Tuesday, August 28, 2007

TRAVELtech: the travel industry against the applicance industry

TRAVELtech continues. Rod Cuthbert the CEO of Viator gave a great presentation earlier this morning. He have very few slides, instead relying on pictures of destinations and activities to tell his story.

A number of these photographs showed the tough side of consumer travel from the extremes of pictures of terrorism and panic to images of the drudgery of never ending lines at airports filled with despondent people wishing they were on holiday rather than going on holiday. From this he talked about how hard it is becoming for a consumer to travel. The uncertainty of arrival times, the challenges of travel in economy class, the need to varying degree to limit what you can carry on board etc.

When travel becomes hard, he argues, people start to look at their discretionary spend and think of alternatives outside of travel such as LCD screens, new generation games consoles and home cinema sound systems. Have no data to back this up but I agree with him. Travel used to look only to other forms of travel for competition (international versus domestic, retailer vs retailer, supplier vs supplier). Not sure what the solution is or how we open up our marketing to fight the Harvey Norman, Best Buy or Dixons of the world but it reinforces the need to keep the purchase and consumption process simple for consumers.

4 comments:

Melanie said...

Tim, that report with research was distributed AGES ago. Hence a week later Jetstar launched a campaign partnering with some Plasma distributor. Let me know if you want it and I will digg it out.
M.

Stephen A. Joyce said...

The travel industry (predominately air and hotel) have to stop looking outside themselves to find ways to compete. We're starting to see that travel commodities like air and hotel are becoming less important then the destination products or the stuff you do when you get there. If the air and hotels want to compete, they should be looking at promoting the activities at their best selling destinations. Promote the "experience" and the traveler will have to buy the airfare to get there. Getting there is NOT half the fun anymore, it is only a means to an end.

Bill Windsor said...

One should always sell the sizzle. Our revenues are waaaay up in a horrible economy and with ridiculous gas prices. I wonder what business would have been like this year if the economy had been good. We are thankful to be an affiliate of Alcatraz Media, the largest provider of destination products in the world.

Anonymous said...

Bill are you not the owner of Alcatraz Media?