-4) Ionic (Angular) 
OR 
3) Native applications: I love reusing my knowledge of Java and XML in Android and discovering the benefits of functional programming. At the end of the day… I’m an old dog learning new tricks… first OOP (Object-Oriented Programming who better than Steve Jobs to learn about it!) now adding Functional Programming and getting Functional Reactive Programming! And… of course I fell in love with Swift at first sight!!! 
So, Responsive Web Design, Hybrid or Native Apps... Which is the best approach? 
As I always say... an intelligent answer begins with …. “It depends”. Effectively, “it depends” it is a good beginning but, it would be a know-it-all answer if you don’t add… It depends ON… In general, it will depend on the kind of device your customers use WHEN they deal with your company AND remember this device can be different (or a combination of devices) for every operation and process inside your company (YES! I mean inside your chain of value!!!!) You have to define the kind of operations and processes that you want to offer to the Tourists/Customer then, based on the kind of device they are mostly using, you have to make up your mind. 
It will also depend on your team, in the kind of expertise that they have… in their motivation to learn!
It will also depend on your budget…. So, there is NOT a perfect solution! In life, as in web-engineering as in Touristology you have to learn how to wear different HATS! 
To provide a good servuction…put your hotelier hat on! 
To create, communicate and commercialize a tourism package for a generic or specialized group… put your travel agent hat on! 
To sell NOW for THIS Day/hour… put your Yield/Revenue Manager hat on
We are Consilient Thinkers, nimbly passing from one Science to another, smiling and loving to dance…even under the rain!!!!   
So, I will be dancing on Monday!!! 
Everything is possible the first day. The objectives that appear in OUR syllabus are ALL possible: “To develop a MVP (minimum viable product) to check YOUR ideas with customers, potentials investors and professional developers, both in iOS and Android environments.” 
Let’s go for them!!! 
I, definitely, love first days!!!

Mar 8, 2017

Help the world to help YOU!!!

Some time ago, I wrote down a manual about Touristology, where I explained that we live in a connected world (I was following the ideas of Thomas Friedman and his marvelous book “The world is flat”). This connected world is especially true in tourism.

We can do business with everyone. The world is OUR office! So, if we want to succeed in tourism we have to do things globally! 
We send tourists around the world. We have to seduce tourists from around the world ...We can create international routes in order to satisfy the needs of specialized or generic tourists. 
What happens in other countries affects the security of all countries: wars, pollution, poverty, LACK OF ALTERNATIVES FOR LOCAL POPULATION ... If we want to increase security, to reduce pollution, to take care of the culture of the world, we have to implement measures on a global level. If we want to reduce pollution we have to do things globally. 
Which is the role of Touristology in this goal?

We must teach countries worldwide about how to create richness, employment, and protect their/ OUR culture using Touristology’s methodology. This will reduce their poverty, give them alternatives and, consequently, improvements to our security! This will also give opportunities for Touristologists around the world!

As the definition of Touristology says: “Touristology is the art and science of travel motivation promising improvements in quality of life, international contacts and broader perspectives for the tourist AND a way to take care of culture and create richness and employment for the tourist destination.” 
Yes, Touristologists… We definitely have to help the world to help YOU!!!

Feb 19, 2017

We are waves Managers!!!


I always begin my classes, seminars, in-company training or start-up meetings in order to define (or redefine!) their business model with three powerful sentences:
1) Revenue / Yield Management is a way to manage hotels focusing on PROFITS and coordinating all the departments of the hotel and all the members of the chain of value.
2) Let’s clarify this once and for all… Your business is NOT selling rooms or F&B… Your business is to satisfy your customer, providing what they need, when they need it, in the way they need it!
3) Main difference between Marketing and Yield/Revenue? TIME! I want to sell NOW for THIS Day/Hour… We are waves managers!!!
We deal with the first and the second key ideas in previous posts. Today let’s focus on the last one!
At the end of the day, Yield/Revenue Management is strongly related to the idea of Servuction. You have to manage the context in which action takes place. So, the duality space and time!
You have queues when everybody wants to use your service at the same time and in the same space BUT you can design a better Servuction in order to avoid that!
We talked about wave management here when we compared Yield/Revenue Managers with surfers. The difference? Surfers adapt to waves. We manage AND create them!
You can apply these ideas in Hotels but also in Restaurants. For instance, managing the waiting list as we saw here OR changing the space and time of different Servuctions focusing on different segments… At 12 you can serve meals to office workers, at 15 to romantic couples followed for a cuisine class in order to repeat the experience at home then, you can serve a meal to students together with a seminar about food and intellectual yield!
“Empty your mind! Be formless! Be like water my friend” said Bruce Lee. To me, it seems a good advice in order to waves management!!!

