I found this chart on Chris Anderson’s old TypePad blog. Chris Anderson is the original “Mr. Long Tail” (more details follow at the end of this post).
The Long Tail of Travel
What does the long tail of travel look like now? What is the breakdown of the stacked bars for years 2009 and 2010? I would guess that the long tail of travel has shortened. Why would the trend reverse? (Note that I resisted the temptation to say “turned tail”).
- Air fare increased due to higher fuel costs, discouraging those who would take the path less traveled, and
- Less leisure travel, and probably less business travel as well. This would be due to an increase in risk-averse tendencies for passengers concerned about deteriorating economic circumstances, whether their own or in general.
Chris Anderson’s 2009 post included another premise: Travel destinations had become more diverse due to the effect of social media tools. Specifically, that
- better word-of-mouth communications, and
- peer ratings and reviews
were highly credible. As a result, travellers were more willing to try destinations that were less mainstream, not necessarily promoted by the travel industry, and thus more diverse. And so the long tail grew.
Social media effect
Has the “social media effect” (I prefer to think of it as a more efficient means of information propagation) been sufficient to overcome the economically-motivated forces to the contrary?
There is only one way to answer that. Run the data!
I’ll see what I can do, as a follow-up post. Any expression of reader interest would be an additional motivation. Feel free to express your enthusiasm (or otherwise) as a comment. Note: Study included U.K. travel data only.
The Long Tail
For fans of the original New York Times best seller, published in 2006, or even for those who never read it (like me), here’s your reward for stopping by my Annex.
The Long Tail is now available as an 80-page graphic novel. As part of the promotion, read it free of charge for the next two months, before the official release date by SmartComics in late April. Or check this Twitter communique for additional details.
Disclaimer: I am a 100% UNPAID communicator of information. This is not an endorsement. But I will mention that Chris Anderson seems to be reasonably worthwhile as someone to follow or better yet, include on a suitable list for Twitter users. He is @chr1sa.