Monthly Archives: gener 2013

The making of a Touristologist builder.

Previously in this blog, I Touristologistly declare to be a Touristologist builder. I have been a lecturer in tourism for 21 years. I neither teach the same course 21 times nor use the same methodology. Both the concepts and the methodology improve/ evolve after each class, seminar, in-company training or conference.

A long time ago, I understood that it is not about lecturer’s knowledge (of course, it is important that you master your topic, but this is a prerequisite) the real thing is that at the end of your job your seed the desire to learn AND a framework to get new information, process it and make the right decisions.

As some of my Touristologists from Portugal say…

At the beginning of my path to become a Touristologist builder I had the opportunity to travel to Peru and improve my skills as a speaker and consultant.  It was a great experience! The only inconvenience was that the trip was in the middle of a course… when I returned I thought that in 5 days I could do the same as in 10 and I did it. I finished the syllabus BUT a little voice was telling me all the time “You explain everything BUT are you sure that they understand, that they get the framework, customize it and create their own one?”  That year I learned that the good part in the educational process is when I stop talking and begin listening.

When my Touristologists take control of the class, prepare a presentation and become leaders of the class is when I can see the strong points, their weaknesses, their misconceptions…  I begin to sculpt the Touristologist inside each one of my students. Sometimes we end up with a regular Touristologist (always my fault!) sometimes with a masterpiece (always thanks to good raw material!!)

I do that in my classes but also when I do in-company training and try to transform isolated departments focused on their task to a perfectly greased machine coordinated with the whole enterprise OR Isolated enterprises into a fully integrated chain of value: A nimble, agile system able to get the trust and add value to the customer.

As I always say “We have to achieve that all departments work  as a single organization and our chains of value working as a single enterprise” This is not easy, but it is what XXI’s century tourism is demanding in order to create communicate and commercialize, fast and customized tourism services.

So, what is the beginning of the process, the bedrock of these kinds of entities?

Without any doubt… PEOPLE! Beginning with tourists. It is not enough to create customer orientated organizations. We have to transform our clients into our collaborators. At the end of the day, it is not MY enterprise or MY tourism destination anymore. It has to be OUR company or tourism destination.

Are you worried about your on-line reputation? Do you want to give positive comments about your enterprise? Do you think about giving negative comments about your competitors? I strongly recommend not doing it! First because I ‘m sure you have better things to do (look for new segments, build and manage chain of value….). Second, because I believe that these kinds of actions create a bad energy around you ( you are in the service business, you have to smile and be  good with people and convey good feelings). Third, because it is possible that the web discovers your actions and it usually doesn’t forgive this kind of behavior.

Is it not much better to convince, to engage your customers to make positive comments related to your business?

Is it not much better to convince, to engage your customer to gently reply bad comments and try to convince others to change their minds related to your business?

Do you want to know what kinds of services are valued the most by your customers? What kind of activities they desire? Let them make proposals of products! Let them communicate and commercialize these products (Here we have an example related to KLM, that I commented about in another post).

In order to do that, you have to transform your customer into a kind of Touristologist. You have to do the same with your collaborators and your employees. So, do you want a better company? Educate, train, your customers, collaborators and employees. As I always said “Help them to help you”

You can achieve this goal through a teaching specialty named in-company training or seminar. A seminar or an in-company training is far different from a regular course. In the second one I know from the beginning what I have /need to teach. In an in-company training, on the other hand, I put all the knowledge (related to the topic, of course) in front of the assistants and then WE pick up the best tools and mental schemes, taking into consideration their lack of experience or interest. As I said right at the beginning “This is not MY class, this is OUR class” It could not be any other way. Am I not repeating over and over that we have to convince our customer that it is not MY enterprise but OURS? Why would the education process be different?

The other day my five year old son was crying. He was afraid of dying. I’m telling you what I told him (of course after big hugs and tender kisses!!!)…

Don’t be afraid of dying… Be afraid of dying without finding yourself first, without learning your role in this crazy world and accomplish it! Then you will die in peace with a smile in your face…

I’m a Touristologist builder. I have been helping to create hundreds of Touristologists. They’re spreading like a plague into the tourism sector around the world, changing the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism. They are Touristologists AND Touristology is OUR science!

I still want to be a Touristologist! What about you?

This week, twenty one years ago… I taught my first class in Touristology. I soon realize that my students in their last year knew more about tourism than myself. I put all my energy and effort to change that! I learn from my students (I still do!), I learn from other teachers, I become a regular in the library, I talk with any professional related with Tourism… The more I learn the more I wanted to become a Touristologist! I knew that the best way to learn something is to teach it. So, I got voluntary to teach any subject: Financial Maths, Business Administration, Statistics, Technology, Economy, Entrepreneurship… anything BUT with always ending up “TO TOURISM”. Some people make fun of me and call me the firefighter teacher… Anyway, after two years I was absolutely in love with Touristology. When I decided to do my PhD. I chose as a topic … Touristology, what else!!!

My kids enjoy writing a letter to the Three Wizard Kings AND … so do I! I only ask for three things (one for each Wizard!).
“Gods, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
Serenity, Courage and Wisdom… those are real gifts!
I hope they help me to:
1) Focus on do great things, as Steve Jobs said “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
2) Surrounded myself with young people hungry of doing these great things. Then create a startup with them using both a business model and a technological scheme. We will need people working with the first (business model) here My Touristologists are a fast, lean killing machine perfectly suited for this job! What about the second (technological scheme)? Any of My Touristologists is able to communicate with a technician; many of them are able to create the basic technological skeleton BUT we need a team of people able to focus on the Web-Engineering side, the kind of people more happier talking binary code than English, not so excited when two human begins or organizations make a deal but when the data base (SQL or NoSQL) finally is dealing with the server, the laptop or the Smartphone. If you are one of these people, or if you know them… Maybe we can do big things together!!!
3) Pay minimum attention to mediocrity and envious people. Yes, you have to deal with them BUT never pay extra attention. All your mind, energy, generosity… are for the great things and for the people that help you to achieve them.
Some people believe that 2013 will be a bad year, I don’t believe in bad years. My happiness, my passion, my vocation is from within. I’m not immune to external events it is just that I have been in worse places and circumstances and there is an eternal truth: whoever resists wins!
I still want to be a Touristologist! What about you?
I still want to revolutionize our lovely sector! What about you?
I still want to make clear than Touristology is a science! What about you?


Jordi Oller