For the past two days I have been taking advantage of the Live Stream for the #Phoscuswright conference in Hollywood Florida. There has been a lot of talk of innovation, but really very little true differentiation over where we have been for the last decade.
We have been a decidedly air-centric industry. Yes, we have added new sources of inventory (renting out homes and couches, or having people pay for seats in your car on a long drive, or renting your high end bike or motorcycle), but we are largely focused on business and vacation travelers and at the person that magically lands in a destination.
Over the past 7 years since I've been advocating a shift to the other 85% of travelers that do not fly, I have admittedly run into resistance.
I've talked to the CEOs of the GDS companies that insist that they have a non-air focus, even though their focus is really just non-air product and selling those (hotel, car, tour, cruise) to the air traveler.
I've talked to hotel companies that think that they are already marketing to the non-air traveler, but their booking engines still ask where you land, versus where you are coming from.
I have talked to OTAs that think that because they create something called a drive market product (looking for hotels 6 hours from home) that that constitutes a shift to the non-air traveler.
It is time to expand, to grow beyond the 15% of the market that we have as an industry clearly mastered. I'm not asking you to abandon that market, but to differentiate yourself from the masses that are truly marketing to a very small niche.
Download Dare to Differentiate.
This white paper was written in 2010 and it was followed by a syndicated study on the drive market known as the Project 85 study, with 85% representing the number of overnight trips in the US that are by car.
For more info about Project 85, see http://www.project85thinktank.com
Then get involved in the dialogue. Click here to join the Project 85 LinkedIn Group.
Ready, Set, Grow.
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