Dec 16, 2014

Passion and Teamwork always win!!!

Two of the most usual complaints in my classes, seminars, in-company training or start-up meetings in order to define (or redefine!) their (OUR???) business model …. are
A) But Jordi, one segment of specialized tourism is not big enough. So, do I have to manage 100 segments? This is too difficult!
I always reply the same; NOT if you add two magic words:
  1.      International: If all your tourists are local, it can be difficult to achieve a decent number of customers but, when you think as a Touristologist does and you feel deep inside that the world is your office then, you can get 100 tourists from Brazil, 50 from Austria, 60 from Japan, 200 from you-name-it…
  2.      Pro-Am: In order to manage a high number of segments you need to provide scalability to your Business Model, and scalability comes from Pro-ams. In this post, I tried to explain this idea…. “Scalability, in specialized tourism, can seem difficult to obtain for untrained eyes. You have to focus on small segments and then rely on long tail ideas in order to communicate and commercialized your services in small Social Networking Sites, virtual communities, blogs…  It seems difficult to manage 10, 20, 1000 segments BUT only if you don’t use the pro-am ideas. That means, inside any segment, finding the people able to help you to create, communicate and commercialize your services. Then you have to integrate them into your chain of value and, in this way, you will transform your business model into a scalable one!”
Sometimes, after finishing my arguments I got good feedback, others regular ones and sometimes… Well I will never know because some attendants are too focus on chatting on facebook, twittering like crazies or trying to prove that they are multitasking organizing a meeting/party and pretending they are listening… Frankly, I don’t care about the last ones! My capacity to focus on the future of Touristology and forget about Mr. I-don’t-know-why-I-have-to repeat-this-subject and Miss How-it-is-possible-that-my-start-up-fails is legendary.
B) Another issue that appears over and over is related with the first one. International? Pro-ams? Do you, really, think that I can do that?
In order to achieve that you need two ingredients: Passion and Teamwork, both are closely related. In order to get a team you have to throw passion away like a sprinkler!
Passion is like a magnet for talented people, furthermore, it keeps away the naysayers!
So, begin to work.. forget about “what I have now is not enough”. You have passion, passion brings a team… Passion and Teamwork always win!!!!
Make up your mind, you have to choose to activate your passion and then your dreams will come true OR, otherwise, you can complain all day long, looking for excuses and scapegoats and letting your nightmares become reality.
The world, motivated and trained people, investors, TOURISTS don’t answer complaints… They answer passion!!!
So, remember Touristologists! Passion and Teamwork for specialized tourism but not only for that…To improve your English, your programming skills, to set up your killer star up, to have better personal relationships, to live a better life!!!
I will ask for a big shipload of passion from The Three Wise Men. I recommend you to do the same!!!
Not convinced yet?  Maybe this ad can help me to convey the idea.... Passion and Teamwork always win!!!

Dec 2, 2014

Tearing Touristology’s wall down!

After finishing the first term, I have some extra time to focus on my second love. Obviously, I am talking about Web-Engineering, Touristologists!!! I have the opportunity to provide advice to a big consultancy firm about the best approach to deal with a multiple-device world.
It is an interesting project and I work with my favorite A-team BUT the project is NOT related to Tourism!!!
But, Jordi. At the end of the day, an enterprise is an enterprise, isn’t it?
- Ask the usual one that appears in my Touristology’s classes because a hole connects “Veterinary University” and “Touristology” ones.
Of course not, Vet, I mean Touristologist!
How is possible that people with no education, experience in Tourism…dare to give their opinion. Do they also opine about quantum mechanics?
Calm down, Jordi - I hear Touristology’s voice talking to me - Don’t you seduce people from around the world to go to a specific hotel/lodging or tourism destination? Why don’t you use your skills to seduce the brightest minds to the best sector ever?  Ummm… maybe I growled, but first, let me finish…
So, what kinds of alternatives, do we have in order to deal with a multiple-screen world?
1) Responsive Web Design (RWD). I mean a web site that adapts to different devices and browsers.
2) A mobile web application. A web site focused on mobile devices.
3) A native application. An application aimed to make the most of a direct connection with the operative system (IOS, Android, you-name-it….) of a mobile device.
-What is the best approach, Jordi?
As I, usually, say to my Touristologists, an intelligent answer begins with …. “It depends”.
For me, it is difficult to find black or white situations in life. I did my doctoral thesis about Fuzzy Logic and I learnt that even in a digital world things are not 0 or 1. Modern computer science seems to agree!  If you are interested “A shortcut through time by George Johnson” can be very enlightening about Quantum Computing ideas…
So, “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. (NO, it doesn’t have to be the same as they usually use! For instance, my Touristologists are chatting like crazies with their mobiles all day long BUT, usually, they prefer their laptop to do a videoconference).
You have to define the kind of operations and processes that you want to offer to the Tourists then, based on the kind of device they are mostly using, you have to make up your mind.
For instance, let’s consider that we want to deal with the creation of a dynamic package. So, it will be the servuction (process) of the creation of a product, one of the famous 4P’s in marketing operation.
As you know, apart from the 4P’s E. Jerome McCarthy coined in the 60’s (It’s so funny, to see how people try to create new Ps. The P of people the P of process, the P of post-sale…), in Tourism we have to add two ambits: Space and Time, where the 4P’s have to be applied.
There is a powerful reason to add these two ambits to the 4P’s, Touristologists!!! What is the biggest difference between the tourism sector and others? We don’t send something abroad… We seduce tourists from around the world to come a specific place. So, if we want to provide backup for them from the beginning to the end of the trip, we have to adapt the 4 P's to…
1) Space: Actions of the 4 P’s in the country of origin and in the tourism destination.

