Centralised multi-national research in the travel industry

Date of publication: June 15, 1984


The paper queries whether the "international consumer" exists as such; in determining the best research method in multi-country research projects, it suggests that no single rigid approach (standardised comparability:non-comparability, centralised:decentralised) should he taken as being always right. The particular product field must determine the best course of action, and the final decision is up to the intelligence of the researcher. However, if there is an area where the truly "international consumer" exists at all it is in the field of travel, and especially business travel, where the nature of the product itself, the travel experience, must remain the same from country to country, irrespective of the nationality of the purchaser, the promotional activity to which he may have been exposed, and the source of purchase. Thus, travel research is particularly suitable for centralised standardised research techniques. The paper concludes with two brief case histories (one for Air Canada, and one for the London Hilton, both of which used centralised telephone interviewing from London to good advantage in terms of efficiency, speed and economy.

Peter B. Hodgson


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