The long-tail distribution strategy concentrates on offering services and products in the tail of distribution, hence the name long-tail. This strategy is devised by Chris Anderson, who first published about the long tail in Wired in October 2004. (Anderson, 2017) This strategy is largely used by online retailers; among others Amazon.com, Bol.com and iTunes have applied this strategy with success. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)Their promoting strategy entails advertising their most popular products, and then when people go to their website they can find a large and wide variety of products where they can find almost anything they want. Nevertheless, since stores have to pay for shelf space, they will make sure to put products on their shelves that generally are a hit with the customers. Stocking up on all kinds of products with little sales volume is generally not very profitable in their case. (Anderson, 2017)
Within the tourism industry it is not unheard of to use the long tail. Companies such as online tour operators generally offer a wide variety of trips, where they will generally promote the typical tourist destinations such as for example Barcelona, London or Paris. However, they will also offer trips to lesser known tourism countries such as for example Albania, Latvia and Estonia. Although latter trips have lesser sales volume, they still sell well and make their variety of products larger. Another company in the tourism sector that uses long tail is Booking.com. The website offers a very extensive variety of accommodation, flights, transportation and restaurants. Anything and everything can be found on this website. (Booking.com, 2017)
However, travel agencies do not only generally work without an online website; they also work on a custom-made product basis. This means that they do not own a website to promote and sell low sales volume products. Moreover, a wide range of products is not characteristic for travel agencies at all. The way travel agencies work is that customers come to the travel agencies to discuss their travel wishes. Together with a travel agent a trip will be custom-made and produced that is based on these travel wishes. A perfectly personally made trip. Such trip is not something you can sell to everyone, since every person will have their own unique taste. There will be little to none exact identical trips sold.
In conclusion, it can be said that while the long tail is working in favor for many other companies in the tourism industry, it is not beneficial for travel agencies in any way.
Anderson, C. (2017, September 24). About. Retrieved from The Long Tail: http://www.thelongtail.com/about.html
Booking.com. (2017). Retrieved from Booking.com: https://www.booking.com
Image from http://www.sitepronews.com/2010/10/20/the-long-tail-opportunities-and-threats/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship management. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.