User ratings: What they really mean for a travel business
Aravind Ramachandran

User ratings: What they really mean for a travel business

"Please give me a 5 star rating" – my Uber driver tells me as my trip ends. "Rate us 5 stars on TripAdvisor " – says the little index card I found on my hotel room table. "Let's cancel the booking. This place has a very low score. May be dangerous" – says my fellow traveller It is clear that service providers recognize the value of a user rating for future business. Those little nuggets of information at the bottom of a listing indeed do have a significant effect on our purchase decisions. V12Data.com quotes research that as much as 97% of customers factor in reviews from fellow customers into...
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Aravind Ramachandran

How safe are travelers in their dream destination?

​ A typical traveler may look for specific experiences while planning a vacation, probably based on how different it is compared to what they are used to in daily life. Clearly, the focus is typically on "what will I get to see/do?" or "how much fun can I have?" as opposed to a more solemn question of "how safe will I be?" What does risk mean? ​ The concept of risk tends to appear in a very narrow context in the travel industry's conversations with customers – a risk of flights being delayed, connections being missed, hotel reservations not being confirmed, a promised ancillary being withdrawn...
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Aravind Ramachandran

Need experiences, will travel: Why millennials take to the skies

Travel marketers who have been paying attention to the world around them will not be surprised to hear that a large portion of the target customer base is now composed of millennials. Economists would attribute a large part of this (over the long term) to deregulation, as well as a "real" decrease in airfares relative to the incomes. Yet in recent times, the drastic increase in the quantum of information at their disposal has also contributed significantly to this trend. Largely on account of this influx of millennials into the demand side of the market, customer attitudes are evolving towards...
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The infrastructure jigsaw: How cruise lines can cash in on undeveloped destinations
Aravind Ramachandran

The infrastructure jigsaw: How cruise lines can cash in on undeveloped destinations

Vacations are by design a detour (literally as well as figuratively) from what people are used to in daily lives. Lush greenery, untouched natural wonders, thick rainforests, serene beaches or the quaintness of a little village far away from a city – vacationers seek experiences with great diversity, and most often look for places that are off the beaten path. In this search for unique experiences, a great deal of value is attached to places that are still unknown to much of the world, or are still emerging as a popular destination. This means much of the world's tourism potential may lie ...
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Experiential selling: Captivate your customer with rich content
Aravind Ramachandran

Experiential selling: Captivate your customer with rich content

Are you hungry? If I offer you a little bit of choice on what to serve you for lunch, which of these would you prefer? A succulent morsel cut from the tenderness of a fledgling chicken, lightly seared on a traditional iron grill and seasoned with hand-picked Indian spices. Served with a sprinkling of diced vegetables resting between finely sliced slabs of oven baked dough OR A grilled chicken sandwich The two options above mean essentially the same thing, but will appeal to your palate in drastically different ways. It is an old trick used by restaurants, which has received some acceptance fro...
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