Have we lost our travel mojo? | TravelResearchOnline


Have we lost our travel mojo?

When you are in a hole, you stop digging! When you are in a rut, get the hell out. Ruts will never go away on their own—ever.  The other day, I was reading an article on NPR about the acceptance of QR codes. This caught my eye because a week earlier I had written an article on the same subject for TRO.  The article was interesting enough, but one statement stood out.

According to a recent study from digital analyst comScore, a measly 6 percent of mobile subscribers currently use the technology. That 6 percent tends to be male, white and wealthy.

This really surprised me. With the preponderance of Smart Phones and the way technology has taken such a prominent position in our business lives, could this really be accurate?

Certainly in the travel industry, the number had to be larger. Didn’t it? I mean, we were the first industry to have computer terminals on all of our desks. Our industry still represents one of the largest portions of websites. Our industry sales on the Internet are huge. We had to have a greater acceptance (adoption) rate.  Right?

PictureNope!  In my article, I included a QR code. I suggested a few ways that they might be able to be used. I looked at the traffic from the TRO article and could see that there were more than a thousand views of the article. But I looked at the hidden page on my website to where the QR code directed and only 4.1% of those who viewed the article scanned the code to investigate further.

What a disappointment.

I am not suggesting that QR codes are for everyone (or anyone), but it is disappointing that less than 5% of the readers were curious enough to scan it. When I was with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Mike Batt was famous for saying, “if you’re not growing…you’re dying.” And this is a truism in the industry.

Technology is evolving at blinding speed. We need to remain at least curious to see if any solution is appropriate for our business model. My fear is that 95% of our industry is in a rut and complacent with “the way it’s always been done.”

Everywhere you turn, travel partners are providing low cost or free tools to make us more productive. To make us more money. To make us market ourselves more effectively. Sometimes, these partners invest tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars for our mutual benefit. While there are no magic solutions for all that ails you, don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least check out what is there?

If we have lost our curiosity or our wanderlust, as Mike Batt has said, we indeed are probably dying.


  2 thoughts on “Have we lost our travel mojo?

  1. I’m not sure the lack of scans of the previous article’s QR code is a good indicator that TAs are behind the times. I doubt QR codes are effective when used on the internet (where folks are pointing and clicking, not looking for their phone in order to scan a code). I never scanned the code in the previous article because my phone wasn’t handy when I was reading the article.

    So therein lies the rub. If you want your code to be effective, it has to be present when folks have their phones handy … on the back of a business card, in a magazine/newspaper ad, on a flyer or brochure, I’ve even seen the on the backs of bathroom stall doors.

  2. Lori Derauf says:

    Or, maybe its because we know what they are and so to take the extra time to scan this one isn’t a priority.

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