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ATME 2010 Travel Marketing Conference
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In This Section >> Going Global | The Euro: Good News for the Industry | Get Your Piece of A Bigger Pie | Modern Marketing Strategies | Think Globally |

Modern Marketing Strategies

 

INTERNATIONAL MARKETING:
Modern International Marketing Strategies

By Michel Bouquier

Until recently, product, brand, service, markets and consumers were the key components of a marketing strategy. Integrating these areas with an electronic communication network will very soon be one of the most important and necessary elements of any marketing concept. With the discovery of electronic communication marketers can for the first time create their own network of information and communication.

The Internet is only the tip of the iceberg and only one (but major) element of this new fantastic revolution. We are now talking about erasing borders, about networking on a worldwide scale.

The airline industry have shown us the way some 50 years ago when they realized they could not survive without creating their own communication network. They launched the SITA network which is today the most important private network in the world. Belonging to more than 550 airlines, SITA covers 162 countries with 723 access gates.

Airlines (again) started online bookings with SABRE in 1965. Today GDS have become so important for the entire travel industry that no one can imagine doing business without them.

The banking industry is way ahead of the travel world in this field. Cashing money from an ATM station with a credit card takes only seconds regardless where you do it. This process which looks so obvious and easy relies on only a few worldwide electronic networks to which all major banks are connected.

The travel industry is trying hard but at this stage there is no worldwide coordination. Hotels are using hundreds, if not thousands of different and incompatible electronic system to run their business (back and front office, reservations,...). Car rental companies, cruise lines, railway companies have also developed their own and incompatible communication, information and reservation network.

The GDS "seamless" system and the Internet will certainly help the travel industry to fight this "jungle" of different networks.

Companies that will understand the urgent necessity to link, round the clock and round the world their employees, customers and suppliers will win the competition. They will make a giant step ahead and will own one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable tool they have ever used.

Official bodies such as Tourist Boards will play a key role in this new revolution. They will have to lead the way and not be afraid - or should I say embarrassed? - to look at other industries for inspiration.

 

 

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