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Tour Operations Management Assignment - Thomas Cook
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Tour Operations Management - Thomas Cook
Travel and Tourism industry is growing rapidly and render effective support to the country’s economy. They are considered as major contributor in economic funds and due to this they get adequate level of support from their respective government. Thomas cook group is a travel agency founded in 2007 by the merger of Thomas cook AG and my travel group plc. Headquarters of the company are in Peterborough, Cambridge shire, England. They provide tour packages glllobally. Now in this tour operations management assignment thomas cook we will discuss about tour operators, industries within the tour and travel sector, stages adopted by a company to build theeeir holiday packages involving effects of recent trends on the tourism industry and about the distribution method of packages by brochures, direct sell, by telephone.
P 2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays
- Research & Finalize Destination:- Finalize a destination for tour is not an easy task. Research is to be performed over desired destination in order to decide various location which can be good option for tourist. Thomas cook group easily access the links or websites in order to search locations and provide best packages. Thomas cook group provide the facility of customization like customer can add or remove the locations from the tour product (Lozano, et. al. 2016).
- Planning for Tour:- Once the destination from the target market is finalized, second step involved that how to plan for the trip. Thomas cook group have all the options according to customer budget. In the planning field there are certain elements get included such as:
- First decide the date of the journey and duration of the tour
- Note the time at which they will arrive.
- Manage a cab to receive them from the airport or railways station.
- Provide a best hotel over desired location by which tourist would satisfied.
- Supervise the food facility
- Prepare a chart of the places according to time
- Provide a guide who helps them to visit all places
- Hospitality facility (Dodds & Kuehnel, 2010)
- Negotiation:-It is human tendency that customers are not satisfied with the given set of services. In order to sale out the package sometimes Thomas Cook negotiate with their customers in order to reduce the prices or make inclusion of the extra services in it such as increase in destination or change in the desitnation while price of package will remain same. These kinds of negotiation are made at the time of conversation with their customers (Dodds & Kuehnel, 2010).
- Development of the plan:- Thomas cook group focused not only on the desired location but also on the relative areas operators. Thomas cook group provide the facility of customization like customer can add or remove the locations from the tour product. Sometimes customer wants to visit some places but the places are not included in the package then Thomas cook group provide the facility to their customer to add up the place and plan will changed according to the tourist.
- Execution of Tour:- This is the final step of holiday package. Success of the tour depends on how efficiently it managed. In this phase Thomas cook group convert commitments into realities. Provide tour escorts, tour guides and tour manual to understand everything. In this part design is done after the research, development and negotiation. A good experience is provided to the tourists by Thomas cook group (Dodds & Kuehnel, 2010).
P 2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator
There are two methods followed by the tour operators for contracting different components and these methods are fixed contracts and sale only contracts. In tour packages there are differnet kind of services are included such as transportation, accomodation and others in order to facilitate their customers (Mak, 2011). Thomas Cook and Flight centers are two tour operators get considered in order to describe the two differnet methods of contracting and these two differnet methods are discussed below such as:
- Fixed Contract: This contract is made in order to make sure that whole capacity is utilsied by the company and also maximise the ratio of revenue collection even in the off season by the comapny. Flight centers make adequate arrangement on the basis of their customer expectations. They book the total capacity and pay the amount accordingly. With this there is adequate risk is associated such as if the total capacity is not utilsied completely then also they need to make payment of full capacity. Flight centers make use of this methods in the summers as they know that summer is the peak season for tourism and there is no such chance of non-utilisation of the capacity. With this effect this contract become beneficial for them as they render high discounts to their customers in order to increase their sales (Mak, 2011).
- Sale only contract: Thomas Cook make use of this contract while preparing their tour packages. These packages must target the niche customer segment because there are few customers falls in this segment as they spend lot over travel. These tour package are bit expensive and most of the tourists are not in favour of purchasing these packages. As per this cotnract Thomas Cook make payment to the hotels or to the transportation agency according to the utilised capacity. This type of contract prepared by them during the lean session and for the purpose of reducing the impact of weak response over their any tour package.
