Staying in Business means staying relevant. Staying relevant in turn means Innovating. If we take a look around us we see how the Mighty have fallen, how the “David has Slain the Goliath”, Back in 1993 if you wanted to do Business with UAE there were really only a few companies one considered and these were the key players in the market. There was little or no technology available, mobile phones hadn’t made it to the mass market and one was restricted to the offerings from the few companies. Travel Consultants knew a little and customers knew less and sales happened. Companies got away by making 20% or higher margins and all was good.
The real shift happened when iPhone was introduced, it changed the way we interacted with the world around us, but especially how with data being easily available we were able to get all the information no matter where we were. The companies that were first to recognize that the consumption of data would increase on handheld devices and innovated really profited from the same. A decade ago we saw the launch of mobile-friendly websites and then a few companies decided to move away from traditional websites but have only mobile versions available. The way we shop changed with this completely.
Tourism Industry saw people moving away from traditional travel agents to online sites, to sites which had an app, as this made life easy. With an app, one could check availability and book from the comfort of where they were and it made life really easy. The game changed again with Booking.com bringing inventory to consumers directly, giving people the option to pay at the Hotels at the time of check-in or check-out. This meant that the Travel Agents couldn’t get away by charging 20% now and had to scale down on profit margins. “Booking.com” took on the Global Travel Agencies and won big, It made even the biggest names run for cover and align the markups.
What are you doing in your Business to Innovate?
What is your Strategy to stay relevant?
The pace at which the Technology is changing on a daily basis, over 50% of the companies would not exist 5 years from now. Blockchain, AI, Virtual Experiences, are all very real and would be game changers and these are just technologies we are familiar with. There are things on the Horizon which would change how the Airlines are booked, how the Hotels are booked and how experiences would be easily accessible to all. Dynamic packaging is already happening and in a very short time (I predict before 2018 is over) we would be seeing travel websites having capabilities to dynamically create packages for the clients.
Experiences would become key drivers, whether its Northern Lights or Safari in Kenya, Travel would be more
It is imperative that you take a hard look at your Business and decide what your next step is. Are you future ready?
Travel Professional with over 3 decades of Global experience, building DMC’s, TMC’s and Tourism Boards across Geographies. A passionate marketer since 2007 with core focus on Scaling up Travel Companies using power of Marketing