New product research in the travel and tourism market
New Product Development in the FMCG market is well documented and there are a number of volumetric forecasting models available. However since most of these rely on measures of trial and repeat purchase they are of little use in markets where the purchase cycle is long and sporadic. This is obviously TRUE of the travel and tourism market. The theme of this paper will be that whilst the travel and tourism market is so different and diverse that traditional NPD techniques may not be appropriate, nevertheless there are general principles that can and should be observed. The paper will look at a number of ad hoc new product development projects in the travel and tourism markets and two particular case histories will be covered in detail. Both studies were designed to assess the potential of new products in these markets using very different techniques. The first was a purpose-built submarine that was designed to enable tourists to go on a trip below the waves and view in the sea life. Similar tourist submarine trips have been operating successfully in the Caribbean and now the Mediterranean was being considered. The research technique was used to present the concept in two forms to potential Mediterranean holidaymakers in the UK and Germany. Respondents were given a written description, promotional material and a were shown a video. Since the capital outlay for the project was significant it was also important to ascertain the optimum price that tourists would be prepared to pay in order to calculate over what period the investment would be liquidated.
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