- Conclusion: Effective discussion is made over the two different methods and as per the discussion it is concluded that fixed contracts renders effective benefits such as they become able to render high discounts, sureity about advnace booking and determine the profits well in advance. On the other hand sale only contract helps in minimizing the unwanted payment over the un-utilised capacity and helps in reducing the overall risk of loss (Mak, 2011).
P 2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday from the given information:
Calculation is made in the below statement such as:
Total price of package
The above table is prepared in order to calcualte the price of the toru package which will be rendered to the group. There is cost variance in the package as cost get calcualted on two different basis such as copule and individuals. All fairs or costs get charged on the basis of these two segments. The final price for the couple package is £351 on the other hand price of package for individual is £219.60 (Šaric, et. al. 2012).
P3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure:-
Brochure is just a way to convey the information and knowledge about tourism and holiday packages that are conducted by the Thomas cook group. Brochures saves the time of customers. Main aim of the brochures is to give all the compulsory information and important detail regarding packages in one form which include: places of visit, food, lodge and payment methods etc. All the additional facilities must be included in the brochures. Catchy headlines must be included.Thomas cook group designed a brochure in such a way that is written in a very simple language and easily understandable by their targeted population (Tsaur & Lin, 2014).
There are few planning decisions in order to design the brochure such as:
- Format: In order to design the brochure there is effective need of setting adequate format. With the help of adequate format tour operator is able to convey their information as it has clear visibility and it become attractive to them.
- Target market and budget: Thomas Cook prepare their brochures as per their targeted segment. Such as they prepare special and limited brochures for specified segment or niche segment in order to organise wedding tour, etc. Budget become the major component in order to prepare the brochures and it can be realised by evaluating the target market (Huang, et. al. 2010).
- Timescale and stages invovled in brochure design: In the planning process of brochure designing there is effective requirement of setting appropriate desing in order to design the entire brochure. Different stages get involved in effective manner in order to design their brochure (Jin, et. al. 2012).
P 3.2 Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operators and recommend the most appropriate for your tour package
Traditional broucher’s were effective enough in order to convey the information in adequate manner. But as the time passes and advancement in technology there are effective alternatives are avaialble for the traditional brochures. The most effective alternative of traditional brochuer is E-brochure (Jin, et. al. 2012). The online brochure or e-brochure is designed over online portal and it helps in targeting huge market share as compare to the traditional brochure and with this effect it become beneficial for the Thomas Cook. The another benfit is that e-brochure is cost effective as there is no such cost involved in the form of printing, material and other. The cost incurred over e- brochure for its development and designing is much lower as compare to the traditional brochure. Virtual medium or e-brochure put an effective impact over the tourists and helps in attracting large number of tourists towards them (Wong, 2013).
Thomas Cook become much effective in order to convey their information to a larger population in an effective manner and it helps in increasing their sales as different tourists from differnet countries make puchases of their tour packages with the help of e-brochures. There are also few more alternatives such as video brochures, audio brochures and many more in order to attract number of tourists towards their business. In order to promote their packages they make use of social media such as Face-book, twitter, etc. where they can post their e-brochure. With the help of these sources they become able to target huge popualtion in order to convey their information (Hsu & Lin, 2014).
P 3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator and recommend the most appropriate for your tour packages.
Earlier the mode of distribution is physical mailing as tour operators mail their brochures to their respective customers in order to make them aware about their packages. But as the time passes and adequate advancement in technology the way of preparing or designing and distribution of brochures get changed in effective manner. Now-a-days Thomas Cook make use of online techniques in order to develop their brochures and also distribute them with the use of technology such as they share their brochure over social sites, e-mail them to their respective customers and many more (Vogt & Schaefer, 2012).
In order to sale out their packages they make use of online marketing, direct sales, telephonic sales, sales with the help of call centres, etc. With the use of technology they make sales through differnet modes and become much capable in order to attract large number of customers or tourists. Thomas Cook make use of e-mail as an marketing tool in order to sold out their packages along with this they make adequate sales of their tour packages with the use of telephonic calls. With the avialbility of the technology they become capable enough in order to target large number of population and make adequate sales in order to increase their market share (Leon & Sura, 2013).
