Have you ever watched the Amazing Race? The concept is simple. Take 12 teams of two, and have them race around the world as they accomplish different tasks along the way. Then at the end of each leg of the race, you eliminate the team that comes in last place. The winner wins a prize of $1 million, and the honor or being first in the Amazing Race.
As the teams race, they end up in some pretty incredible places. And they also have to do tasks that directly relate to the area they are in to experience the lifestyle and the culture of the people around them. This season they had to do a search and rescue at the top of the mountain, looking for a “dummy” under piles of snow. And they enjoyed heading under water looking for buried treasure amongst a sea full of mermaids.
If you watch the show, it’s easy to be captivated by the race, and end up with a desire to travel beyond the typical tourist attractions. So of course there are many people that would love to experience their own “amazing race”.
Nextpedition is a custom made mystery trip based on your travel sign. You uncover your travel sign by taking an online quiz, which walks you through a series of questions to determine what your preferences are. Do you like visiting museums? Or hiking in a rain forest?
Once you’ve determined your interests, you can select your level of enjoyment – three four or five start accommodations. You can also choose where you want to travel – US or Europe. Then they put together a mystery package, and you’re soon on your way.
Over the last few years, the travel industry has taken a huge hit. Most travel agencies no longer exist, thanks to the tools of the online world. Who needs a traditional travel agent when you can search and get exactly what you are looking for online?
But if you tweak the old concept, and come up with a new twist, you can create an amazing new opportunity. American Express through so, and created Nextpedition.
Why did it work so well? It’s all about the experience. Head over and watch some of the videos. They all talk about the experience, and how they could have never have achieved the same results themselves by walking around the city. What made their trips special was having insider tips, guides and opportunities as they traveled from place to place.
Okay, how does this apply to photography?
One of the top debates in the photography realm is whether you can still make a great living at photography, or if it’s a dying industry.
Photography in its old format is dead. You can’t revive the way photography used to be – digital and the Internet changed that forever. People now like to experience things for themselves. They have their iPhone on them all the time, and can post photos and videos from every location in the world instantly on to Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
But you can change the experience. If the travel industry can, so can the photography industry. You’re not just a photographer; you’re a visual storyteller.
What sites have you found that have revived a dying industry? What photographers do you know who are changing things up, and making it big in the new economy?