CO-CREATION: THE TRAVEL AGENCIES’ NEW FRONTIER
Keywords:Tourism Distribution, Travel Agencies, Interactivity, Co-Creation, Social Web
Travel Agencies (TA) business model is shifting from "Sold To" (Trip Centric) to "Selling With" (Traveler Centric). The traditional system of company-centric value creation is becoming obsolete. Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004) argue that consumer wants to interact with firms and thereby co-create value. In this TA new frontier, the role of the consumer has changed from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, from passive to active.
The rapid adoption of the Internet as distribution channel and Social Web as a privileged communication tool between people has pressed organizations to experiment with innovative methods of interaction with consumers in computer-mediated environments. Companies must use interactive tools, create rich profiles and share workspaces, stimulating customers to produce content. It is vital listen, reach out and engage them in a two-way conversation.
Virtual Communities exchange all types of information e.g. trip emotions, travel experiences or even purchase choices. Customers, employees and partners collaborate, giving companies new ideas and insights. TA organizations should observe their behavior, tap into customer creativity, recognizing and rewarding them for the contribution. Social Web has become the backbone of the travel agency value constellation. So, an internal and external corporation strategic alignment will be required, in order to expand their customer relationship, promoting themselves online and profiting with collective intelligence during co-creation experiences.
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