Our favourite tourism and travel research specialists and business associates My Travel Research have worked with award winning media agency OMD Australia on a research study that gets closer to knowing the pathways consumers take to make travel purchase decisions. We love the way MTR turn sophisticated research insights into practical, actionable recommendations for small businesses in travel and tourism with limited budgets.
Read the Mumbrella article here
I’m in Singapore this week representing my client The Legendary Pacific Coast to travel companies selling Australia. This historic trading port is a financial and technology hub, cultural melting pot, startlingly efficient example of law and order and very enthusiastic disciple of consumerism in all its forms. It was refreshing to see this little ode to the city state’s heritage peeking through on a bit of public transport poetry. It reminds us of why travel matters much.
Channel Manager Siteminder are doing a bit of looking after their own with some advice on how hotel owners/operators can compete with Air B&B. Now worth USD25.5 billion, its not going away anytime soon, and while from an industry perspective there are regulatory issues that need addressing, as a traveller, I love it. Commercial hotel operators who get litigious or bury their head in the sand would do themselves more service by evaluating their value proposition.
Don’t Get Mad Get Even – Site Minder Article
Destination content publishers Arrival Guides have hit one out of the park with this joint media release from the Mars Tourist Board to promote their latest destination guide promoted to over 350 distribution partners. In a cluttered marketing environment where getting more than 10 seconds of attention is a result, this had me reading the whole release, downloading the Mars Destination Guide PDF and crucially for Arrival Guides, taking note of their company as sharp-thinking B2B marketers who can help our travel, events and tourism clients cut through to a savvy travelling audience.
Google can be credited with opening up a world of choice in…well everything. In travel, Trip Advisor are the brand of choice for consumer reviews of travel destinations and products. The transformation of these erstwhile benign giants into muscular, commercial behemoths has been impressive, stealthy and rapid. While Google are not as specifically about travel as Trip Advisor, Priceline and Expedia, they have a lot of skin in the game.
Followers of the long tail theory know that technology and speficically online commerce has enabled the retail strategy of offering a large number of unique products in relatively small quantities (usually in addition to offering a few big sellers in huge volumes).
Consumers have undoubtedly benefited from being able to find and book anything online from a luxury trout-fishing holiday in Quebec to an out of print book or rare music recording hitherto unavailable through bricks and mortar channels.
Market theory and the corporate imperative to increase profit also tell us that regardless of the means of distribution and the technology used, consolidation, mega-mergers and the concentration of power into the hands of a few big players limits consumer choices and the bargaining power of suppliers.
Google and Trip Advisor’s ability to gear technology to favour their own booking platforms is their competitive right, but as this Tnooz article outlines, it is worrying that they are both using this clout to overtly prompt users to choose from only the top three booking options with the option they each have a direct commercial stake in being given top billing. To me, this has momentum toward the supermarket practice of giving premium shelf-space to the handful of suppliers that accept the lowest price (or pay the highest price for distribution of) their product. It might be fair play in the market place, but its becoming less defensible for the handful of mega players to claim with a straight face that they are all about what’s good for the consumer.