I currently work with many foreign countries, helping them attract more American visitors. One constant question I receive is, “Why don’t more Americans hold passports? Why don’t they want to travel overseas more?”
My standard answer is that the competition from domestic destinations almost always wins for a variety of reasons. We have a huge, diverse country with high quality offerings and wonderful travel experiences. Americans instinctively know that, and combined with strong family ties, the pull of domestic travel is often irresistible. Graduations, summer weddings, and family reunions have a huge pull on the limited time and money considerations of U.S. travelers. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel dreams are perishable
Most Americans start the year with a plan. No, not the New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, read more, exercise etc…We start with a calendar in hand and begin to think about the year’s travel options. The holidays are when we get the ‘can’t-change commitments’, such as weddings, graduations and anniversaries. These are the first dates we fill in—with ink. They can’t change. Then with any funds left over from taxes, and time left from the must-do’s, we look at filling some of our travel dreams. That’s why the key travel selling time is so short and perishable. Read the rest of this entry »
With the US credit rating downgraded, and the stock market dropping with uncertainty, and European governments fighting to control their debt, citizens in the US have a lot to ponder. The least of which is “Where will I take my next vacation”
For decades the American travel marketplace was a huge, growing and somewhat predictable market. New destinations were discovered; new experiences were created (cruising), and new generations happily traveled the world in search of the wonders of travel. Has that all changed now? Will the current economic malaise seriously suppress the demand for travel in the US?
I’m afraid that, for some, the answer is yes. But it is not a universal or unqualified yes. First, let’s look at what has changed. Read the rest of this entry »
It seems like only yesterday that the American summer holiday started in the driveway, the family car fully packed with kids, toys, bikes, luggage and some rather hassled parents. Off they would go to the mountains or the beach, maybe grandma’s and perhaps a stop in a motel with a TV and a pool!
Ah yes, a summer ritual that rivaled the great Serengeti migrations! For diehards addicted to these events, two choices remain. One, recreate it if you can, or two, search the cavernous storage facilities at the Smithsonian. I’m sure they have captured a mid-twentyish century vacation in there somewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
That memorable and off repeated quote of Robert De Niro, from the movie Taxi Driver should also serve as a mantra for communicators who are trying to reach today’s potential travelers. I’m sometimes at a loss trying to figure out what message they are sending, and to whom.
The tremendous advantage technology brings to today’s communications is allowing us to tailor our conversations directly at a targeted segment. No longer are we faced with a one size fits all mentality. No longer are we bound by such real world factors such as printing time, shelf life of an offer, or a brochure. Today’s marketers can target, communicate, measure and move on to the next segment. Here are some suggestions which may help crystallize your next marketing campaign. Read the rest of this entry »
There are 5 things to think about in the life cycle of a customer. Where do they come from? How long will they stay? What’s the value of that customer? How can I get more revenue from them? How can I replace them?
Every business large and small faces these questions constantly. Our everyday existence is intertwined with the constant tug of customer and supplier needs & wants. We seem to be swimming against a current in order to satisfy the demands of others. What if we could reverse the process momentarily and see if, by addressing some of our needs, we could become more productive business people. Read the rest of this entry »
Everywhere you go people are staring at their phones! Look around. It’s happening at the mall, the car wash, the supermarket check-out line–people of all ages are all looking at their laps, mesmerized! What’s going on to make us all act like teens? Will we ever see a time when we talk to each other face to face again?
For good or bad, our communication habits have transformed as rapidly as technology has enabled them. Now, the norm is to not only have a phone, but a web enabled personal media device. What?? Read the rest of this entry »
When our daily lives depend on MP3’s, iPhones, Blackberries and high-speed everything with thousands of channels, it’s hard to remember how things used to be even as recently as 10 years ago.
Remember TWA, SABENA and Swiss Air? There were days in our not-so-distant past where there were no first and second bag charges, no fuel surcharges, no fee for simply talking to a person. These were the days before instant messaging and blogging. Today our customers have changed, our suppliers have changed and the ways and means to make a living selling travel also have changed.
But some attitudes never change. Old impressions have a life of their own.
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