For Thomas Cook in order to sell holiday packages they need to folllow online as well as offline methods as both plays a vital role in their growth.
P 4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by diferent types of tour operator
Tour operator system make inclusion of the flexibility which help them in earning effective profit for their business purpose. Tour operator requires large numbe rof strategies and decisions in their daily routinly system. Their strategic plans make inclusion of their price efficiency, competitve strategy and targeting specific customer base (Yancura, 2010). There is adequate need of strategic planning for tour operators as it helps in deciding future goals of the business organisation. there are various elements get included under it such as:
- Strategy for Discount Pricing: For tour operators pricing strategy is considered as important element. If tour operator adopt the fixed price contract then they are able to render huge discount to their tourists and effectively increase their sales. Discount is the factor which help the tour operators as they can attract huge number of tourists and gain competitive advantage over their competitors (Phillips & Schmidlin, 2014).
- Segment, target and positioning: It is very important for tour operators to segment their market on the basis of income so that they prepare adeqaute tour packages. On the basis of their segmentation they effectively target their market and position them in effective manner. In order to took final decisions tour operators evaluate the gahtered information from the market and analyse the competitiveness. Once they are finished with STP strategy (Segmentation, targeting and positioning) there are various important decisions such as pricing, promotion and place are also taken which are depended over their strategy (Reisinger, et. al. 2012).
- Seasonal Aspects: Before setting prices for their holiday packages there are differnet factors need to be considered in which most important factor is season. Prices should be fixed as per the season whether it is peak season or lean season. Season plays a vital role in pricing strategy in orde to facilitate their tourists (Dwyer, et. al. 2010).
- Competitive pricing strategy: For an tour operators it is very necessary to make their pricing stratgey competitive as they need to fix such prices which are not to high nor to low as compare to their competitors. They need to create healthy competitive environment and for this purpose they need to study the market in effective manner and then fix prices. With the help of competitive prices they become much capable in order to attract the customers and also get an opportunity to make a base of loyal customers (Coote, 2014).
- Creative promotional strategy: This strategy is utilised in order to promote their tour packages and under this strategy there are various methods get include in order to pormote their product in market. They also fix budget for promotional activity. With the help of effective promotion Thomas Cook ge the adeqaute response from their customers as they get aware about their product and get a chance to increase their profitability (Coote, 2014).
P 4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations
The decisions which can be taken by the Thomas Cook in order to run their routinely business activiites which are also related to the designing as well as sale of tour packages get considered as tactical decisions. These decisions helps the Thomas Cook for smooth business functionality. They render adequate level of serivces to their custoemr and build effective relaiton with them helps in enhancing their customer-relationship (Erfani, et. al. 2015). For Thomas Cook it become very important to build various tie-ups in order to enhance their services and increase the level of customer satisfaction. In order to enhance relationship with service providers they need to share customer’s feedback and also arrange adqeuate number of meeting with them in order to solve the consequences. They need to resolve the issues such as pricing issues and other issues so that they render adequate level of services to their customers (McCole & Vogt, 2011).
For Thomas Cook it become effective in order to consider the consumer experience so that they make adequate evalaution of their serivces rendered. For this purpose they gather the customer feedback related to their services rendered as it helps in evaluating the level of their satisfactions. With the help of feedback they become effective enough in order to identify the problems or areas of imporvements in order to imporve their services. With the use of it they identify the problematic areas and try to mitigate them in short span of time so that others can’t face this (McCole & Vogt, 2011).
Above discussion is made in context to various topic and now it is concluded that Whole discussion is made over the Thomas Cook (tour operator agency). With the change in time and advancement in technology there are adequate imporvements taken place in tour operations. Thomas Cook make use of differnet and innovative techniques in order to design and promote their borchures and target huge market share. The pricing strategy plays a vital role in order to attain profits as it get set by evluating the different market segments and different customers to attract number of tourists over their tour packages.
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