Is the gig economy related to generic or specialized Tourism? BOTH!!!

The other day, a group of Touristologists decided to give a presentation about Waynabox a new OTA in the European field selling trips AND SURPRISES!

Interesting enterprise! But… generic! Basically, because the main driver for the Tourists, airline companies, hotels and even for the new travel agency is… PRICE! So, in order to be successful, they need economies of scale… meaning a lot of customers.

For the Tourists, you get a surprise trip. Yes, BUT please don’t forget… at a low price!

For the Airlines companies and Hotels, you get customers when you have a low occupancy or empty seats. So, they use a basic principle in Yield/Revenue Management… Mark down the price. I hope that as managers…This is NOT all they will get!!!

Remember, we are wave managers. So, maybe we can create an example of specialized tourism where less Tourists and more revenues (RevPar, TRevPar) AND PROFITS (GopPar) can be a better OR COMPLEMENTARY business model for all the members of the chain of value!

Few days ago, appeared this article by John Hagel about the gig economy. I found the article very interesting! He explains that gig economy can be for “Routine tasks” AND for “Creative problem solving”… I began connecting the dots between trips, surprises and opportunities in the gig economy!

To me, “Routine tasks” sounds generic and “Creative problem solving” sounds to opportunities for specialized Tourism!

Are you a specialized freelance with a set of high demand skills? What about you can go to a different city apply your skills and then enjoy the city?

By the way, some people call this combination of business and leisure Travel “Bleisure”

Do you think that companies from around the world are willing to hire the bests experts in the world?

Do you think that this combination of a job and Tourism can seduce these experts?

Do you think that they can use/enjoy an upgrade in the airline company in order to relax before, during and after the trip? Do you think that, for this segment, location and services of a hotel are more important than the price?

Ummmm  it sounds that you can use the butterfly strategy here!!!

ButterflyStrategyCan you describe the chain of value of this segment? Can you describe the operations and processes in order to seduce both the segment and the enterprises? Can you prove that you are one of the best minds working in the best sector ever?

I love Touristology’s games!!! What about YOU???

Winners and losers in Tourism

Which Company/Tourism destination will win in Tourism? The one(s) giving support to the Tourists from the beginning to the end of the trip!

Will WoT/IoT help to give this support? Definitely!

Will Blockchain /Smart Contracts help to give this support? Definitely!

Touristologists connecting the dots!
Touristologists changing the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism!!!

Let’s code some dreams!!!

One month ago… this was my tweet!

Teaching my students how to code his/her dreams in native mobile apps (iOS/Android) is one of the most gratifying things in my life!!!

On Monday I will practice it! It will be the first day of a new subject! I love first days!!!

I have been working in mobile development for the last 5 years, helping both, big organizations and start-ups to select the best approach to a multi-screen world.

I mean…

1) Responsive web design: I enjoy dealing with Bootstrap and its approach to responsive web design!

2) Hybrids apps: Today the most popular approaches are…

    2-1) Cordova/PhoneGap for people loving to reuse their HTML+CSS+JavaScript knowledge.

    2-2) React Native for people thinking about using JavaScript in the frontend and also in the backend!

   2-3) Xamarin that have the powerful support of big software enterprises like Microsoft (by the way… Great integration with Visual Studio), Oracle… but… you have to learn C#

    2-4) Ionic (Angular)

OR

3) Native applications: I love reusing my knowledge of Java and XML in Android and discovering the benefits of functional programming. At the end of the day… I’m an old dog learning new tricks… first OOP (Object-Oriented Programming who better than Steve Jobs to learn about it!) now adding Functional Programming and getting Functional Reactive Programming!

And… of course I fell in love with Swift at first sight!!!

So, Responsive Web Design, Hybrid or Native Apps. Which is the best approach? As I always say… an intelligent answer begins with …. “It depends”.

Effectively, “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 AND remember this device can be different (or a combination of devices) for every operation and process inside your company (YES! I mean inside your chain of value!!!!)

