Apr 23, 2018

Different enterprises... same negative consequences!!!

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!!!

Apr 6, 2018

Blockchain and Cooperativism.

Next Monday I will begin a new course in Touristology! You know how much I love first day!!! Everything is possible in first days!
I always begin with this image by Escher (I love Escher, but you already know that!)
If you want to talk about new technologies (at least if you want to talk about them in Tourism) you have to provide a business model, a way to monetize this technology, a way to organize the new, new enterprise!
We talked about Blockchain and its wonderful features: Trusted and shared identity, adaptive and smart contracts and secure payments,  here.
In this post, We were talking about sharing economy and the Touristology’s principles that I am sharing around the world since 1992. 
To sum up:
If you want Tourism to be a profit-engine and avoid all-Tourists-in-the-same-place-at-the-same-time …. Start playing Touristology’s principles!
1) Seduce your OWN Tourists!
2) Be able to send them around the world! Create International routes!
3) Get higher profits/salaries and taxes!
Enjoy Touristology!!!
When we talk about sharing economy we can add some interesting ideas…
1) If YOU are the owner of the home/car/whatever-you-want-to-share…Doesn’t it make more sense to create a cooperative? We are talking about sharing economy, right? Let’s use the right sort of enterprise! I love capitalism! If you own the capital, you MUST own the company and profits!
2) Paraphrasing Alan Key… if you are really serious about sharing economy, you have to build your own platforms. If you use THEIR platform you are dealing with THEIR customers
3) From the point of view of the tourist destination. Begin to use the most important and efficient Tourism resource ever… YOUR PEOPLE! Help this cooperative to create communicate and commercialize their products. Help them to make partnerships with your tourism enterprises (hotels, incoming travel agencies…) begin to think about how YOU can bring tourists here!
The other day, I read an interesting article talking about Blockchain and Cooperativism. I, strongly, recommend that you read it! They highlight interesting examples…
BUT Jordi! This is not the usual things! This is not possible… How it is possible to compete with the big gorilla? 
First, look for solutions NOT for excuses! Second follow the specialization path!!! If you are successful, the generic one will follow!
In the last interview, Steve Jobs talked about that sometimes in business, people do things in a way because “That’s just the way it’s done”…

 
He was 21 when he changes a whole sector forever!
Maybe it’s time to change some operations and processes in the Tourism sector! 
Who can do that?  YOU! The future of Touristology! Now it’s your time, don’t look for excuses work hard and prove that you are the best mind working in the best sector ever!!!

Mar 23, 2018

Religious Tourism: The success' path!

In the last days have appeared some articles talking about Religious Tourism. There, I highlight two very important ideas in order that your Tourism destination/enterprise become successful in this kind of Tourism. 
You can also apply those ideas in any kind of tourism. Touristology is a science so, principles are always valid! 
In this post, I want to go deeper in those ideas. If you have any doubt… You know where to find me! 
Religious tourism is very important. We have to remember that 300 million Tourists enjoy it, even though, for some of them religion is not the main motivation of the trip, we still have a very import figure! We only have to remember that the total number of Tourists in the entire world is 1.300 million. If you want to visualize this, you can imagine ALL the inhabitants of China moving around the world!!! 
First idea: Create your own platform. I can describe this idea in many ways. Build your own chain of value, define your own digital ecosystem… BUT the important thing is…In order to be successful in Tourism you have to create a direct relationship with your customers. 
In XXI century it is not enough to create religious packages and try to seduce tourists from other enterprises. That is what I mean when I said in these article “We need to be able to generate online religious tourism platforms equivalent to Airbnb” We need to seduce Tourists from around the world and send them around the world. Can you seduce your Tourists to go to your Tourism destination? Of course! Specially, in the space/time that is more convenient for YOUR inhabitants and YOUR Tourism enterprises. 
Just remember, in order to be successful your business must be GLOBAL. Does AirBnB only sell Tourism services from USA to USA’s citizens? Apple has a deal with a big factory in China. This factory builds most of the Apple’s digital devices. Is this factory a LEADER? 
In a nutshell, to follow the success’ path you can use other enterprises social networking sites, use other intermediaries/infomediaries BUT be sure that you have a direct relationship with your customers and that most of the time they use your platform to create and buy your products. 
Remember, YOUR Tourists can also create their own packages, share them with their friends inside your platform, building groups… generating a sense of community, better experiences and more profits for your company!!! 
Second idea: Focus on specialized Tourism! If you are successful, the generic one will follow. 
A) Generic Tourist relate to Religious Tourism can be anyone that during the trip decide to visit a monument or participate in any religious activity. 
B) Specialized Tourism are the Tourist that the main motivation of the trip is to do or visit any religious activity. 
C) Very specialized Tourism are Tourists that want to combine both the benefits that travel provides (international contacts/experiences, a boost of creativity, bonding experiences for professional or family groups…) with the benefits of participate in religious activities (relaxation, find yourself, create and build a sense of community…). 
Can you image a couple near to divorce BUT that they don’t want to do that? Do you think that a trip and participate in religious activities can regenerate a relationship? 
Can you imagine a start-up becoming a big enterprise and feeling that they are losing the sense of community that they had at the beginning? Do you think that a trip and participate in religious activities can build again this community feeling? 
Can you imagine any person in a grieving process? Do you think that a trip and participate in religious activities can help him/her to overcome this process? 
I could go on for a month, but I think I have made my point! I’m NOT important YOU ARE! Waiting for YOUR examples, waiting to see YOU becoming the best minds in the best sector ever!!!

