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Abstract

In the year 2004 Portale Sardegna, an Italian online tour operator, launched a new product, Open Voucher (OV), with the bold objective of prolonging the tourist season on the island. The idea was conceptually simple: to create a Sardinian tourist product capable of attracting travelers to the island during the low season, while the implementation was quite difficult. Open Voucher attempted this de-seasonalization through the development of an Internet-enabled network of affiliated hotels providing availability of rooms year round and offering their product through the Open Voucher platform at a low, fixed rate. In the years ranging from 2004 to 2006, Open Voucher showed good traction in the marketplace, but in 2007 it began to record falling bookings and deteriorating results. What was happening? Had the leadership team defined the strategy to launch Open Voucher properly? Was it even possible to re-launch the Open Voucher product?

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