Feb 24, 2015

Can you improve it, Touristologists?!?!

Sharing Economy, Webscraping,  multi-screen world solution…
Can you improve it, Touristologists?!?!

Feb 17, 2015

The last post?

Maybe this is the last post, at least for a while!!! But remember my nickname is Skynet so… I will be back!!!
This blog has never been about me, when I began this blog five years ago, I felt that Touristology needed a voice! Touristology, thanks to all the mentors that I have, speak through me. Nowadays, Touristology has more and more voices. The number of Scientists claiming to be a Touristologist is growing and the voices saying that Touristology is not a science are inaudible…
For the above reason, Touristology now needs more tools than voices… I will try to help with this!
From now on, I want to spend most of my time developing the ideas that I will explain in this post. The topic is the new, new intermediaries for specialized tourism. You can also call them, the dreamers and creators of “My own 1,2,3” in Touristology’s terms.  In this post, I want to describe the business model, then I want to focus on developing the technological scheme always, two hands, remember.
In my classes, seminars, in-company training or start-up meetings in order to define (or redefine!) their (OUR???) business model it is difficult to get deeper in server-side technologies, client-side ones, responsive web design or how to be ready for a multi-screen world and I want, definitely, to go deeper. Do you also have this feeling, Touristologists? If this is so, let me know… maybe we can go deeper together!
As you know, I have a bias for specialized tourism. I think that is a better base for developing a tourism destination or tourism enterprise. I like to represent this with this figure:
Furthermore, I think specialized tourism brings more opportunities for my Touristologists! One way to visualize these opportunities of specialized tourism is using the long tail theory. Let’s see a figure:
One of the basic goals, in this scenario, is to generate the magnet power that a congress (like the World Mobile Congress) has over one of the main segments in tourism (Business), over any niche segment inside “the long tail” concept.
In the “head” you have to use the most popular Social Networking Site (SnS) Central Reservation System (CRS) or On-line Travel Agency (OTA) and Search Engine… BUT…
In the tail you have the opportunity and…  The Touristology  duty to create your own chain of value and manage all the 3 C’s in a customized, syndicated and pro-amized way.
One way to achieve that is creating your own SnS, which based on the loyalty of the group of users can also become the Search Engine, the OTA, the CRS , the you-name-it of reference, for this specific niche.
It has always been my honor and privilege to explain some of the projects My Touristologists are developing. Do you want to see a couple of examples? Today, I will talk about Prometteo and Glaykos.
The first is Prometteo, the brainchild of Sara, one of the most brilliant Touristologists that I have ever had in my classes. She is developing a community for deaf people that want to travel without any barriers. Here you can get a glance about her vision:
The second one is Glaykoss, the brainchild of Jaume and Nuria two brand new Touristologists lighting up the Touristology sky!
I am sure that in the near future hundreds of projects like this will appear! We are Touristologists! We are changing the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism! We are the best minds working in the best sector ever!!! 

Feb 10, 2015

Customization is the name of the game!

In the year 2000 I presented my doctoral thesis about how to apply complex systems in the Tourism sector (it was all about adding value through customized 3 C’s: Content, Commerce and Community). Even though I was (and still am) a Touristologist builder, I have always believed that you have to get experience out of the classroom. For that reason, I love to work as a consultant and entrepreneur!
My mind was full of ideas related to the new internet business model and I had been improving my coding skills focused on web languages (basically, Java). So, I was ready to work for a big consultancy company. I sent my CV, I asked for personal interviews, I asked for colleagues to recommend me… Not Touristologists I was NOT just waiting for a call… I was PROVOKING a call. In the same way that we have to seduce customers to come to our tourism destination or lodging enterprise, we have to seduce employers in order to get a good job. But you already know that!
One of these job interviews was for applying to “E-business product manager for the Health sector”. In the middle of the interview I got this question…
So, you have experience in hotels but what about in hospitals?
Well - I confidently replied.- At the end of the day, they are quite similar. Beds, Food and Beverage and customized servuction!
Are you joking? -Asked the perplexed Interviewer?
Once more the lack of vision about Servuction doesn’t allow me to get a job.
Lack of vision or destiny, Touristologists? After the Interview I got a phone call that ended up with me becoming an E-business product manager for the Tourism sector!!!
Tourism, Health and Education are very good examples of servuction. In all three, the participation of the customer is the key for a good output. In all three, Internet brings new opportunities for customizing the services and creating groups of customers and, as you know, “GROUPS” is another word carved into my mind.
Was I joking? No my friend! I was dead serious!
A few weeks ago, Josep Baselga was talking about how cancer treatment is changing thanks to new technologies and the ability to deal with big data. Until now, pharmaceutical companies have had to discover a cure, a way to improve health, or how to avoid metastasis if you get a tumor. Then they create a pill and sell it through pharmacies that get a 30% of margin.
BUT nowadays, we know (explain Mr. Baselga), that each tumor is different. Tumors are not a contagious disease. It is something that we develop in a different way based on our DNA. So, we need to create customized pills for each customer. We need to change the process. You send your DNA, based on that, we create the pills and then send it to your home (or maybe in the future we will be able to print them using a 3D printer!!!!)