2) Time: Actions of the 4P’s before, during and after the trip.
Do you believe that Tourists will create and modify their Dynamic Package, basically using smartphones?
Then, better to use Jquery Mobile. It is (almost) perfect for mobiles and, furthermore… it works well with Apache Cordova / PhoneGap allowing you to create a hybrid app and enjoying most of the benefits of native apps.
Do you believe that Tourists will create and modify their Dynamic Package using, indiscriminately, desktop devices, tablets and smartphones?
Then, it is better to use Bootstrap which is good for any devices. Yes, I know that it can be too heavy for a hybrid app (Apache Cordova / PhoneGap), but we have to make a decision, right?
BUT, Jordi, then a Tourism enterprise, their operations and processes (including Marketing and the 4P’s) are different from other sectors!
Finally, you got it Vet, Sorry Touristologist!!! Ummm, maybe it is a good idea not to cover up the hole, BUT instead do, exactly, the opposite!!!! 
- This is what I was telling you before - Begin to claim Touristology’s voice…
Tear Touristology’s wall down!!! Let’s welcome and embrace Consilience’s era that Edwars O. Wilson foresees.
Nobody better that Mr. Wilson himself to talk about Consilience and passion for science… I hope you enjoy it!!!
There are plenty of opportunities for real Touristologists and we need the best minds! So, feel free to join us. As long you agree that… 1) Touristology is a science and 2)  YOU are the best minds working in the best sector ever… You are welcome aboard… Let’s enjoy the race!

Nov 25, 2014

From generic to specialized. Why is it the other way around in Tourism?

In most sectors there is a rule that almost work… First generic then specialized. For instance, in television channels… the other day, I saw the announcement of tapp that their founders define as a collection of niche television channels connecting super fans with personalities.
So, first generic television then, thematic one, finally, specialized/customized/tailor made television. It makes perfect sense!
When we talk about web 2.0 business model
We see the same evolution, first web was all about to offer the 3 c’s (Content, commerce and community) then, the evolution was the way we offer these 3 c’s from a generic way to a customized one. And this is the usual way…Does anyone doubt that Generic SnS (Social networking Site ) appeared first and then specialized ones?  First Facebook then networking for professionals ( then networking for professional doctors ( (More about that here) Do you see the trend?
Why is Tourism different? Because you don’t send /broadcast / export product or services… you bring people. That means that you have to give them a powerful reason to come here. This is especially important in international tourism (I leave for copyologists to discuss local tourism… NOT because I don’t find it important BUT because it is so boring than I can stand it!)
Powerful reasons to travel? But Jordi… Everybody wants to travel! Well, we can discuss that Touristologists. Touristology is a science related to Tourists travelling/moving from one place to another for travel reasons or for necessities that they can better achieve through a trip: Getting and keeping international contacts; healing wounds (both physical or psychological); learning new things (specially multidisciplinary ones); giving a bust to their creativity (as Alain de Botton said “Journeys are the midwives of thought”; improving relationships (organization team building), couple, grandparents-grandson, single parents…)…So, I repeat, maybe they don’t want to travel AND even if they want to travel…. Why to travel TO YOUR PLACE?!?! As I said… you will need powerful reasons to bring people to your place. Nice weather is a good one, the opportunity to develop business, beautiful sightseeing, historical heritage… but you know the most powerful one… the best tourism resource ever? PEOPLE! Any kind of people? Of course not, I don’t want to go to an overcrowded destination, but a place where people from around the world meet together to talk about something important to them… This is the real segmentation in Tourism. I don’t say that you can’t study reality/societies with this Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation BUT we are NOT Sociologists! We are Touristologists! Our aim is to transform any Hotel, Restaurant or Tourism destination into a magnet. In this way, we will transform any place into the place to be!!!! As Touristologists proudly say “Good location? We decide what a good location is!”.
Apart from that, when you are dealing with specialized tourism, it is compulsory to learn how to set up and manage the whole chain of value. You don’t have other option. As we are talking about specialized tourism, usually, there are NOT members of the chain of value. So you have to make them up! 
All the effort brings a reward…. when you create and manage the whole chain of value you will feel the power, the independence… and you will try to keep this feeling even though in generic tourism… You will feel that you are special, that you have a different way to define, work and practice Tourism. You wouldn’t like to copy or wait for others to bring the tourists to you (by the way, earning most of the money and demanding more and more conditions…) you will become… A Touristologist!!!

