Travel industry Distribution is like Sport Shoe Sales – or rather it should be.

What if Sports Authority only had one door into its sports shoe department and it was marked “professional athletes only”?

That would make no sense whatsoever.  Right?

What about the moms that buy sports shoes and the kids that wear them and the amateur athletes, oh and the dads.

Sports Authority knows that they need to have their shoes available for sale to everyone.  Granted perhaps Adidas are still the sports shoe of choice for professional football players and tennis players may buy more Nike shoes than Reebok.  But there is no reason to limit their focus by providing a single door into the shoe department.

If I were grading them on reaching the entire market, I would give them a resounding A+.

The travel industry, not so much.  This is a totally air centric bunch.  Even hotel companies and cruise lines cater to the air traveler.

I have given Expedia, Travelocity and American Express’ online portal an F.

The reason for this is not that they don’t have beautiful sites.  But their “door” is wide open to the AIR traveler, with hotels being a subsequent navigation.  But even then, for those sites with HOTEL as the default, this is still selling a hotel room to an AIR traveler.

If you are selling to the 89% that drive, you ask where they are starting from and going to and then you plot the available hotels along the route.  That is a total oversimplification of the technological needs, but suffice it to say, you can’t sell to both travelers the same way.

If you want to look into this further, I am happy to work with your company to help expand your focus to this emerging market that has been forgotten.  Go to my website and click on the CONTACT tab in the lower right corner of the site and schedule an exploratory, complementary 15 minute call with me.

Stay tuned.  I’ll be getting back to my Success Soup ingredients tomorrow with the letter P for Profit.

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