The mind weaves information in a curious way. Dreams are the most powerful verification of its strange combination of ideas, desires and memories, but everybody confirms every day that a wakeful state also holds surprises. I begin with this thought because an idea has been circling my head for a few days now, and I think it comes from all the headlines that have appeared in this year’s Forbes list.
The question arises from visualizing a model of extraordinary success in the textile sector, Zara, which has placed its owner at number five in the ranking, and the consequent superimposition of that model on the tourist scene. The starting point of this reflection, more playful than anything else, revolves around the idea of whether a Zara store can serve as inspiration for an extrapolated model in the tourist business, so that the result is novel in some or all of the elements it would bring together, or a course of action that would not easily arrive at with a traditional approach.
Of all the aspects that characterize the Zara business model, there is one that I think is worth delving into. It starts with of one of its main features, the clothing offered by its chain stores, behind which there is an intense exercise of cool-hunting, with collections that change every 15 days in keeping with the latest trends, although there is always a basic wardrobe that is never out of style. The question that immediately arises is if there is a travel option or accommodation that follows this exercise of ceaseless change and adaptation to the latest trends. In other words, if there is any tourist enterprise today whose perspective and value proposition is completely different today from what it offered three months ago and what it will be offering six months from now. I couldn’t say, but I am sure that all of us are contemplating a course of action along those lines.
The next issue, tied directly the previous one, is that because of its rapid rotation, if you do not purchase an article at Zara that you like when you see it, you’re not likely to be able to when you go back, which in many cases means one doesn’t postpone the purchase. But in the field of tourism, if you don’t reserve the trip, accommodation or tour that you’re contemplating, you can always do it later, since the supply is abundant and often there is so little difference among the offers that it doesn’t matter if you go to one place to another and the purchase can be left for the last day, which is good for the consumer and bad for the entrepreneur, sentenced to a perennial uncertainty. Therefore, it is interesting to think about changing, even partially, the individual traveler’s habit of buying by applying the Zara philosophy, and while complex, it would be worthwhile if only to see what might come out of it.
One can compare everything for its own sake since one never knows when inspiration will arrive, if it will arrive by chance, looking for something else. With this junction of ideas generated by a glance at headlines, I feel that while a Zara Tours model is a long way off, applying a brilliant tangible project like Inditex always inspires, even in the field of tourism. And I think also that it is possible to take elements of that culture and go deeper in terms of product and distribution, even if it might be strange to follow this sort of easygoing and unexpected serendipity.