Yearly Archives: 2012

Homage to My Touristologists!

The other day I was asking for another successful Touristologist in order to win the battle against mental limitations… if I had known that if was just necessary to ask for it…  I would have done it before!!! Just after writing my post appears a good bunch of so-near-to-get-the-grade-that-you-can-call-them-already-Touristologists showing their projects, their ideas for creating and managing tourism enterprises.

It’s so good, so nice, so intellectually refreshing to see their faces, their eyes shining with desire for success that when they ask “Jordi can you help me? I always reply “I always have time for my Touristologists!!!”

One of them (I avoid to use his real name, they always can make a comment in this post if they desire to share their identity!!! I will use the neutral gender as well, but don’t confusion here… women Touristologist are at least as good as their male counterpart!) is dealing with an enterprise that want to motivate/ improve/ revolutionize travel for deaf people. “It’s a huge segment. 70 million worldwide” She/He claims. She/He had just won an important prize from one of my favorite events: startup weekends . Now, She/He has to move from a good idea and good business plan to a real enterprise. It’s a long road, plenty of challenges, difficult but far away from impossible… especially for one of my Touristologists!!!

Another is making the expansion of a virtual community, magazine and a travel agency focusing on tourism and golf “I want to do it globally, of course. The world is my office” She/He  Touristologistly claims.

I love seeing my Touristologists becoming professionals, it can be as entrepreneurs (like the previous ones) or as international warriors… like the Touristologist who wants to work in the MICE industry his passion, his hunger for success are difficult to match! Or the one willing to work in different hotels around the world “I want to get international perspective. I know that a good hotel manager has to deal with multiculturality and nothing better than work with international customers and international coworkers!”

As you know, I like interaction in the educational process I like to present/introduce a study case to my Touristologists and do it together. Sometimes it is like a pregnancy with strong emotions and arguments involved (my Touristologists have a strong personality and… So do I!) but at the end of the subject we deliver a beautiful baby, I mean… project!

Jordi! Maybe you can use a methodology which means less work for us and for you! Sure I could! BUT with this kind of interaction I’m sure that my Touristologists don’t learn the subject by the book. I want them to become master and commander of Touristology’s Framework. In order to achieve that nothing better than trial and error methodology!

It requires a lot of work, stress management skills, to develop a strong will and to learn how to work as a team, but this is what is needed to becoming a Touristologist!!!

This year I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to be a teacher to very good Touristologists. Great news for the future of Touristology!

There are a lot of feelings that their actions/dreams/willingness to win provoke in me, but… in a nutshell…. thanks for being Touristologists!!!

I’m absolutely sure that they will be successful. I made a promise to them… today is 01/12/2012. In five years time I will talk again about them. I’m sure that they will fulfill their destiny. As sure as Touristology is a science!!!

And then it won’t matter what your parents said, neither your teacher’s opinion nor the favor of the leaders of your community…

Show me your desire, your passion.

Show me your plan of action.

Show me your discipline to stick with your decision…

and  I can promise… you  will achieve your mission!

Cuenta Satélite de Turismo

La CST fue aprobada en el año 2000 después de diecisiete años de estudio y preparación en la que participaron organismos tan importantes como la OMT, OCDE, Eurostat y WTTC (Consejo Mundial de Turismo), bajo al dirección y supervisión de la ONU. En ella se incluyen sectores que van más allá de los considerados genuinamente turísticos (hoteles, AA.VV. etc.), por lo que se tiene en cuenta la participación de todos aquellos que contribuyen al beneficio económico que aporta el turismo: el valor de los alimentos que aporta el sector agrícola para consumo de los turistas, el de los edificios construidos para uso turístico etc. Así pues, esta cuenta supone una aproximación muy cierta al valor real de la actividad turística.

Para elaborar la CST se toman datos de la Contabilidad Nacional pero aquélla no altera ni sustituye a ésta. Algunas de las fuentes de donde toma los datos la CST son estos:

–          Egatur. (Encuesta del gasto turístico en España).

–          Encuesta de ocupación en alojamientos turísticos que confecciona mensualmente el INE.

–          Frontur. (Estadísticas de los movimientos turísticos en fronteras).

–          Familtur. (Estadísticas de los movimientos turísticos de los residentes en España).

