Précis of a (fictitious but credible) Interview with: <br />a Travel Agent <br />on the subject of <br />sustainability in...
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PréCis Of An Interview With


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PréCis Of An Interview With

  1. 1. Précis of a (fictitious but credible) Interview with: <br />a Travel Agent <br />on the subject of <br />sustainability inhibitors.<br />The mass market has NOT yet chosen to 'go green' – we are here to serve the mass market. If they don't demand it – we don't supply it: simple.... that is the name of the game! Our university teachers drummed it into us that we should always be market-led and not product-led – they gave us countless examples of product-led disasters (like the Sinclair C5) and we listened and learned: until and unless the market is ready for a new product we don't roll up the old, popular one!<br />We are agents. Agents are responsible to their contractual principals. Our principals have not gone green so we haven't (for the reason above); they don't produce much of a sustainable set of options; we rack their brochures and act as a point of sale. Don't blame us if you don't find a sustainable brochure on our shelves – we only sell what they send us (i.e. what they pay us to sell.... (so your problem is with them, frankly, not us). <br />Sustainability costs: costs more. Whether or not it really does is irrelevant if the market believes that it does (and our clientele neither understands nor demands sustainable tourism products and services, at least in part because it fears increased costs).<br />Tourism products are increasingly being sold on the basis of price: low or lowest price. We used to sell largely on 'best value' (Q / P), but during La Crise that seems to have shifted: people have a very clear 'outside envelope' for their costs and they will not exceed it.<br />Clients buy on the basis of experience. Our clients have had lots of experience of the mass market Tourism product: it is what they know (and, dare I say it: love!). They buy what they know: simple as that. You can't expect them to change overnight! When they do, change, however, we will of course change with them. Until then we will sell what we've been selling because the clients like it and we make a living from it. It is that simple!<br />As to how we operate .... we haven't signed up to any 'green labelling or ISO schemes' because we don't think they convey much advantage in the marketplace but it would almost certainly increase our costs.... costs which we would have to absorb (lower profits) or try to pass on to our very acutely price-conscious market (lower profits).<br />Despite all the global 'talk' nothing has actually filtered down to us in law or regulation to force us to change – so it can't be seen as being that important. Unless and until that changes we will continue to rack those holidays we know for certain that our clients actually want and will buy!<br />