Blog Header
The Insights Blog

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

IdeaBar: Travel Guides On Demand

Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

I2m_rajasthanbook In the midst of planning a trip to India, I am in the process of doing what countless others do when planning a trip nationally or internationally … browsing the bookshelves and looking for the best books to educate myself about the destination and plan an itinerary.  For domestic trips, I definitely turn to sites online like Yelp.com or Turnhere.com for the first scoop on destinations, but for an international trip to a place like India – my first stop is still the bookstore.  Yet standing in front of the shelves at Barnes & Noble, I was faced with the prospect of lugging a 600 page book about everything in India around on my trip.  I would certainly do it if I was planning on going all around India – but on my trip I will only be going to Rajasthan, Mumbai, Delhi and perhaps Goa.  The huge book is too heavy, and I’m a light traveller.  I ultimately decided on the Lonely Planet Guide for Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra.  The problem is, there is nothing on Mumbai and Goa in the book, and I don’t plan on going to Agra.

The experience got me thinking about the deficiencies of printed travel guides when it comes to customization.  Yet with the rise of publishing tools and turnkey printing solutions like Lulu.com, it seems the next evolution of travel guides should be to offer more customized solutions.  If I plan to go to Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai and Goa – why can’t I order a copy of Lonely Planet with all the basic information (getting vaccinated, etc.) plus only those sections?  I understand, of course, that for some travellers who may be making last minute decisions on where to go – this would not make sense.  But for those travellers who are relatively sure of their destinations, Travel Guides On Demand could offer a huge value to travellers.  Here are just a few of the potential benefits:

  1. Makes travel guides more convenient for space conscious travellers
  2. Increases the usability and usefulness of the guide
  3. Solves the outdated guide problem

If this idea started to catch on, these on demand guides could also allow travellers to toggle their selections for destinations by what their interests are.  Imagine if the guides could include a sliding scale to allow travellers to select to only display luxury or budget accomodation, more images or less images, and off-the-beaten-track or major tourist destinations.  Even letting travellers reorder the content of a guide to match the sequence of the destinations they will be visiting would offer great value.  All this points to a revolution in the way we think about production of travel guides, and perhaps the publication of travel information in general.  And the end benefit for a traveller like me would be simple – a smaller, more useful and more customized guide for my trip to India (that I would gladly pay a premium for).

About the Idea Bar:
Working in a creative team, the life of our business is new ideas.  We come up with them every day for clients, but sometimes there are ideas that just don’t fit a client.  They are too big, too different, or just not quite right. To view all "Idea Bar" posts on this blog, click here.

2 thoughts on “IdeaBar: Travel Guides On Demand”

  1. Budget travelers have been doing this for as I can remember by simply taking a razor blade to the spines of their Lonely Planet guides and creating “tailored” guide packets of only what they need. Then they throw away the sections of the places they’ve visited as they go along.

    I’d love a modular travel guide like you describe, in a format that I could load on my laptop or even better on my PDA. It’s time for guidebooks to embrace technology!

    Barbara
    https://babas.typepad.com

    Reply
  2. Hmm, I have to confess to using the razor blade trick, or the old reliable double sided photocopying many times in the past. I suspect we all have our similar usage stories of Lonely Planets and other travel guides. If only they paid as much attention to stories of how people use their guides as they do to the actual travel experiences of their readers.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Vector Smart Object

About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

Rohit Bhargava About (1)

Speaking

Do you need a speaker that can help your audience be more innovative and anticipate the future?

For more than a decade, Rohit Bhargava has been inspiring audiences at NASA, Disney, Schwab, Microsoft, SXSW, Coca-Cola and hundreds of other clients with his signature non-obvious keynote presentations. He is a master at weaving recent stories into his talks in a way that helps audiences better understand the world today, while also preparing to lead the future.

Non Obvious Insights
Layer 97
Non Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.

Books

#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object

Contact

Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message