I am sure the timing is a complete fluke but two weeks after I published my first challenge to Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory in my post EveryYou: Individuation and going beyond the Long Tail theory he published a post on seekingAlpha called the Long Tail of Travel. In this post he carries some search data analysis that says that over time the top 50 destinations out for the UK have fallen from 36% of the total destinations in travelled by air 1998 to 26% in 2008 driven by low cost carriers, consumer demand and more. He has based this on data from the UK CAA. His post contains a graph and link to the data.
I have no doubt that searches for body and tail destinations are up and growing but we need more that just the Long Tail theory to allow demand for the tail to be unconstrained. We need targeting, recommending and discovery tools that allow consumers to find things they did not know they wanted to know about and trust the answers they get. [Broken record time] we need to use the technology and social changes made available to generated individuated search responses to open ended web queries.