Tour Operators, Guides and Outfitters Training in Central and Southern Oregon

Travel Oregon has invited Pandion back to Oregon!

Last February, Pandion designed and delivered a two day workshop in Portland for Oregon guides, outfitters, operators, packers, entrepreneurs and tourism businesses looking to develop or expand upon their outdoor recreation tour product. The workshops attracted 50 participants ranging in experience from about-to-launch to 30 year veterans.

This Fall we will bring the workshop to the adventure hotbeds of Central Oregon (Bend) and Southern Oregon (Ashland). Central Oregon, in the high desert, is well known for world class rock climbing at Smith Rock, Skiing at Mount Batchelor, and rafting the Deschutes River. Southern Oregon’s treasures include the mighty Rogue River, Crater Lake National Park, and the Oregon Redwoods. Existing businesses as well as those still in idea phase will benefit from the scope and breadth of the two day workshop.

These workshops spend time on the unique marketing needs of adventure travel and outdoor recreation businesses, and connect participants to the numerous resources from Travel Oregon. Land managers from BLM, US Forest Service, and National Parks will be on hand to give detailed descriptions of how to obtain commercial use permits and discuss best practices. And just as important is the opportunity to learn from, and network with, diverse businesses from throughout the region.

To learn more and to register click on this LINK. To bring Pandion to your community to conduct similar workshops email info [at] pandion.biz

October 28-29, 2015 in Bend, Oregon

November 18-19, 2015 in Ashland, Oregon

 

Is Consolidation Good or Bad for the Travel Industry?

We are often told by merging businesses and corporations that consolidation will bring better services to more customers and will lower prices. Even regulators, whose job it is to protect the consumer, will often say this. This goes against both the capitalist theory of competition and my personal instinct. Why would a more powerful company with less competition want to lower its price if it doesn’t have to? Consolidation of essential positions (HR, finance, etc) might lead to increased profit for the fewer people that own the now larger company. And the now larger company might have more power in the marketplace to insist on lower prices from suppliers. But one should not assume that this cost savings will be passed on to consumers. In the travel industry, both mainstream and niches like Adventure Travel, the trend has been moving towards consolidation. I have personally seen very good ground operators lose significant amounts of business due to a tour operator upstream being bought and the now larger business unifying the entire business around a different supplier. This might seem good for the other ground operator, but this means greater homogenization of the products offered, and a company that might not have been ready for such an increase of growth now responsible for a much larger share of the market.

I haven’t seen a ton of attention given to the potential pitfalls for businesses and consumers with consolidation in the travel industry. There are two recently published articles, that, especially seen side by side, outlines some of the negative sides of consolidation. The first is in Adventure Travel News and outlines the separation of a young mega company: Peak Adventure Travel Group, a strategic venture between TUI Group and Intrepid Travel. This is the merger that saw ripples in the supply chain internationally. In addition to the possible impacts on businesses and consumers, it appears that mega mergers can sometimes be hard on the two merging businesses themselves. TUI and Intrepid are still huge, but I think this separation is ultimately good for the industry.

TUI-group and Intrepid Travel to Part Ways – Adventure Travel News

The second article was in the New York Times on July 1st. It initially caught my attention because the lead is about price collusion between the four major airlines. As a frequent flyer I get concerned with lack of competition amongst airlines, leading to poorer service and higher prices. The article digs into the fact that consolidation in the airline industry has made it easier for collusion to occur even though “[executives] actually hate each other, truth be told. But with so few of them left, there’s almost a natural oligopoly.” Airlines have gone from near bankruptcy to record profits. One reason is the extremely low fuel prices. Yet, ticket prices have not dropped as you would expect with lower costs. Says Senator Chuck Schumer: “It’s hard to understand, with jet fuel prices dropping by 40 percent since last year, why ticket prices haven’t followed. We know that when airlines merge, there’s less price competition.” Senator Schumer has called for a Justice Department investigation.

