Gray Line Worldwide attends conferences, subscribes to/sponsors and participates in many research studies each year. We use this data and what we learn from it to help inform our strategic planning and decisions on technology, branding, product development, consumer behavior, and industry trends. While infinitely helpful, many times we have to make inferences from the data as it relates to our Gray Line business. With the depth and breadth of our network, we think there may be a better way.
The Lab Concept
We are testing the idea of running our own internal research program, leveraging our ability to engage our customers across our global network in person and in real time. We've included you as part of our initial list of 26 Launch Destinations. If enough of you agree to participate in this initial pilot program, we'll start with a simple survey (outlined below) to test the concept.
Following a successful test, our plan is to develop an ongoing program incorporating more destinations and custom content, ensuring that Gray Line always has access to the best data about our customers and our enterprise.
The initial Test
With the launch of Uber Tours, Google Trips, Google Local Guides, Detour, Airbnb Experiences, etc., there has been significant chatter in the media and in our space about the "future of tours and activities". If you believe some pundits, the typical tour is dead in the water. Specifically, many new startups believe that millenials and the younger segment of GenX travelers eschew traditional tours for more "authentic" local experiences.
As you know if you heard me speak at our convention in Iceland, World Travel Market or the recent Expedia Conference, I couldn't DISAGREE more. In fact, I believe (and a lot of data supports) that sightseeing in general and specifically, the entire aspect of being a "tourist" is not only alive and well, but is ready for its own rennaissance. I also believe that millenials, as well as every other generation, seek out and enjoy our tours each and every day.
In order to address the issue and inform our go-forward plans, we need hard data. As such, our first test with the Launch Destinations of the Gray Line Lab is a generational survey. Our plan is as follows:
Next Steps for Launch Destinations
If you and your team are willing to do a bit of work to help your business and for the greater good of Gray Line, simply complete the participation form on this page, indicating your willingness to participate. Then, in the next few weeks, we'll send you the operational details and requirements for our pilot project: Generational Travelers and Sightseeing Tours: A Cross-Generation Snapshot.