España ha sido uno de los primeros países en poner en práctica el nuevo sistema, y se ha podido comprobar que aporta mejoras dando una mayor fiabilidad a los resultados, sobre todo en lo que concierne a los epígrafes siguientes:

La participación del turismo en el PIB. En España alcanzó casi el 12’4% en el año 2001. El PIB es el valor total de la producción de bienes y servicios que se genera en un país sin importar de donde procede el capital.

La dimensión de las empresas turísticas en relación con otros sectores. La principal característica del sector turístico español es su atomización. No obstante la globalización económica ha impulsado a muchos de nuestros empresarios a iniciar procesos de concentración empresarial. Estos son más importantes en el subsector del alojamiento que en el de la intermediación. Los grandes grupos turísticos se forman agrupando a empresas que están situadas en distintos niveles del canal de distribución: hoteles, tour operadores, agencias de viajes, empresas de transporte etc.

Empleo generado por la actividad turística. El sector aporta 860.000 puestos de trabajo directos. Si se tienen en cuenta los indirectos la cifra llega al millón y medio, lo que supone un diez por ciento del empleo total (1999). La actividad turística es la mayor generadora de empleo en España.

Inversión pública y privada destinada al sector. Se trata de valorar el capital aportado en inversiones productivas procedentes tanto del Estado como de la iniciativa privada doméstica. Si este capital se destina al mercado interno hará aumentar el PIB pero si por el contrario es invertido fuera de las propias fronteras se estará fomentado el Producto Nacional Bruto (PNB). Éste registra la producción total que genera un país ya sea dentro o fuera de sus fronteras. Dicho de otra forma, el total de ingresos percibidos por las empresas y particulares de un país sin importar el lugar en donde se han producido. Los Estados que tienen fuertes intereses en el exterior prefieren utilizar el PNB.

Los efectos del turismo en la Balanza de Pagos. Los ingresos por turismo son, en la mayoría de los casos, suficientes para compensar las importaciones.

Los ingresos que obtienen los Estados por la actividad turística. Estos se generan a través de los impuestos directos e indirectos que gravan esta actividad.

Factor multiplicador de la riqueza. Situado en 1’5

Para países como España cuya dependencia del turismo es estructural, la CST aporta una serie de informaciones necesarias para fijar las estrategias políticas y económicas. Esta cuenta cuantifica algo que era sabido en el ámbito cualitativo, pero sobre lo que no se tenían cifras exactas; el beneficio real (directo e indirecto) que aporta este sector a la economía del país. Hasta ahora la transversalidad del turismo y la importancia de sus efectos directos e indirectos dificultaban los análisis sobre los impactos económicos. Esta transversalidad viene dada por el hecho de que empresas de distintos sectores y ramas de la economía participan en la oferta  turística. La garantía de la CST proviene de la metodología que se utiliza, pero también por la supervisión que realizan numerosos organismos internacionales. Otra de las ventajas es que homogeneiza los resultados en el ámbito mundial.

 

Web Services OR Web Scraping?

The other day we talked about Top-Down versus Bottom-up approach in Tourism.
Today I would like to use these ideas in Web-Engineering (I know, I know… Can you talk about other things apart from Touristology and Web-Engineering? Yes! But not here or at least not today!).
As you know, Touristology makes clear that in order to be successful you have to set up and take all the control that you can over a chain of value. Two drivers of success are:
1) To have “Homus Organizativus” working for you inside the organizations which compose the chain of value. In modern complex system terms these “Homus Organizativus” are hubs which connect a network.
2) To use Web-Engineering to provide connection between the customer, your company and the chain of value, allowing this complex system to work as a single organization.
As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that chains of value are really your company. Some authors like Dave Gray call this the connected company.Others, members of Forrester, like to call it the customer experience ecosystem as I tweeted the other day.
So, how is it possible to make this connection? Using Web-Engineering tools and methodology of course! The first approach that I discussed was using Web Services.
Where it is supposed that all the members have a database and can use Web Services to get and send the 3C’s (Content, Commerce and Community) following a web 2.0 business model, of course!