Is this process so different to big tour operators selling products through travel agencies (well, an important difference is the commission that travel agencies get!!!)? Tour Operators buy plenty of rooms getting economy of scales which allow them to offer very competitive prices for a strongly price orientated customer.
But nowadays, people want experiences. Is there an easier way to create that for them than using customized 3 C’s??? People want to travel and also get what tourism can provide to them: A new perspective, international contacts, healing wounds (both physical and psychological); learning new things (especially multidisciplinary ones); giving a bust to their creativity…..
So, we learn what is important to the tourists, we learn the best way to provoke an experience and we sell a customized dynamic packaging to them!
Are you able to see the parallels? Are you able to see that I wasn’t joking?
Is it so different in education? Where different students have different multiple intelligences. Where different students have different backgrounds (both academic and professional). Where different students have different taste and are looking for different opportunities?
Now as 15 years ago…. Tourism, Health and Education are good examples of servuction! So, getting data and transforming it into knowledge in order to customize the experience is the key for any successful Trip, Treatment or Education process! I am not joking! As sure as Touristology is a science!!!

Feb 3, 2015

Seriously? This is all you get?

The other day, we talked about a metaphor related to Revenue Managers and Surfers. If you remember we used a figure similar to this:

Today I want to go deeper into the “Booking Pace” concept.

As you remember one of the most important differences between first class Revenue Managers and Surfers is that the former can alter /transform/ influence the wavelength of the wave while surfers (like regular Revenue Managers) just adapt to them.
Sometimes I have the opportunity to spend my time with experts, gurus, I-have-been-a-revenue-manager-for-X-years, Touristologists with the Revenue Manager hat on… and they share with me their knowledge about how to control the wavelength:
One of them was saying to me:
When the market is up: Increase the prices, cut your offer in the most expensive CRS or OTA and ask for a minimum of stays in your hotel.
When the market is down: Do the opposite!
I said -Wait a minute. Can I take notes? I want to share this with my Touristologists.
So, here I am sharing this with you.
I can agree with “When the market is up” ideas but remember, some CRS don’t allow you to cut the allotment. Well, they allow you to do that but then when the customer searches… you appear in the last pages. You know the joke… where is the best place to hide something? In the second page of the most popular search engine or central reservation system!
Let’s talk about the opposite ideas…
First a question: Seriously? This is all you get? Wow! This is rocket science! What do you think Touristologists? Can Touristology add something to this recipe?
Can you see the problems with your positioning that having more price-oriented people can cause?  Can your hotel be perceived as a low quality lodging?
Do you realize that by opening the most expensive channels  you are offering the biggest discount to customers that are looking for the best prices and, precisely for this reason, their loyalty is owned by the intermediaries?
Is it possible that we offer a low quality servuction? 
Is it possible that having to deal with more customers blocking you from implementing pricing activities like opacity, customization, up-selling and cross-selling? Remember mastering pricing strategies can help you in both situations, when the wavelength is high and when it is short. If you do it properly, you will get happier customers and a better on-line reputation, as you can read here.
Can Touristology add something more? Well, are you able to look for new waves? Are you able to think as a Touristologists does?
But, Jordi… to do that you need the training and the experience of a Touristologists. We need someone able to go to any place in the world and seduce a customer, a segment, a group, then customized the service and the servuccion, then use/build the most convenient chain of value.
Finally! That’s right! Just remember, we need a Touristologist with the Revenue Manager hat on!!! Is it necessary to say what kind of solutions Touristologists share with me? They are redefining the way we describe and practice Yield/Revenue Management. They are the best minds working in the best sector ever!!!