You can apply these ideas in a thematic park as well.
In a Macro-level seducing customers to make reservations NOW for this specific day…
In a Micro-level seducing customers to go to a specific attraction at the best moment to THEM  and to US.
You can use fear: Go now or never
You can use guiltiness: Please, help this specific group…
BUT the best motivation tool is… to seduce them!!!
You can use the ideas of Maslow creating communities and making people member of them. You can use the ideas of Carnegie (Dale) and make them to feel important doing something AND you can provide a better Servuction knowing what is important for the customer (remember in order to know you can ask or watch!) then, customize the Servuction sending customized messages to a mobile app…
* -    These attractions have the longest queues, we recommend this one.
* -    If you go this attraction right now you will get…Extra points, Access to preferred guest queue… Free use of… a job interview with…

Hungry of more examples? Don’t’ ask me… Ask any of my Touristologists!!! They are the best Yield/ Revenue Managers… the best waves Managers in the entire world!!!!

Do you see queues, complaints and rooms/seats difficult to sell?

We see waves to manage, service recovery opportunities AND Touristology science applied to Yield/Revenue Management!!!

Feb 4, 2017

Groups, S3 and Your own SnS!


Last week, I had the opportunity to be a Lecturer in a Master for future Entrepreneurs.  It was very interesting and I, really, enjoyed the experience!
During the sessions appeared one of the usual questions of OUR classes, seminars, in-company training or startup meetings in order to define (or redefine!) the Business Model…
-   Jordi, why is specialization so important?
In a GLOBALIZED world, there are plenty of people, enterprises… with a lot of money and contacts to create economies of scale, if the most important thing that you offer it is a low price… you will lose the battle!
BUT if you are focus in an INTERNATIONAL community of PEOPLE then you are focused on value and you can win the battle (you can call it, survive in the market or to be able to sell your startup for a very good price!)
First things first, let’s see some degrees of specialization. Here, I tried to explain this idea with the help of this pyramid:

You can apply this pyramid to ANY sector! - I said to the disruptive startups creators.
The first tier represents enterprises with no specialization whatsoever and focused on price. The second tier is for enterprises specialized in offering a specific product/service. It can be a new one or the usual BUT with interesting new features from the point of view of the customer. This is a good approach, nothing wrong with it BUT… We can go deeper in the segmentation process focusing on people. In the last tier, it is NOT enough to know that this segment want to buy a specific product/service, we have to know the reasons, the unsatisfied needs that make them to use this product/service…
One thing is to sell organic food to people that love organic food (second tier) the other is to know that they want organic food because they want to live more (QUALITY) years. Let’s see some examples…
A) The person married/ in love with a younger person.
B) The couple that have children at an advanced age and they want to be sure that they will see and enjoy their grandchildren…
Do you see? We can try to seduce the segment with our product (organic food) BUT in the third tier we can get some important competitive advantages:
1) You can create your OWN SnS
As you seduce a segment that is NOT a Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation they will love to talk about their experiences. So, you can create your OWN Social Networking Site. I always believe that paraphrasing Alan kay “if you want to be serious about SnS you have to create your own ones.”  This is very important because the competitive advantage of generic products/services is economies of scale BUT in specialized ones the competitive advantage comes from gaining the TRUST of the segment.
2) You can become a Super 3 (S3) for this community
You can sell MORE, both to the members of the community (you can sell anything interesting to them) and for any person/organization trying to seduce them. I try to represent this idea with this graphic that we saw in this posts.
Finally, last but definitely not least…

3) GROUPS! 
You know me… “Groups” is another word carved into my mind. The possibility to create groups is a leverage to get a profitable and scalable business.  Inside a specialized and INTERNATIONAL community is far easier to create groups and take the most of the PRO-AM idea. Groups in order to get discounts for services. Groups in order to get customized product/services for the community, even to create, communicate and commercialized new product/services based on the interest of your community.
I explained all these ideas to the entrepreneurs. Maybe some of them will take up the glove and apply these ideas in their disruptive startup… It will be my honor and my privilege to share their adventures, their success OR their opportunities to begin again, here!
Keep dreaming, keep working, keep enjoying Touristology!!!