But what happens when the potential members of the chain of value don’t have access to this technology or when you want to create a chain of value for a single group? This approach becomes expensive and inefficient.
Then it’s time to use the Top-Down approach — I mean Web Scraping!
We can find a good definition of Web Scraping here. It provides very interesting features from Touristology’s point of view. Not only to get information from external websites (which have a lot of debate over whether it is legal or not) but also to train a machine to do things on behalf of a tourist. When you mix this idea with mobile devices. As I wrote in this post
“If a mobile application wants to improve the level of satisfaction of one tourist it must offer a set of services fully integrated with the chain of value aiming to get the trust and add value to this tourist”.
A case in point: You are in a trip, you have you smartphone but you don’t want to fill in 10 forms… Easy peasy! You have your personal data in a Sqlite database in your phone, you send a message to the cloud and Web Scraping will do all the hard work for you! Going to all the webs, getting the 3 C’s , filling in a form or just getting them, in the easiest possible way!
These features are especially important for mobile apps because the tourist is in a queue or waiting for something and with no desire whatsoever to do mechanical actions.. Much better if a machine does it!!!
When I listen to Asheesh Laroia saying something similar to:
“Why do you have to use an API when the WEB provide the best API?”
“Why do we have to make webservices, when you can access the web, fill in a form get a result (it can be a video, audio, whatever / you name it) and then get it? Internet is the best web service provider!”
I said to myself this is the best sentence of the year 2012!!! Thanks Asheesh!
Jason Wei and his book “Android Database Programming” are also very good!!! Well Done Jason!
At the end of the day, all the chain of value members want to offer the best information (content) commerce and community to their customers, right?
So, get the most of it! But make it legal! So, again commercial and technological agreements, but this time through an easier technology.

Who can make these deals? I ‘m glad you ask!!! MY TOURISTOLOGISTS CAN!!!!
There are multiple ways to transform theory into reality, your objectives in achievements, intangible ideas and frameworks in employment and richness for your local companies … BUT as Deng Xiaoping said “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.” To select the right one you will need…
That’s right– a good Touristologist!!!

Top-Down versus Bottom-Up approach

As you know, I have two intellectual lovers: Touristology and Web-Engineering, which I think are strongly related.
A case in point, a few days ago I went to a Tourist destination trying to dynamize their tourism activities. You know, the usual rules which make me love Touristology!
– You have to seek International Tourism,
– Aim to get more revenues AND profit for local companies through more control over the chain of value…
– Then create international routes…
I began to talk about the different approaches that they can follow if they want to be successful. For starters, Top-Down and Bottom-Up.
Our society is still rooted in waiting for the miracle, the hero, the big thing. So, it is easy to rely on Top Down approach… and to mention the successful case of the Camino de Santiago, you get a nomination as a heritage of humanity, you are lucky enough that Paulo Coelho writes a book about it and an American director shoots a movie… as a result you get plenty of tourists without any special or great effort for the population of the tourist destination.
A bottom-up approach on the other hand means a network of small and medium size companies working together as a single organization (CHAIN OF VALUE, remember?) using trial and error methodology and doing what it takes to get their goals! The final result is more control over the chain of value and, as a consequence, more profit and the trust of the tourist that will allow you to create international routes, but… you have to work hard. It is not an easy thing, but definitely worth it!
So, using bottom up approach in tourism means aiming to specific segments, then trying to build a chain of value putting together people and organizations, then trying to build tourism packages, some of them will work others no, then TRY again!!!!!
You can visualize this chain of value in this figure:
Bottom-UP
Where the goal is to create an efficient and organized network, based on decentralization and distributive Intelligence.
Dynamize a tourist destination following Bottom-up approach means to follow Tom Peter’s advice “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” You don’t rely on THE leader you create leaders.
At the same time, I was working with a webapp (porlets / JQuery) database oriented. As usual I wasn’t alone (I love to be surrounded by small teams of A+ Players!!!). The webapp was putting our faith and persistence to a test. I was repeating all the time (quietly for myself and louder for the team)
“Destiny tests your determination to succeed. This is just a test… Keep working!”
Finally, it works smoothly and clean! Soon you will see the results!
Suddenly I realized why Touristology resembles web-engineering! Web-Engineering is not Mathematics where you have your theorems and axioms and you can get a result following a top-down approach! In web-engineering you have a set of strategies and tactics and you try, you document the mistakes, create small modules which work and finally assemble all of them together. It’s a chain of value changing people by code and organizations for modules!!!
Bottom-up approach works in web-engineering and in Touristology. It’s a harder path but at the end the tourist destination will create their own companies with knowledge, abilities and contacts to become successful.
– Jordi I don’t see the differences between Top-Down and Bottom-up approach
– Neither do I!
– See Jordi, you have to explain this better!
– Ok, OK let’s leave this in the savvy hands of my Touristologists… Can you explain the difference with your own words? Can you give specific examples? Hmm, it’s starting to smell like a Study Case around here!
Come on Touristologists! Use your brain, you will help other to understand Touristology and on the journey… you will become a Touristologist!!!