You have to define the kind of operations and processes that you want to offer to the Tourists/Customer then, based on the kind of device they are mostly using, you have to make up your mind.

It will also depend on your team, in the kind of expertise that they have… in their motivation to learn!

It will also depend on your budget….

So, there is NOT a perfect solution! In life, as in web-engineering as in Touristology you have to learn how to wear different HATS!

To provide a good servuction…put your hotelier hat on!

To create, communicate and commercialize a tourism package for a generic or specialized group… put your travel agent hat on!

To sell NOW for THIS Day/hour…   put your Yield/Revenue Manager hat on!

We are Consilient Thinkers, nimbly passing from one Science to another, smiling and loving to dance…even under the rain!!!

So, I will be dancing on Monday!!! Everything is possible the first day. The objectives that appear in OUR syllabus are ALL possible: “To develop a MVP (minimum viable product) to check YOUR ideas with customers, potentials investors and professional developers, both in iOS and Android environments.”

Let’s go for them!!! I, definitely, love first days!!!

Help the world to help YOU!!!

Some time ago, I wrote down a manual about Touristology, where I explained that we live in a connected world (I was following the ideas of Thomas Friedman and his marvelous book “The world is flat”).

This connected world is especially true in tourism.
We can do business with everyone. The world is OUR office! So, if we want to succeed in tourism we have to do things globally!  We send tourists around the world. We have to seduce tourists from around the world …We can create international routes in order to satisfy the needs of specialized or generic tourists.

What happens in other countries affects the security of all countries: wars, pollution, poverty, LACK OF ALTERNATIVES FOR LOCAL POPULATION … If we want to increase security, to reduce pollution, to take care of the culture of the world, we have to implement measures on a global level. If we want to reduce pollution we have to do things globally.

Which is the role of Touristology in this goal?
We must teach countries worldwide about how to create richness, employment, and protect their/ OUR culture using Touristology’s methodology. This will reduce their poverty, give them alternatives and, consequently, improvements to our security! This will also give opportunities for Touristologists around the world!
As the definition of Touristology says:

“Touristology is the art and science of travel motivation promising improvements in quality of life, international contacts and broader perspectives for the tourist AND a way to take care of culture and create richness and employment for the tourist destination.”

Yes, Touristologists… We definitely have to help the world to help YOU!!!

Groups, S3 and Your own SnS!

Last week, I had the opportunity to be a Lecturer in a Master for future Entrepreneurs.  It was very interesting and I, really, enjoyed the experience!

During the sessions appeared one of the usual questions of OUR classes, seminars, in-company training or startup meetings in order to define (or redefine!) the Business Model…

– Jordi, why is specialization so important?

In a GLOBALIZED world, there are plenty of people, enterprises… with a lot of money and contacts to create economies of scale, if the most important thing that you offer it is a low price… you will lose the battle!

BUT if you are focus in an INTERNATIONAL community of PEOPLE then you are focused on value and you can win the battle (you can call it, survive in the market or to be able to sell your startup for a very good price!)

First things first, let’s see some degrees of specialization. Here, I tried to explain this idea with the help of this pyramid:

SpecializedTourism

You can apply this pyramid to ANY sector! – I said to the disruptive startups creators.

The first tier represents enterprises with no specialization whatsoever and focused on price. The second tier is for enterprises specialized in offering a specific product/service. It can be a new one or the usual BUT with interesting new features from the point of view of the customer. This is a good approach, nothing wrong with it BUT… We can go deeper in the segmentation process focusing on people. In the last tier, it is NOT enough to know that this segment want to buy a specific product/service, we have to know the reasons, the unsatisfied needs that make them to use this product/service…

One thing is to sell organic food to people that love organic food (second tier) the other is to know that they want organic food because they want to live more (QUALITY) years. Let’s see some examples…

A) The person married/ in love with a younger person.

