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The future of travel #2: Content or offer - what is more powerful?

In my first article I proposed the Point of Interest (POI) has to become a Point of Sale (POS).
Don't POS on the Internet, whether OTA, travel providers or hotels, already offer a lot of information?
Yes, indeed, but information isn't the same as interest...

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Content is no longer just king, but key.

In my first article I proposed the Point of Interest (POI) has to become a Point of Sale (POS).
Don't POS on the Internet, whether OTA, travel providers or hotels, already offer a lot of information?
Yes, indeed, but information isn't the same as interest...

When I worked for some big tour operators in the early 90s, the classic catalogues were supposed to look more like the glossy travel magazines that were emerging at that time.
So an "image page", e.g. about a city/region, was placed in front of the offer pages to enhance the pure product offers with content.
As pleasant as the result may have been visually, the approach completely missed the psychology of the potential customer.
Because information within the framework of a product presentation does not necessarily generate interest.

With the start of the Internet, for years it was only about the largest selection and the best price. Those who booked here at the online POS had already passed their point of interest and were only looking for the cheapest offer for their defined goal.
A look at today's players Expedia, Booking, Priceline etc., which dominate the online travel market, shows that nothing has changed:
The POS are still pure POS.

But the world has changed in the meantime and with more and more influencers on Instagram & Co, the point of interest leads directly to the point of sale.
As questionable as the mixing of supposedly neutral content with commercial offers may be, it shows what the users want or don't want:
If you are interested in something, you don't want to search for a long time, wherever it exists - you want to have the possibility to buy it with just one click.

Content is no longer just king, but key.

And what does that mean for travel providers?
Their core competence is the focus on offers and they lack content-credibility, so they have to become partners of content providers.
But you don't simply be a partner, for example, by placing an ad on a travel blog website, you have to become a partner much earlier:
When you are part of what the travel blogger experiences which he’ll describe on his blog after.

So if you as a travel provider are still just a "tool" to bring the customer to his experience or to provide him with a place to sleep, it will be more and more difficult, especially in times of the current crisis.
But those who become "part(ner)" of the experience in the future will not only be able to get in touch with the customers earlier, but much more closely and on a long-term basis.
To put it in terms of the customer's demand:

"Be relevant to my experience."

More on how this can work in the next article.

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