Mental Trigger #7: Scarcity | Travel Research Online


Mental Trigger #7: Scarcity

Why is it that we seem to always want what we don’t have? I found this phenomenon to be true years ago when a dance club in New York City became the “in” thing. Studio 54 had a reputation to be extremely difficult to gain entry, if not down right impossible.

The fact that it was so hard to get in only made it more intriguing. (I tried on numerous occasions to “bust a few moves on the Studio 54 dance floor” but never managed the secret to gaining entry.) I remained “outside the ropes.”

Scarcity is a force that only makes our desire more intense. We might not even be interested in the subject, but if we can’t have it, “we want it.” This seems to be a built-in human tendency.

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A second example of this occurs around Christmas. Every year there seems to be a hot “in-demand” toy which sells out quickly and has many parents scampering to treat their kids to the coolest gift on earth. As Christmas Day draws near price becomes less of an issue.

The way “scarcity” is associated with travel has much to do with limited space or the special pricing offered: “If you act by midnight tonight…” It can also involve special amenities or VIP Add-Ons. A time limit is usually promoted and enforced. It is your obligation to clearly define everything that is included in your program, and then stress the importance of responding quickly… or else.

A phrase that comes to mind is, “You snooze, you lose.” I will never forget my Studio 54 experience, or lack thereof. I also remember running from store to store in search of the latest Star Wars toy. It regularly reminds me of the phrase, “Too late.”

Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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