Top 10 Travel Distribution Fallacies – #11 The Air Traveler is where the money is

The Air Traveler is where the money is


This particular fallacy is perhaps the most powerful and disturbing of all.

It is one that to this day, still astounds me.

Not because it is difficult to prove, which it is not.  But because even faced with proof, the industry as a whole, including the trade press, the investors who focus on the industry and the conferences that service the industry have completely and utterly ignored the real facts.

Air travel is a niche market.

There I’ve said it.   Again.

Nearly seven years ago I raised $7m to build a solution to address the mass market of this industry.  The demise of the company is a story for another day.  (Actually it was documented in my book Bootstrap Business, co-authored with New York Times top selling authors Tom Hopkins | How to Master the Art of Selling, Jack Canfield | Chicken Soup series, and Jon Christensen | Fish)

Two years ago, I did a syndicated study with Mandala Research to expose the facts.  Surely the industry would see the opportunity.  I even hosted a Think Tank.  About 30 forward thinking companies supported the study and attended the Think Tank.  We called it Project 85.  That is because the air travelers represent just 15% of overnight travelers in this country.  That leaves 85% that do not fly.

Bottom line?  The opportunity is huge.  I’m in the midst of building out a new solution (just can’t help myself) to address the wide range of non-air markets that the industry either takes for granted that they will get via their air traveler centric marketing or that they are just flat out ignoring or discounting.


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Bottom line?  Give me your ideas.  Perhaps we can innovate together.

Oh and as a postscript, PhoCusWright indicated in the spring that they were going to do a drive market study.  When PCW speaks, the industry generally listens.  Can’t wait to see the outcome of their study.  I’m betting it won’t be substantially different than the statistics published by US Travel for the past 10 years, validated by my last two studies.

OK, I’ll sit down now.  Perhaps I’ll take an overnight road trip while you ponder the opportunity.  That would be me and 850,000 other travelers this year.

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