Immitation is the finest form of flattery, so I’ve got no problem at all with people taking my research and using it in their own presentations. The occassional reference back to me would be nice, but even better would be making sure you are using the most up date numbers I have, and not using old data that I have since improved upon.

Bow Tie Model

Updated Bow Tie Model - Fish Where The Fish Swim

Here is a cut down version of The Bow Tie Model and I have also added some numbers based on two different Google sources (* and **). The reason I fondly refer to this as fish where the fish swim is because I am convinced that the return on investment is much greater on the right hand side than the left hand side. Don’t get me wrong, an airline winning the travel social networking prize will win big time on both sides of the bow tie, but the risks in going after that prize are much greater as well. For an airline with a limited investment budget, a small spend on the right hand side will yield very nice (and measurable) results. This is exactly what I was describing in the Air Pacific case study showing a 243% increase in hotel sales online.   

But the numbers that have been copied more widely so far, and which should now be replaced by the updated data if you intend to use them yourself, are the average lead times for Air, Car, Hotel and Destination Content. The presentation from Miami contains more detail in the small print on exactly how this data was calculated, but basically for Air, Hotel and Car it is now a 2 year weighted average. The original data came one month only, so it ignored any seasonality, and the original data set for hotels actually contained some hotel direct sales that I have since excluded as it biased the results.

Here are the new numbers for average days from website purchase to consumption that you should be using if you choose to include this in your presentations:

  • Air: 46 days
  • Destination Content: 30 days
  • Hotel: 24 days
  • Rental Car: 23 days

If you use the number for destination content, be sure to understand that it is not Amadeus data, but Isango data, and that it is only for 2008 rather than a 2 year weighted average. Also be aware that I have a strong belief that the reason it is 30 days is because airlines have marketed this product very poorly to date. If an airline used the same technology as we are using to massively increase the hotel sales for Air Pacific and used this to time the offer closer to departure, then I think you would see an airline selling more than five times as much destination content than most do today, and the average booking window or lead time would drop to something closer to 7 – 10 days.

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