Nov 19, 2014

Copyologist from the beginning… to the end?

The other day, I was helping my son with some homework. I was trying to develop a framework for him. (You know how much I love frameworks , don’t you? 
I created a table with the basic ideas that he had to develop:
And I gave an example to him…
Then, I said to my son - Now, it is your turn, give me an example!
To my surprise, He didn’t provide any example. He just repeat (copy) the table and my example, then, proudly, said to me - Finished!
When I complained that he had done ANYTHING, he complains back - you don’t know how to teach. At school we have to repeat everything. This is what learning is all about!
WOW! I had a “déjà vu” moment!!! Some of my students (some of them will become Touristologists, others will just get a piece of paper proving that they stayed four years in the University copying like crazies) think the same! I gave them theories: 1,2,3, theory, Revenue Management Framework, Servuction, Strategic triangle, Bermuda Triangle… then I asked them for examples. They reply that I have to give them some examples first.
Fair enough! So, I show them examples related to the latest tendencies in Tourism, the ones that then I convey here in OUR blog!
Then, what I classify as the most puzzling moments in my career as a Touristologist builder happens…
1) Sometimes when they have to give a presentation or do the final test, they just repeat my examples or copy the ones created by other Touristologists then, I give them a low grade.
They, strongly, complain - this is not fair!  With other teachers we memorize definitions and examples and writing them down always means a good grade.
2) Other students complain because they have to use Touristology’s theory (like chain of value) in each presentation.
- Jordi, we know, perfectly, this theory
- Ok! Can you provide and ORIGINAL example of its application? Because, if the only thing that you are able to do is to repeat my examples…. then you only prove that you are able to copy.
Let me clarify this once and for all…
You are not tired of this theory. You are tired of not understanding it! You are tired of copying ideas from other Touristologists. The day that you create your own ideas I guarantee… you will enjoy using it! The day that you get a promotion because of it; you will feel proud of yourself and… I will feel even prouder!!!
Do you want to copy from the beginning to the end? Well, NOT on my watch! I’m a Touristologist builder you have to fall in love with tourism, don’t copy, don’t imitate; find your own way… Become a Touristologists!!!
If I believe that allowing copyologists’ behavior you will get a high paying job or you will be able to set up the new killer start up. I would allow this, until then… I will keep swimming against the tide… to the end!!!
For myself..
For the future of Touristology as a science
And, above all else, for respect to the Touristologists I mention here.
By the way, while I was finishing this post, my son came to me with the table full of original examples.  He gave it to me together with a kiss… I kiss him back… Like in a film this song wraps up the magic moment!!!

Nov 11, 2014

Manage your attention! It is your most valuable treasure!!!

