TTI’s spring conference to be held on April 12 in London promises to “Lift the lid on dynamic packaging”.
That headline made me perk up, as this is one of my pet subjects I’ve been paying attention to since before the term actually became the buzz word of the industry. I remember the days in 2001 when those two words would make my interlocutors eyes glaze over, but then again, maybe I just wasn’t able to describe it clearly to them. Not the first time that would have happened in my career… The company I was involved in was actually offering dynamic packaging as defined below, but in hindsight it was in a market not quite ready for it yet and also not entirely fault proof, both requirements necessary to succeed in web based selling.
It prompted me to post on the TravelMole bulletin board my own definition of what it is and what the state of it is in today’s online travel industry.
A truly dynamic package is “self assembled” online by the customer combining his or her choice of any number of individual components available and at the end of the process receive in real-time an all-inclusive, dynamically packaged price for either a single or multiple destination trip. What I see today, is far from what I just described.
Only in this model can I see companies being able to maintain a certain margin elasticity vs. being engaged in what is today a totally price focused and almost transparent component pricing model one where even suppliers themselves will no longer be able to maintain a decent margin, no less one that protects an intermediary who often doesn’t add any value to the transaction.
The value add can be delivered and the brand protected by the dynamic packaging solutions I described above where control over the product assembly is given to an increasingly well informed online travel buyer on new generation websites that combine all the elements necessary for planning a leisure vacation (pardon: holiday) rather than a mere trip from A to B.
I added this comment as well:
The traditional tour operator world is indeed faced with a new and challenging reality with the continued growth of online travel distribution and the introduction of dynamic packaging with its effect on the wholesale model. The days when tour operators were able to write off the online players as strictly sellers of air and maybe hotel rooms are fading fast and that’s with no company I’ve come across at present offering what I would define as true dynamic packaging!