Airlines Under Justice Department Investigation – New York Times

To maintain a vibrant and sustainable travel industry it is important to be skeptical of the promises made by merging companies. We need to hold regulators accountable to do their jobs and make sure they apply scrutiny when approving such mergers.

 

U.S. Legislation Needed to Give Native American Tribes More Control of Tourism

Travelers are consistently requesting authentic cultural experiences; specifically, travelers visiting the United States from other parts of the world. This could suggest there is an opportunity for Native American Tribes to tap into this demand and increase economic benefit from tourism. As has been the practice during their couple hundred years relationship with Native America, the U.S. Government continues to disproportionally control resources on Tribal land. In this case, the decision making about where to appropriate funds for tourism development and needed infrastructure investments.

Native America should have an opportunity to thrive in a tourism economy that is seeking out authentic cultural experiences. According to a recent article in Indian Country Today, there is legislation that could change this dynamic to better benefit Native communities: “The NATIVE Act, or the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act, was created to “enhance and integrate Native American tourism, empower Native American communities, increase coordination and collaboration between Federal tourism assets, and expand heritage and cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.” The act would, among other things, get federal agencies like the Departments of Commerce and Interior to consult with Indian tribes and the Native American community on their inclusion in Federal tourism activities.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/01/23/aianta-pushing-legislation-give-tribes-more-control-native-tourism-158838?_tmc=xUIPM7R_v3ziiUv9EdOomejdDGSpKxzJ4DCqZbfa7M4

 

Pandion to Conduct Two Adventure Travel Workshops in Oregon: Feb 24-25

If you are based in Oregon, please consider attending one or both of the upcoming workshops we are conducting in Portland Oregon February 24th and 25th:

WHEN: February 24 & 25, 2015 | 9:00AM – 5:00 PM both days

WHERE: Jupiter Hotel Portland | 800 East Burnside St. Portland, Oregon 97214

RSVP: Here! Registration closes Feb. 20, 2015 and is limited to first 50 registrants

COST: $10 for 2 day registration

DAY 1:  FEBRUARY 24
Connecting your business to the world: Understanding and attracting the international and high-value traveler

Key Takeaways:

  • Strategies to connect to global supply chain
  • Attracting media and PR
  • Product development for international travelers
  • High impact marketing methods

DAY 2:  FEBRUARY 25
Navigating Permitting, and Setting up Successful Operations

Key Takeaways:

  • How to understand and obtain required permits and licenses
  • Designing and implementing an Emergency Response Plan (ERP)
  • Creating risk management protocol
  • Properly insuring your operation
  • Vehicle/equipment certification and maintenance best practices

 

Food & Drink:

  • Morning pastries and a catered lunch will be provided daily
  • Coffee, tea and water will be available throughout the workshops
  • Basecamp Brewing reception following each day

More information HERE.

Send Fewer and Shorter Emails – so says the Universe

It seems like the universe is uniting to say this message in unison: Send Fewer and Shorter Emails. I witnessed the effects of this early on from several years with a former business partner who was email prolific. I frequently had to play fixer when the fallout would hit from his many midnight manifestos, or his litany of new initiatives sent out to all staff, completely bypassing any chain of command. With recent consulting clients, I’ve found myself making the suggestion numerous times to cut out huge chunks out of an all staff email, and often recommending not to send an email at all. Now, I meet an author that has written the text: Message Not Received: Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It. Phil Simon shares examples of how wasteful scheduling through email is, or when it can make more sense to just pick up the phone. I appreciate when messages come from many places. Universe, I am listening.

http://www.philsimon.com/books/

Thank you for visiting my site!

Pandion was formed with a mission to advance the quality and integrity of adventure travel and the travel industry overall. With this as the foundation, our services work with businesses to address obstacles of running a sustainable, high quality operation. Hands on, outcomes based consulting and collaboration are at the core of our approach. Your business’s success continues to be our priority, even after your project is completed. We look forward to working with you!