Taking a cue from the online adult entertainment industry, one of the few industries that has actually made money on the Web, the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus announced an ambitious new Web initiative at its annual meeting in Minneapolis on July 25.
Called OfficialTravelInfo.com, or OTI for short, the new Web site will serve as a front door for all convention and visitor bureaus and tourist boards across the globe, staking their claim as the "official" source of destination information to tourists and professional planners alike on the World Wide Web. It's an attempt to compete with the for-profit dot-coms such as Travelocity,which have already established an e-commerce platform, according to William Hanbury, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau. He's spearheaded the OTI effort along with William Peeper, president of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Peeper quoted from an article in Upside magazine that says the adult entertainment industry has been successful because its members learned to cooperate (they actually send customers to each others' sites), attack the search engines, and ensure repeat business.
Hanbury admitted that, "We just don't know the correct model yet," for the OTI e-commerce revenue stream, although bureau members eventually will get some piece of that revenue pie.
IACVB has identified seven technology partners to operate the OTI subsidiary corporation, which will ultimately license software applications to each bureau at a much lower cost than each could buy individually. These partners include MEIsoft.com, Naviant.com, StarCite, cvent.com for meeting management software; and Passkey.com, to provide housing
fast facts When Paul Kordis, a former human resources manager who bills himself as a specialist in the effects of change, took the stage for his keynote address at the recent Computer Events Management Association Summit 2000 (see lead story, page 13), he had audience polling devices with him. Here are the questions he asked and the responses he received:
"What is your biggest problem right now?" * Too few resources and too little support - 35%
* Not enough time - 31%
"If things keep going like they're going now, I will ... " * Look for another job 28%
* Stay where I am, but burn out in 12 years 23%
* I'm toast now 12%