Do you want to become a Revenue Manager? Not everybody has what it takes!

Is Revenue Management a tool worth having for a Touristologist? YES! But it’s not a tool it’s a way to manage hotels focusing on PROFITS and coordinating all the departments of the hotel and all the members of the chain of value! At least this is my vision for Revenue Management!
And YES it is worth to learn because you will get a complete vision of hotel’s operations and processes and you will consolidate your business model and technological schemes internet orientated!
But be aware! Revenue Management is not a job/task/opportunity for everyone, you have to be an A+ player (paraphrasing Steve Jobs) and surround yourself with other A+ players. In the case, of Revenue Management you will be an A+ player if you meet these requirements:
To be Self-assured: You have to study, analyze data (normal data and BIG data ) and then take your decision. Don’t let be yourself be paralyzed by analysis! OR Don’t let “analysis paralysis” happens
Not to be afraid of risk. At the end of the day, you have to take the risk BUT…. with scientific background! Remember leaders need certain level of risk tolerance!
To have swing. To be able to show flexibility. In just a matter of days (sometimes hours) the reality can change and you have to react… fast… faster… the fastest!!!
Just a minute Jordi! How can I be Self-assured and have swing at the same time? Good question! I said to you that Revenue Management is a good opportunity for you as a Touristologist…. I don’t remember saying it would be easy!!!
Let’s study the usual situation that a Revenue Manager has to face, for someone a nightmare, for real Revenue Managers… HOME!
Attitude
The D-Day is here you have to react! Time to remember your Economy classes and the concept of Opportunity Cost. You have to lose something… if you sell now you lose the opportunity to sell later at a higher price BUT what if later there is not a customer?
You have to take proposals of the customer you have to make your own proposals. Who to? What with? Do you know what necessities you can fulfill with your services or the services offered by your chain of value? When? Do you know the different sense of time for each one of your segments, for some of them a reservation 15 days in advance is an early booking, for others is a last minute! Where? Do you know the different channels that the same segment can use? Do you know the one which has the most probability today?
To me, nothing as Pavarotti signing Nessum Dorma represents the right attitude in this situation. At the end of the day in your hotel, or chain of hotels because maybe you are already the Revenue Manager Director of a big chain of hotels (My Touristologists go so fast in their ascending career that it’s difficult to cope with it!!!), you make your decisions select this group and not this one, put this price and the other, emphasize this channel versus the other… you go to sleep and are worried about your decisions. If you are a real Revenue Manager, if you have what it takes, you will say “all’alba vincerò” ( when the sun rises I shall overcome)! Remember, you have to repeat this sentence three times and then fall in a deep sleep state!

Do you think you have what it takes to be one? If your answer is yes… Stay tuned. I will try to keep you up to date!

Will specialization beat generalization?

A sort of summary:  At the end of the day, in this post I want to highlight …
1) In all sectors usually it’s better first generic and then specialized, BUT in tourism as I try to prove here is just the other way around!
2) In all sectors (and Social Networking Sites, E-commerce Sites, Search Engines… are a good case in point) in order to grow you have to diversify your business model. That means go to other sectors.
3) Tourism sector is seen as an interesting sector to diversify (I absolutely agree!!!) BUT remember first specialized then generic.
But Jordi! This is not an easy thing. I absolutely agree, again. For this reason you will need… Touristologists!!!
Ready? Steady? GOOOO!!!
A few weeks ago I read this article .
Do you agree with this summary?  “Facebook will be the generic Social Networking Site (SnS), specialized ones will appear and they will win most of the market share” It sounds very similar to Tourism from my point of view!!!
The other day I talked about first specialized then generic. That makes sense to me in the tourism sector as I strongly try to prove, but usually it’s the other way around in other sectors where the generic way is a better beginning.
I believe that Social Networking Sites (SnS) it’s an interesting case in point. In order to win usually you have to go to the generic market and then the ones that through specialization of your services that offer the same to specific segments will appear.
I don’t know if this is the beginning of the end of Facebook (I doubt it!) but it seems that is the beginning of the end of Facebook as THE 360Kg gorilla in the Social Networking Sites’s jungle!
So, if Facebook becomes the great generic SnS and other success building specialized ones, in order to grow Facebook will has to rely on diversification, adding different business model to the one that it has now…
“I-know-what-you-like-so-I-send-customized-and-recommended-by-your-friends-information-and-commerce”.
A possible diversification is in the field of tourism.
Be sure, that you don’t get the same mistakes as Baidu (the equivalent to Google in China). The fact of being a number one in a field it doesn’t mean that you are able to go to any other field and become a winner. You can learn a little bit more about Baidu’s problems here and here here.
To make a long story short (what? You never read the articles that I recommend and only read my summaries. I can’t believe it!!!) Baidu tried to launch an e-commerce site in a partnership with Rakuten (a Japanese leader in the e-commerce field) it ended up in a failure, one more over other tries outside its core search business.