Mar 6, 2018

Talk less and code more!

I’m reading, again, the wonderful book “E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation” by David Bodanis BUT, this time, I’m reading it together with my son. It is a wonderful experience both for the reading and also for sharing it with him.
One of the things that I like to highlight to my son (and that now I want to share with you) is that the book shows how connecting the dots it is so important. People usually think in silos and when we deal with complex problems we need a broader approach.
Electricity and Magnetism are different kinds of Energy… appears Faraday and proof the contrary!
Liquids, gases, solids are different kinds of matter… appears Lavoisier and began a chemical revolution!
Energy and mass no connection whatsoever… appears Einstein and enlighted the world!
- Jordi! When will you begin to talk about OUR science?!?!?!
- Right here, right now, Touristologists!!!

Do you think that Touristology and Web-engineering are two opposed topics?
Do you think that you can implement a good mobile app or website without knowing the business model and the members of the chain of value related to Tourism?
Do you think that Touristology and Web-Engineering are NOT connected? Do you think that, nowadays, people developing software for the Tourism sector have a lack of knowledge of our current business model AND its necessary evolution in order to deal with the new Digital Ecosystem ?
Do you think that experts in Tourism know about how to use the cloud, syndication (web-services, web-scraping) multi-devices platforms (Native app, Hybrids, Responsive web design) in order to connect all the members of the chain of value in an integrated and synchronized way, allowing them to give support to the Tourist from the beginning to the end of the trip?
Do you think that Tourism enterprises/destinations have to use social media? Do you think that they have to follow Alan Kay’s advice "People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware."? I mean, paraphrasing Alan Kay: People (Travel companies) who are really serious about social media should make their own communities. Why does Vail Resorts create EpicMix an international social community of skiers, as we saw here?
Do you think that the 100 million users of Marriot are one of its most important assets? Do you think that Marriot create and manage a social networking site?
Do you think that you have to know how to create and manage international social networking sites using multi-devices platforms, cloud computing, machine learning, augmented reality, blockchain….?
I strongly believe that to be successful you have to be a consilient thinker and learn whatever it takes in order to understand reality and improve it!
Do you want to practice this consilient attitude? Developing software able to connect these sciences? I will be here waiting for you! Dreaming about the future of our beloved sector! Helping my Touristologist to change the way we define, enjoy and manage our beloved sector!
I have MY partners, I have MY Touristologists…I have MY family! All together willing to connect the dots! Loving Touristology! Loving Web-Engineering!

Feb 7, 2018

Do you think that you already know about segmentation?

If you think that you already know about segmentation I have several questions for you…
Are you able to …
1) …keep the loyalty of your customers even when appear a strong competitor (you can call it a new hotel, apartment provided for the new-new intermediary/infomediary or whatever-it-can-appears-in-the-near-future!!!) offering a 10-15-20% discount?
2) …know what kind of ancillary/auxiliary services you can sell to them in a CUSTOMIZED (Versions of ME, Geolocation/Proximity…) way, avoiding the SPAM of generic offers?
3) ….Increase direct reservations in your web booking engine OR in the widget that you have in an SPECIALIZED on-line magazine, social networking site…(meeting places) related to this segment. OR even better… are you able to create these meeting places connecting the segment and the benefits travel can provide to a human being…
Getting and keeping international contacts; healing wounds (both physical and psychological); learning new things (specially multidisciplinary ones);giving a bust to their creativity; improving relationships (organization teambuilding , couple, grandparents-grandson, single parents…)… as we mentioned here.
Are you sure you have learnt about segmentation from Touristology's point of view? OR you have learnt it as a Sociologists? Is it Sociology an interesting science? SURE! Is it focus on PROFITABILITY as Touristology does????
Maybe you are willing to practice with this study case! By the way, I like to provide examples related to RoomMate because they always have an interesting and original approach to Tourism issues. For instance, the creation of Bemate that you can see here and it is the beginning of OUR study case!!!
Can the man that appears in the video, wishing to get together the freedom of an apartment and the services of a hotel provide positive answers to the questions asked in this post?
Can the other segments that appear in the picture (Families with babies and toddlers, Startups, Families celebrating the 100 year anniversary of grandparent/grandmother) provide these answers?
Are you the best minds working in the best sector ever? Time to prove it!!!!

Jan 23, 2018

Everything is possible in first days!

