Several travel-related news items flashed on my laptop screen late last month, reminding me of the power of well-known brands, cross-selling, proprietary customer databases, media clout and destination content.
Sam’s Club, a sister company of Wal-Mart and the eighth-largest retailer in the US, announced on June 24 the creation of Sam’s Club Travel, a new online travel service and collaboration with Tourico Holidays.
A few days earlier, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), the second-largest cruise company in the world with a 23% market share, had confirmed that it was developing a new land tour operation to be called TourTrek.
These announcements followed several others that caught my eye earlier this year. In March, The New York Times launched an expanded tour operation as part of its Times Journeys travel subsidiary.
And, finally, Adventures by Disney, a division of the Walt Disney Company that started in 2005 with tours only to Hawaii and Wyoming but is now offering nearly 40 escorted programs worldwide, said in May that it was unveiling a variety of new adventures, some close to home but others further afield.
For the purposes of this blog post, cross-selling is the common denominator linking these four brands and their new ventures. And while there is inevitably some overlap in the market segments they are targeting, there are clear differences, too. Some of these companies are clearly making a move toward “experiential travel,” what a recent report by Peak DMC and Skift calls “more immersive, local, authentic, adventurous and/or active travel.”
Let’s look at these developments a little closer...Read More