In a nutshell if you go to a new field be sure to get experts in this field. As Robert Heinlein (one of the three fathers of modern science fiction) said “Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it!” What? That now Rakuten wants to go to tourism sector through an online travel agency? Be sure to have the services of any of my Touristologists!!!!

Any of them will advise you…
1) First specialized then generic!!! In this way you will avoid competing with the leader: Ctrip in the case of China.
Curious about Ctrip? Here you can learn more …

Jordi! Can you provide a video a little more dynamic? Well… I’ll do my best! What about a virtual trip to Shanghai …

2) Focus on value not on low price tourist orientated!!!!
When you play in generic tourism (so, with tourist low price orientated) your strategy for growth is to get all the chain of value OR to get economies of scale and get lower prices and higher margins in exchange for a big volume of tourism.
As we saw the other day, when you play in specialized tourism (so, with tourist value orientated) your strategy of growth is to get the trust of this specific segment that want to travel (OR through a trip get what they really want) and then add more and more value, first with your chain of value then becoming
their specialized social networking site and search engine. Which one do you want to play? Both are good but be aware of NOT mixing strategies of growing!
Tourism attracts investors, it is a great provider of employment and it needs specialized minds to set up things properly. Specialized Scientists?
YES, TOURISTOLOGISTS!!!
Jordi Oller
joller@tecnocampus.cat
http://turistoleg.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/Turistoleg

El binomi Universitat-Empresa

LA INTERRALACIÓ DE L’ EMPRESA I UNIVERSITAT:

 

La universitat forma futurs professionals i emprenedors amb un conjunt de continguts teòrics, unes actituds, uns valors i unes competències professionals i alhora ha de donar resposta a les necessitats formatives de les organitzacions privades i públiques, amb independència del sector i activitat que desenvolupin.

 

Malgrat ser la universitat, entre altres tipus de formacions reglades, un autèntic viver dels futurs professionals de les diferents organitzacions, el món empresarial s’ ha d’ implicar molt més del que s’ implica en aquests moments, tant a nivell quantitatiu com qualitatiu.

 

Quantes empreses són sensibles a cercar els candidats més idonis, cercar titulats universitaris, crear, dissenyar i planificar eines per una millor gestió empresarial, poder augmentar els nivells de competències professionals dels seus recursos humans, poder augmentar els seus sistemes de producció, poder millorar sistemes logístics interns i externs, és a dir com poden ser dia a dia més competitives i qui les pot ajudar?.

 

No cal dir que la universitat ja no és aquell centre de formació de carreres de primer, segon i tercer cicle. Avui, són centres de formació que alhora s’ estan convertint en centres de negoci on volen donar respostes a les necessitats empresarials actuals i futures. On les empreses, haurien de potenciar i entrar a les universitats a través de mecenatges i consells socials per poder notrir-se de les clares avantatges que com a valor afegit poden donar les universitats.

Cal que el món empresarial es faci un replantejament de quina és la millor forma d’ implicar-se amb la universitat i donar-li un ple suport, no té cap sentit que cadascú batalli pel seu compte.

 

 

 

Lluís Codinas

Responsable de Relacions Universitat-Empresa

Professor

Escola Universitària del Maresme, centre adscrit a la UPF

Cloenda OCITUR 2012 – Primer Congrés d’Oci i Turisme

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Inauguració OCITUR 2012 – Primer Congrés d’Oci i Turisme

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Ocitur 2012 – Conferència Inagural: La taxa turística és la solució?

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