“I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where the puck will be.”
In the travel industry we’ve been living fat, dumb and happy for the past 30 years, relying on the foundation established by the GDSs in 1978 – selling the core products: air, car and hotel and also extensions, tour, cruise, insurance and attractions.
The primary market has been the business air traveler and the vacation traveler who primarily travels by air.
Suppliers have been moving away from traditional distribution channels with what can almost be called religious fervor, making disintermediation an art form to be publicly lauded.
Strange thing about both of these trends, is that they are incredibly short sighted. They are “skating to where the puck is”.
I believe that “skating to where the puck will be” entails a thorough evaluation of the whole market opportunity for product and service sales and that if a traditional channel is variable cost AND high margin, that moving away from it on purpose is just plain insanity.
Building value, differentiation and profitability in the multiple channels (click, walk, talk, beep) where consumers live is the holy grail. That is the true art form that we should be seeking to master.