B) The couple that have children at an advanced age and they want to be sure that they will see and enjoy their grandchildren…

Do you see? We can try to seduce the segment with our product (organic food) BUT in the third tier we can get some important competitive advantages:

1) You can create your OWN SnS

As you seduce a segment that is NOT a Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation they will love to talk about their experiences. So, you can create your OWN Social Networking Site. I always believe that paraphrasing Alan kay “if you want to be serious about SnS you have to create your own ones.”  This is very important because the competitive advantage of generic products/services is economies of scale BUT in specialized ones the competitive advantage comes from gaining the TRUST of the segment.

2) You can become a Super 3 (S3 ) for this community

You can sell MORE, both to the members of the community (you can sell anything interesting to them) and for any person/organization trying to seduce them. I try to represent this idea with this graphic that we saw in this posts.

LayersOfProfit

Finally, last but definitely not least…

3) GROUPS!

You know me… “Groups” is another word carved into my mind. The possibility to create groups is a leverage to get a profitable and scalable business.  Inside a specialized and INTERNATIONAL community is far easier to create groups and take the most of the PRO-AM idea. Groups in order to get discounts for services. Groups in order to get customized product/services for the community, even to create, communicate and commercialized new product/services based on the interest of your community.

I explained all these ideas to the entrepreneurs. Maybe some of them will take up the glove and apply these ideas in their disruptive startup… It will be my honor and my privilege to share their adventures, their success OR their opportunities to begin again, here!

Keep dreaming, keep working, keep enjoying Touristology!!!

Find your own guitar, Touristologist!

I love Christmas time! Time to enjoy with my family and go deeper into my coding skills!
The other day, I was trying to cheer up my daughter. She was having the usual adolescents’ problems, that are a big disaster one day and nothing to remember after 24 hours (arguments with friends, boys, new feelings…) I began to sing a beautiful song from Joan Manuel Serrat…
When friends /love arrives… When friends /love goes away…
Only your guitar remains…
I explained to her… “Your guitar can be NOT only a physical object. It can be a spiritual thing as well! Your guitar is what motivate you. It is where you get your strength. It is the hair of Samson! Find your own guitar!!
What is your guitar, Daddy? – She asked me.
Learn about something interesting – I replied. Touristology, Web Engineering…then convey this knowledge to someone willing to learn then, see how they improve their lives using this knowledge making me the happiest and proudest man on earth!! This is my guitar!
And you Touristologists… Did you already find your guitar? Maybe 2017 will be the year that you will discover it and you will want to share it in this OUR blog OR in OUR seminars!?!?!?
Happy new year!!!

Experience? SURE! But… the right one!

You can be an “expert” in almost anything just studying the subject and then practicing a little bit what you have learned, but there are some exceptions…

In order to get proficiency in English you must act (talk/write/read/THINK). In order to be good in Martial Arts you have to practice (a lot). In order to enjoy the benefits of Yoga you have to practice (everyday). To create the new disruptive mobile app application you have to write code, discover bugs, refactor it when it is necessary. In all these abilities (Live in another language, develop your own software, martial arts, Yoga…) one hour of practice is better than 1,000 of theory.

Do you think that Yield /Revenue Management is part of this set? Sure, it is! Maybe for that reason I fell in love with it long time ago.

                                                               BUT…

Yield/Revenue management has something in common with developing software that make them absolutely different from the other abilities that I mention previously!

Do you think that Internet change how to become an expert in English, Martial Arts or Yoga?

Do you think that Internet change how do you develop software? Do you think that cloud services are important? Do you think that Web Services and Web Scraping are important? Do you think that document oriented databases or  graph databases are more important thanks to Internet?

Last question! Do you think that Yield /Revenue Management have changed because Internet?

