Jan 10, 2013

Touristology for starters

I always remind my Touristologists, customers and partners that the future is to be competitive in a global environment.

Jordi- Why do you repeat this idea over and over? Because, you say yes (sometimes it is worst and directly you said NO) but still focus on local tourism, make deals with local enterprises, only seek local tourists or tourists already here… We are living in a world that is changing very fast, that it is difficult to predict but one thing for sure… there will be winners and losers. If Touristology has to win it has to be an international science. If my Touristologists have to win they have to play in a global environment.

I always remind my Touristologists, customers and partners that the future is to specialize. I not only mean to focus on something specialized. I also mean, to know how to make the most of specialization using Touristology’s tools: 1,2,3, theory, chain of value building and  management... I developed these ideas deeper here.

Fortunately, my Touristologists prove to me that I’m right and they earn a living doing new international and specialized enterprises. Can you give an example, Jordi? Of course I can! What about turisme km 42 a travel agency focused on sports? They provide any kind of tourism services to professional athletes, pro-am related to this segment or just people who like this kind of activities. A perfect example of high level segmentation that we will talk about in a minute!

Let’s suppose, you are the brand new manager of a hotel, a resort or you are in charge of a tourism destination and you finally believe that international tourism is the way to go (I repeat one more time…. Nothing wrong with local tourism BUT if you want to be competitive, if you want to become NOT expendable you’d better get contacts, train your mind, think about your career, services, enterprises… in a global perspective!)

Obviously, you don’t want to be mister Magoo (a nice character famous for his short vision). Consequently, you want to manage the whole chain of value, or at least try to do so!

International tourism? Focus on the chain of value? Perfect! Now time to decide between generic or specialized tourism. Let’s summarize this idea in a Powerpoint presentation! Shall We? I like prezy but it is a little bit posh for me! Anyway, neither Powerpoint nor prezy can transform a boring/useless presentation into a good one.

First things first, we need Tourists! In generic tourism usually a low level segmentation will be enough. So, we have leisure and business segments. We follow Gauss normal distribution. Forget outliers! Focus on the big segments. Our strategy is based on economy of scale. So, we need as many tourists as possible.

What about chain of value’s components? Let’s see…

Meeting places? Generic, of course! Facebook and  linkedin, for instance.

Travel agencies? Generic of course! Even better if we can make a deal with a big Touroperator.

Of course, we have to make deals and appear in the most important search engine, the new group buying and flash sales sites…

And that’s it, now we can focus on offering a quality service, reduce cost and pray that this will be enough… BUT remember other members of the chain of value will try to become leaders of the chain of value, keeping the trust of the tourist, deciding which service to promote, buying new enterprises that appear in the market offering value.

Data Aggregators or Metasearch engines are a good case in point. Take for instance the movements of Expedia and Priceline into Room77 and Kayak respectively as I tweeted here
Ok Jordi! What is so different in specialized Tourism? Well, a few details… First you begin with a high level segmentation...

... you believe in long tail theory and consequently you build a chain of value with specialists. If you get the trust of the tourist you will be the leader of the chain of value and can expand your business with international routes, becoming a Super 3 and /or use the marketing power of being the reference for a specialized community.

Obviously, web-engineering can help us to coordinate, analyze, articulate, these chains of value making them work as a single organization.

You can use web-services or web-scraping or a combination of both. In this article by Andrew Chen you have an interesting example featuring airbnb and craigslist . It’s a good case in point of Integration in the chain of value. As you know, to me, this kind of integration is a key ingredient in a successful and international tourism enterprise and in the development of web 3.0, but this will be part of another post…

In a few days I will explain these ideas to a new bunch of future Touristologists. They are doing a MBA (Master of Business Administration) specialized in Hotel management. They have an international background, they have the vision of an eagle and they want to become Touristologists…

I love my job! I’m a Touristologist builder! Michelangelo has his Sistine Chapel Ceiling;  Leonardo has his Giaconda. I have my Touristologists!

Can you feel my energy? It’s the most powerful force of the Universe. It’s the force of a dream burning inside… Touristology’s dream!!!


  1. Hi Mestre!
    I was doing my research on bottled water industry in Wales, and this advertisement came up on the radio
    First I laughed: yea, I am sure there is not as much market as they wished for...
    Second: Why do they advertise it now? Is it a coincidence that Xmas (normally a family meeting break) is just over?
    Third: Pointing that you always claimed e-commerce and e-business as essential assets for these new changing times...my mind clicked on another advertisement i knew about. Avis was buying a small UK based start-up company in rent a cars to eliminate any possible new competitors on that new specialised e-market: car rentals for an hour 2 min walk from home! http://www.zipcar.co.uk/
    I am not aware of all the applications and technological services based on hospitality and accommodation industry but, I always have a keen eye on new opportunities. Even though my IT skills are not ready to create big projects, I am pretty confident that they all start with a small idea (and making sure you are the owner of it) :)
    Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, also trying to encourage more touristologists to leave comments or just introduce themselves to enrich this blog!

    “Tomorrow`s opportunities might come from very different directions than the basis of today`s success” (Daft 2006)

    1. Always a pleasure to read your comments Sabri! AND, as usual, you provide a good couple of Touristology examples. It’s great to see that your Touristology framework is as sharp as always! I love to see and read your comments THIS IS NOT MY BLOG, IS OUR BLOG the blog of the ones who fell in love with Tourism!!!!

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  3. Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. This has really made me think and I hope to read more.