The other day, I was lucky enough to participate in a debate about my favorite subject… Touristology!
It was an interesting experience! You can listen to it here…
Be aware, the podcast is in Catalan (My beautiful mother tongue!!!).
We talked about sharing economy in tourism. As you know, the sharing economy is the flavor of the month and it’s a very interesting topic BUT… I expressed my doubts about the viability of their business model:
I can summarize my doubts with the following Touristology’s questions:
1) Is your enterprise a good example of Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation. Do your members feel a part of this community? Do you have the capacity to create groups.
2) Do you have the control of the chain of value or at any time (especially, when the business will become profitable) other members of the chain of value can buy or destroy you?
3) How many sales (experiences) you have to sell in order to get the breakeven point?
Anyway, after the debate I began to think from the point of view of the owners that share their belongings (House, car, you-name-it…) and knowledge through an intermediary.
Some of them offer a very specialized product and I began to feel Touristology’s voice in my head, first whispering then screaming…”Sharing? Yes! But keeping control of the chain of value! “
Let me sum up, we have the owners of the capital (as economists like to say, capital is the things we use in production) and they want to share it with other people for a profit or for the experience, and… Are you willing to put this in the hands of some new intermedary/infomediary that has a high probability of not surviving? Don’t make more sense to create a cooperative? We are talking about sharing economy, right? Let’s use the right sort of enterprise!
What about from the point of view of the tourism destination? It is not clear enough that the most important tourism resources that we have is our people, our culture, our way of living?
You want to keep our culture, right? You want to create richness and employment for your country, right?
Pssst , pssst.. I began to listen to Touristology’s voice again… “I think that we have a good definition for this…
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.”
You want tourists talking about you  (in a positive way, of course) and  to return…. In order to achieve that you need to offer support from the beginning to the end of the trip. Help this cooperative to create communicate and commercialize their products. Help them to make partnerships with your tourism enterprises (hotels, incoming travel agencies…) begin to think about how YOU can bring tourists here! We are leaders in Tourism… Time to prove it!!!
As is said here…
Welcome to Bottom-up Touristology!
Tourism destinations of earth! The time has come to change the way you create, communicate and commercialize your tourism products or, at least, to reorganize the way you spend your budget…
Spend less on mass-media ads saying that you are the best, less on tradeshows, less on … and more on Touristology! More on your people, the most important tourism resource in any destination!!!