Let’s see a few examples:

  1. Segmentation is one of the flavor of the month in Yield /Revenue management. Nowadays, it is so easy to get information about our customers. To know where they meet to share what it is important to them. To know their SUBJECTIVE opinion about our services… By the way, I’m talking about REAL segmentation, not Sociology experiments like Millennials or BOBOS OR using as a variables of segmentation random information from my Property Management System (PMS): Do early reservations, like double breakfast, they are from…, they have … years old…
  2. Customization is another flavor of the month in our favorite technique/philosophy… It is so easy to customize what to offer, when, where, the servuction process… everything! We have information about the segment, a group inside this segment, even individual customers. We can know their different “Versions of Me” based on with whom they are traveling OR based on their mood. We have ALL this information at our fingertips. Do we have the skills to transform it into KNOWLEDGE??? Using Business Intelligence OR Intelligent Systems (that was more popular when I got my PhD.) OR Big Data (that today is the most popular word and I’m sure will be changed for another word in a few years!!!)

Only people with no experience whatsoever in Internet (neither in the new business model nor in the new technological schemes) won’t see the big impact of Internet in Yield/Revenue Management.

Do you want advice about Yield/Revenue Management? Be sure that you talk with any of my Touristologists!

They can apply Yield/Revenue Management from the beginning to the end of the trip!

They can apply Yield/Revenue Management making all departments and all members of the chain of value work as a single ecosystem!

They can design and apply the best web 2.0 business model and using the most appropriate technological schemes, make this ecosystem possible!

They see crystal clear that OUR  business is NOT selling rooms or F&B… OUR business is to satisfy OUR customer, providing what they need, when they need it, in the way they need it!

Experience in Yield/Revenue Management? Be sure that you choose someone that doesn’t repeat the same year, the same techniques, the same lack of segmentation, the same lack of customization, the same lack of new business model internet adapted!

                                          ENJOY YOUR HOLYDAYS!

                                          ENJOY TOURISTOLOGY!!!

Create Touristologists! Create disruptors! Create survivors!

Robots and Artificial intelligence will steal SOME jobs…
Be sure that are NOT the kind of jobs your Touristologists are able to do!
Be sure that your Touristologists can do what robots and AI can’t!
The other day, I was doing my usual routine… Hatha Yoga for warming up and stretching, fast walking for cardiovascular exercise (my knee doesn’t’ allow me to run for a long time), Kata / Hyeong of my favorite martial art (Kung Jung Mu Sul)
to finish with a little bit of Pranayama and Meditation watching the sea.
Usually, I listen to podcasts during the fast walking part and after the Meditation plenty of new ideas (for instance this post) appears in my mind.
In this occasion, the podcast was about innovation in education….
These ideas appeared in my mind…
Robots/AI are able to memorize, to find patterns, to simulate average knowledge…, be sure that your #Touristologists are able to learn new frameworks, able to connecting the dots, to create the new, new thing, to visualize the new disruptive startup or, using the words of Joseph Schumpeter, to originate creative destruction!
Maybe you can write down this in Twitter, Touristology’s voice told to me!
1) Design complete frameworks for your subject NOT easy ones. Don’t create copyologists, create #Touristologists
2) Don’t ask for your examples. Demand for originals ones. Don’t create copyologists, create #Touristologists
Don’t create parrots only able to memorize and repeat your examples. They will be defeated for robots and Artificial Intelligence!
Create mental warriors, create problem solvers, create people able to analyze a complex reality, connect the dots and propose the new, new thing /the new disruptive start-up for Tourism or for any other sector!
In another podcast, experts were talking about the future of television. I thought that this topic could be a good example about how good frameworks and connecting the dots can help you to visualize the future and your new disruptive startup.
The framework?  What about web 2.0 business model!

ScalableWhat will be the business model of television? I’m sure that you can visualize it taking ideas, connecting the dots from this framework. Let’ see…
Who can create and distribute the content? The answer can be a good example of pro-am!
Do you want to see the content in any device from any platform? Do you want to buy/sell something related to this content? Do you want to share/see people like you or complementary to you? Good examples of the word Syndication!
Do you want to see all or do you want to see what is interesting to you right here, right now? Good examples of customization based on versions of me and Geo-location!
Robots and Artificial intelligence want to steal SOME jobs… Be sure that your Touristologists can do what robots and AI can’t!
I’m a Touristologists builder! This is not a job, this is my pleasure, my honor and my privilege!!!