Do you want to have a wonderful life? Do you want to fulfill your dreams? Do you want to be a successful entrepreneur?... Maybe the best advice that I can give to you is: Don’t think about silly, spiritually-ugly people. Sharpen up your skills to forget fast (faster!!!) the actions, words, silly movements that silly people use to become important. Do the same with their desire to flatter the powerful and to humiliate the weaker. I am not saying that you shouldn’t try to stop them. Stop them if you can but, in any case, never go over and over their actions!!!
But, Jordi, What if this silly people show a lack of respect to me? I have to react, no?
You are not a puppet, Touristologists! You are the best minds working in the best sector ever! So, be sure that only you pull your strings! You are too important, too valuable, to let others control your thoughts and, therefore, your emotional states.
At the end of your life, you will realize that they were never important and you will regret not having focused your attention on intelligent, dream-doers kind of people (the Sampredro, The Pucinnis, The Carnegies…). There is a scarcity of these kinds of people in the world. So, you’d better expend some time searching for them, sharpen up your skills to find and listen to them.
Sometimes, they are difficult to find. They are the opposite of the ones Mark Twain describes in the following sentence “Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.” Maybe they don’t appear in generic media, but they are the best investment that you can make with your time on earth!
Avoiding spiritually-ugly people and locking after dream-doers provide several worthy rewards. For instance…
1) You will be able to create your own private university!
First you learn concepts and definitions on the Internet, books, documentaries…
Second, practice and improve the skills relate to the concepts. For instance, first learn about asynchronous software using Javascript, then download nodejs and create your own single page application OR first learn about Revenue Management then ask for an internship contract in a hotel that master in the application of this management philosophy OR…
Finally, find and listen to the best people in the field that arouse your interest. Try to meet with them personally or through Internet. These meetings will be like attending to a master class or a tutoring session in a prestigious university.
2) You will get the blessing of a quiet and trained mind! 
So far, the best hardware-software combination, better than any Intelligent Systems, Artificial Intelligent, Big Data or any fancy name that you can think. Join this tool with a clear goal (become a Touristologist, a Revenue Manager, a web developer….) and you will achieve your dreams…
As sure as Touristology is a science!!!

Nov 3, 2014

Forget about the Chain of value…. I was wrong!

Just joking Touristologists! I still strongly believe that the control of the chain of value is the key in order to create and manage a successful business (in Tourism OR in any other sector!!!). The other day, we talked about how the possibility to control (or not) the chain of value is the main criteria in order to invest or to work in exchange of stock options in a new enterprise or start-up.
Let’s see today an example. Shall We?
What do you think about the following video? 
Do you agree that, at the end of the day, the service (check-in) will be the same BUT the servuction will change? The anchor in this video show doubts if this will mean a better experience for the customer. The answer? There is not a single answer Touristologists! It depends on the segment that we want to analyze. Even in the same segment we have to consider the “Versions of Me” idea!

Hilton also wants to offer the possibility that the customer can choose their room. Again, the service is the same BUT the servuction is different. So far, the receptionist chooses the room. Now it will be the customer. Nowadays, you can choose the seat on a flight choose your car in a rent-a- car agency… Why not choose your room in a hotel? So, it sounds interesting, BUT, definitely, it is not new! A long time ago, appeared room77 a Data Aggregator and Online travel Agency offering the same feature… 

Do you think that those ideas are a threat for other competitors? Sure they are!
BUT…. let’s compare this improvement in the servuction process to a movement aiming to control the chain of value of an important segment for hoteliers…
Do you know travelport? Do you know that they bought Hotelzon? You don’t know Hotelzon? Let’s change that!
Do you know that Travelport shares the same investor group as Hilton? Do you know that Hilton and Travelport have important partnerships?
Do you see the potential to control the chain of value for corporate travel? As you can see in the previous video, hotelzon helps Business travelers to prepare their reporting, they don’t have to pay any fees, neither for booking nor for cancellation. Do you know what that means for hoteliers???
The fact that Hilton (service suppliers) Travelport (travel agencies) and Hotelzon (a Central Reservations System for Corporate travelers) work together rings a bell for you?  Control of the chain of value, maybe?
And they are not alone in these kinds of movements. Here, you can learn about a similar one, this time from Sabre acquiring Genares:
Do I mean that corporate travel is not a good option for hoteliers? Do I mean that Hotelzon or Genares are a bad choice from hoteliers’ point of view? Not at all! I only say that if you are unable to find new segments, new chains of value which you have options to control, then you are not a Touristologists!
Interesting times in the Tourism sector. Interesting times to be a Touristologists… Interesting times to find alternatives to generic tourism!!!
Do you still think that specialized tourism is not necessary? Maybe, playing with generic tourism you are able to increase your revenues BUT are you sure you will increase your profits?
You don’t know how to deal with specialized tourism? Don’t panic! You can always talk with any of my Touristologists! They know how to deal with BOTH generic and specialized tourism, after all…. They are the best minds working in the best sector ever!