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Travel 2.0: Musings on the Long Tail in Travel

Posted by fifthdimension on November 7, 2007

While Travel 1.0 is headed for its sunset, the Web 2.0 has enabled the Travel industry to integrate new features, enhance user experience and differentiate themselves in the highly competitive travel market. So, here comes Travel 2.0.

Unlike Travel 1.0, where companies were in control, in Travel 2.0, corporates must allow travelers to take control, plan and find or design the perfect trip. So, the concept of lowest airfares or the cheapest trip do not hold much water anymore.

Has anybody noticed the social networking phenoma? You do not belong to the Internet generation if you have not! The most interesting aspect is that this kicked off the Long Tail economy. If you want to be in business, you must concentrate on niches and the smaller products. This is because all the smaller numbers taken together, by far,  will out number the larger product. 

Before going further, I’d like to remind you that you can’t ignore customer complaints. They are communicating with each other and eavesdropping in social sites. It takes just a day to ruin your reputation, which matters most while selling products.

Alright. The Long Tail almost rang the death knell for the Pareto Principle . In wake of Web 2.0, you can’t even imagine banking on the 80/20 law or “the law of the vital few”.  

Recently, Phocuswright released their five predictions on the future of the long tail in travel. Here’s a summary of their report:

  • The little guy’s (product, channel, site, business) influence is significant
  • The sum of the niches is embraced
  • The 80/20 rule is debunked (“law of the vital few”)
  • The size of your reputation matters more than the size of your marketing budget
  • Distressed, “out of print” or discontinued product now has value

The first four definitely looks very vital for the Travel Industry, which will guide all future strategies on products, pricing, marketing and branding.

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Posted in Airlines, Media and Culture, News, Perceptions, Reviews, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Just Confirmed for Oktoberfest 2007, Munich

Posted by fifthdimension on September 11, 2007

Last year 5.9 million people gorged on 5.7 million litres of beer at Oktoberfest, Munich! I’ve been regretting almost everyday for not being able to make it to Oktoberfest 2006. “But you can’t stop me this time”. That’s what I kept telling everyone. 

I just booked a flight to Munich on Cheapoair. With $587.50 for a round trip NYC-MUC-NYC, I guess I got a fair deal, too, yay! They had student airfares for a cheaper price, but I’m not going to regret my ineligibility in this case.  I just want to be there and Cheapo did come to help. No wonder there ‘s a deluge of Cheapoair reviews on the web! 

I have planned in advance, too, for I don’t want to miss a thing at this bavarian beer fest. A Mass at the Weisn is all I’m looking for! However, I’m returning on 11th, so I’ll have plenty of time to marvel at Munich’s gothic, renaissance and neo-classical architecture.  

Festival Dates: 22 Sept – 7 Oct, 2007
Where: Munich, Germany

Posted in Airlines, Journeys, Life, Reviews, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Top Travel News

Posted by fifthdimension on August 7, 2007

Aer Lingus’ First Base Outside Ireland– In an attempt to expand its business further, Aer Lingus has launched its latest base in Belfast International Airport, it’s first base outside the Republic of Ireland. Initially, it will serve London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol. 

Carnival Cruise Carries 2.5 mn in the Caribbean– In a record-breaking season, this year Carnival Cruise Lines will carry an amazing 2.9 million passengers within the region. This is unprecedented in its 35-year history.

To meet this, Carnival will deploy 18 ships in the Caribbean, out of which, 14 will offer year-round service. Carnival is the only cruise line to offer departures from 12 convenient U.S. homeports.

CheapoAir.com Hits the Bull’s Eye Again–  New York City-based online travel site CheapoAir has made it to the Top 10 travel websites consecutively for the second time in the Hitwise Top 10 Websites Report for this quarter. CheapoAir offers cheap airfares to budget travelers from the US and Canada flying both for business and leisure.

Cheapflights Get record Number of Visitors– Online travel site cheap flights recorded 56 million visitors globally for the for the year to 30th June 2007, as cited by company sources.  The company launched its US site in may 2003.

Posted in Airlines, Media and Culture, News, Reviews, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Coming up Next Airbus A 390

Posted by fifthdimension on July 20, 2007

That’s right!  A380 has just made a head start and an overwhelming majority of the frequent and not-so-frequent fliers are yet to get the real taste of this innovative carrier. But what’s buzzing everywhere in the aviation industry is the news that Airbus has initiated preliminary studies for the design and manufacture of a 2600 capacity passenger carrier.

Still on the drawing board phase, the aircraft will have ten decks—seven for passengers, three for cargo and baggage, and is to be called “Airbus A 390”. Designed for long haul flights of over 20 hours, the proposed features on this airplane include six restaurants, three duty free shops, a lounge with a discothèque, two full sized movie theatres, a 14 lane bowling alley, a swimming pool with water slides, a wedding chapel, a fully functional medical clinic, and a 11,000 volume library.

The target market for this airplane is international long distance flights of over 9,000 nautical miles (about 16,600 kilometers). It will need six Rolls-Royce turbofan engines to power this flight, with each developing thrusts of over 340,000lb. Plus it will need a passenger load of around 1750 passengers to reach the break-even point for operating, meaning it must have 1750 passengers on board in order to fly. 

But what about the environment? A 390 looks more glitzy and fascinating, but who’s going to control emission levels? 

Posted in Airlines, Environment, News, Perceptions, Reviews, Society, Travel | Leave a Comment »

The Green Jet- 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s Reply to Airbus A380

Posted by fifthdimension on July 18, 2007

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner- the Green Jet is almost set to revolutionize the aviation industry. No, it’s not a mega passenger craft like the Airbus A380. But the 330-capacity 787 is surely a wonderful innovation. What’s so special about the aircraft is it’s ability to fly long haul routes on 20% lesser fuel than conventional airplanes.

With the world growing more and more conscious about the environment, Boeing is surely going to capitalize on this. The Green Jet is claimed to emit fewer greenhouse gases, too. What a sigh of relief for environmentalists!

Added to this, the Dreamliner is going to offer greater and higher levels of comfort for passengers. In addition, it promises a healthier flight experience, for the higher levels of humidity within the cabin have been expected to reduce passenger dehydration. 

After a 13 year hiatus, Boeing has ceratinly come back with a bang. It brags a phenomenal detour from the design perspective, too. So, instead of alluminium, the airplane uses high-tech plastic composites. Up to 50 percent of the basic structure of the plane, including the fuselage and wing, will be made of materials such as carbon-fiber. In fact, the shift from aluminium to other lighter but stronger composites is the  main basis for the 787’s lesser fuel consumption.  

Ultimately, from a business perspective, Boeing is going to achieve the same as Airbus in terms offering cheap travel to consumers.  Flying under-price than a competitor will be a major advantage for airline companies counting on the 787 .

Posted in Airlines, News, Reviews, Society, Travel | 2 Comments »