Three main threats/opportunities for hotels.

The other day I shared this video in OUR twitter account.

Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 17.01.34Today, I want to provide a wider review. At the end of the day, Accor’s strategic action, try to give a successful answer to one of the three main threats/opportunities facing hotels companies nowadays.

For starters…

Threat/Opportunity Number 1) Online travel agents (Expedia/Priceline) and central reservation systems, for instance Booking (a member of Priceline group), are becoming an oligopsony.

Threat/Opportunity Number 2) Data Aggregators/Meta-Search Engines and infomediaries are playing all the cards. Tripadvisor was only a social networking site to share reviews, now you also can make reservations. Trivago was a Data Aggregator, now you also can make direct reservations. Google makes its own movement with Google Hotel Ads also allowing direct reservations in exchange for a commission. You can choose to pay for CPC (cost per click), CPA (Cost per Acquisition) or a mix of both.

Here you can see more information…

Threat/Opportunity Number 3) The sharing economy. We debate a lot about this topic here and here.

Focus on 1 and 2 Accor created their own distribution channel and invite independent hotels to use it (not afraid to upset franchisees).  In order to create this new channel, Accor bought fastbooking which allow them to change prices in all their chain of value in a responsive design way? I love Touristology’s games!!!

Here you can enjoy this video:

From a strategic point of view…. What is the point to open MY channel and transform it into OUR channel?

  1. To attract more customers (because they will see more offers)?!?!?

            2.To send a message to Booking, Expedia…. If you increase your commission… I will mark down mine!?!?!?

            3.To control the chain of value!?!?!?

Is this a good movement for an independent hotel in EU (remember they are 70% of the rooms in EU BUT only a 30% in USA)?  OR if you join, you are just helping to create another member of the oligopsony (By the way, a member that it is also your competitor. So, hotelier? YES! Competitor? As well!

BUT…Jordi what about the third one (The sharing economy) Well, Accor is active in this field too. They acquired 30% of oasis collections. They also acquired 49% of squarebreak and the Jo & Joe brand that appears in the video of the tweet try to give an open space for locals and tourists.

So, you can buy/make agreements with apartments intermediaries. You can add value combining sharing economy and professional service as Room-Mate is doing with Bemate as we saw here. Or Choice hotels opening a new division.

What about to join to another movement…Touristology’s one?!?!?!

1) Looking for specialized segments avoiding the oligopsony! By the way, be sure that you avoid Dr. Frankensteins segmentation !!!

Competing with value not with low prices!

Selling all the things Touristology can provide (international contacts, bounding experiences, boost of creativity…) and avoiding to compete with nowadays commodities: rooms, food and beverage and meeting places!!!

You can find some examples here. But..

...The best option is to talk to any of my Touristologists!!! They will say to you: Do you want to deal with a fast-changing distribution landscape? Maybe is time to be proactive!!!!

YOU have to change the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism!!!

Asian tourists going to a small village next to Oxford? Because somebody told them that Harry Potter scenes were shot there OR because somebody told them that they will find love when they return?

People going to a tourist destination because they can catch a Pokémon?

Good examples of Mass Tourism or Specialized?
Do you think that this will endure for a long time?
I only hope that when some Touristologists create a dynamic package also appears in the news! Basically, because it will be an example of how Touristology can improve the quality of life, provide international contacts and broader perspectives for the tourist AND take care of the culture and create richness and employment for the tourist destination.
BUT… Jordi.. it is not the case of the small village or Pokémon?
Open your mind Touristologist! Review again the Da Vinci Code story. Review again the story of Chip Conley and JDVhotels, then listen to YOUR Touristology’s voice and…change the way we enjoy, manage and define Tourism. You are Touristologists, the best minds working in the best sector ever! Time to prove it!!!