Yesterday, I had my first session with future Touristologists with the Yield/Revenue Manager’s hat on!
I love first sessions in classes, seminar, in-company training or start-up meetings!!! Everything is possible the first day.
The objectives that appear in OUR syllabus, minds and hearts are ALL possible. Everyone can become the best Touristologists in town, create the new, new disruptive star-up, become the intrapreneur of the year in her/his company, to start a promising journey to become a Manager of Hotel or a Travel Agency, or the new, new Intermediary/Infomediary…
In this first class there was a very dynamic student with strong ideas that I wanted to challenge… to see/think/feel these ideas with another view, another attitude… Touristology’s one!!!
1) It is NOT possible to apply Yield/Revenue Management in Hotels that close after the high season!
Is not possible to apply Yield/Revenue Management in this kind of Hotels? Are you pulling my leg? This kind of Hotels are a wonderful opportunity for REAL Touristologists!!! Do you want to become one?
You can review this post where WE explained the study case of the Wickinn hotel in British Columbia (Canada). This article explains this Touristology’s attitude… “The Wick” sits on the western-most coast of Vancouver Island, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. During the summer, it is one of the prettiest and most tranquil spots you can imagine. But from mid-October to late May, this elegant hotel and surrounding area is pummeled with horrific storms complete with howling winds, huge waves and horizontal rain.
Instead of shying away from this horrendous weather for half the year, The Wickaninnish Inn embraced it, creating a whole experience out of Storm Watching. Everyone who experiences Storm Watching comes away from it somehow captivated, transformed and full of stories that they enthusiastically share with others.”
You can get more information here.
There are many things in life where the normal attitude is to get along, just wait until things fix themselves.
When prices are down what will your reaction be? Will you mark down the prices as well? When everybody closes their Hotel… what do you do? Maybe, you will decide to think as a Touristologist does! Looking for new segments, new opportunities, new chains of value, new ancillary products, new ways to add value…
Again, are you special or an average Touristologist?
Average people are ONLY good at making excuses…
2) I will never make an offer in January! People run out of money, they already went on vacations…  so, forget about Yield/Revenue Management in January!
I, clearly, listened to Touristology’s voice talking through me…
What about looking for new segments?
People that win the lottery, any lottery in any country… The world is flat AND definitely, OUR Office!!!
People that want to learn how to eat properly in order to reduce cholesterol levels, to keep their weight at bay… Do you think that you Food and Beverage department can create special packages for this segment?
People locking for a job… can you make a special agreement with the government and provide special training to them in order to develop new Touristology skills and find new opportunities…
I could go on for a month, but I think I have made my point!
As I said in all OUR first sessions… I’m NOT important YOU ARE! Waiting for YOUR examples, waiting to see YOU becoming the best minds in the best sector ever!!!

Jan 6, 2018

Mentoring is a lifelong experience!

The other day, I was talking with a Yield/ Revenue Manager (one of the best in this field). You know, I was a mentor to them, nowadays… They mentor me back!!!  I Love Touristology!!!
I really enjoy talking with my mentors! I like to see the light in their eyes when they talk about something that is very important to them AND they love to share with me all the details of their everyday battlefield!
Then I have the opportunity to propose to them new approaches or just remember the classical ones. It is a win2win situation. A privilege for being a lecturer in Tourism for the last 26 years!
In this specific mentoring session, we began to talk about segmentation process…
My mentor very fast explain to me the  BAR (Best Available Rate) for each segment, each Groups…Then the classification of the segment based on the distribution channel that they use…
WoW! Wait a moment Touristologist! We are talking about SEGMENTATION, Right?
You don’t define a segment properly just because you assign a BAR to them!
You don’t define a segment properly just because you know which OTA, CRS... they are using in order to make a reservation in your hotel!
If you really want to generate demand and not only to manage it, you need to remember what you learnt as a Touristologists! You have to look for the usual suspects to define segments for your hotel…

Are you able to improve the profitability of your hotel using Touristology’s segmentation???
Are you able to find places where these segments meet together? Just remember…
The beginning of your channel (Chain of Value OR Digital Ecosystem) it is NOT your hotel! It is your Tourists!!! If you are unable to find places real or virtual (What is the difference between them in XXI century???) where your customers meet… you don’t have a segment! You have a good example of Dr. Frankensteins segmentation!
Of course, you can have a profitable Hotel using Dr. Frankensteins segmentation! Hotels for millennials or a Hotel for Emmas or Paus. But maybe you can get a more profitable Hotels following Touristology’s segmentation. The one based upon on Maslow approach and developed for hotels by Chip Conley which will allow you to use long tail theory to seduce YOUR customers in specialize places where usually you don’t have to pay in order to get a direct reservation. It is another example of a Win2Win situation that, clearly, will improve your GopPar!!! On the other hand, as you are focus on a very specialized segment, you can focus on selling VALUE not rooms. This will also increase your RevPar and your TRevPar.
This conversation was going on for hours! We finished it with plenty of good examples and eager to apply them in our beloved sector! I love intellectual dancing with My Touristologists… It is the best way to start a new year and the best gift ever!!! It is also the best way of not becoming the characters in the following figure… 

Are you too busy to improve? Even, when you have your solution INSIDE your hotel. You have the best Tourism Resource of all times… Your people!
Do you think that 2018 can be a good year to change (or complement) the way you define and practice SEGMENTATION in your hotel? If you have any doubt… don’t ask me! Ask any of my Touristologists, they are the best minds working in the best sector ever!!!