Essays on Entrepreneurship in Tourism and Hospitality - Travelocity Case Study

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The paper 'Entrepreneurship in Tourism and Hospitality - Travelocity" is a good example of a management case study. In recent times, the tourism industry has been a rocky place for most. Many service providers within the field are struggling to make and hold on to their profits while their markets continue to shrink all the while the competition becoming stiffer still. According to AmadeusUK (2012), a leading provider of solutions concerned with the management of travel services sales and distribution in the travel industry, the struggle cuts across the board— from the giants of the travel world to the smaller niche agencies.

AmadeusUK (2012) however observes that niche agencies appear to be accruing more success than their larger-than-life counterparts for a number of reasons. The changes in the travel industry have been attributed to a large extent to the changes in customer needs. Since the demand has changed, it demands (so to speak) a concurrent adaptation of the services provided, the manner in which they are provided, the ways in which they are marketed, and in general, the way that travel organizations are structured.

So this begs the question, what can organizations do to stay current and profitable? What are they already doing that is working? Why are niche agencies in particular succeeding where their larger competitors have failed? Some of the reasons given by AmadeusUK (2012) for the successes experienced by the smaller organizations are based entirely on the nature of their business and the current travel market. Niche companies aspire to provide customized services which cater to their ever specializing markets, and this is proving profitable. This is because the creation of specialized trips is a tad pricey, and the customers are willing to pay good money for memories that will be unique to them.

Niche agencies have taken advantage of this fact and are thriving on it. To explore this concept, this paper will use Travelocity as a case study. It will examine the recent business venture (How far am I from sharks right now? ) that the company has undertaken in a bid to establish its aims and objectives as well as how it has contributed to the company’ s success. Travelocity: A Brief History Travelocity is a travel agency entirely based online.

It was owned and founded in 1996 by Sabre corporation, but is today under the complete ownership of Expedia. Based in the United States in Dallas, Texas, Travelocity has gone through its fair share of changes since its foundation. In 1978, American Airlines begun to offer customers access to SABRE (its electronic system of reservation) through travel agencies. This concept was further developed over time and by the 1990s, it had been extended to America Online (AOL). In 1999, Travelocity became associated with AOL and steadily begun its climb to fame.

In 2004, Travelocity introduced the “ Roaming Gnome” series of adverts. These were drawn from the idea behind the “ travelling gnome prank” where people have been stealing garden gnomes from others’ yards and photographing them at different sites and sending the pictures back to the owner since 1986. This idea was created by Lisa Shimotakahara and Philip Marchington (who worked at an advertising agency - McKinney & Silver). John Guynn from the same agency came up with the advertisements’ tagline: “ You’ ll never roam alone” .

Since then, the roaming gnome has been the default mascot of Travelocity and the basis of a huge chunk of its marketing and campaign strategies.


AmadeusUK, (2012). Why are niche travel agents succeeding? - UK & Ireland Blog. UK & Ireland Blog. Retrieved 10 May 2015, from
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