Unit 14 Assignment On Tourism Operation Management
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 14 Tourism Operation Management
Tourism operation management assignment is providing efficient insight regarding the aspect of tourism operation management. This will assists in investigating the industry for tour operators in the travel and tourism sector that includes the various kinds of operators, their products as well as services, the extent of industry and in what ways it is influenced by the trends as well as developments. The issues of management is being considered through the examination of strategic as well as tactical decision making in respect of developing the skills related with making decisions. Along with this, the stages are explored in the involvement of the creation of holiday as well as developing skills in association with the determination of the selling price in respect of a holiday.
P1.1 Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.
The influence of the current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry are analysed as under,
- Flexibility in booking options– Because of the technological advancement, it has now become possible for individuals in booking their tickets to their chosen locations through different processes such as the internet, call-centres as well as tele-text. Tickets are now being booked by people at their own convenient time without facing much hassle. It is considered not just to be easy but also comparatively cheap as well as quick. This is affecting the tour operators since tourists are slowly getting hesitant to undertake the services from a travel agent and as a result of which the travel agents are losing out on business and if this trend keep continuing then a very few travel agents will exist in the future. (Akkemik, 2012) Travel companies such as Thomas Cook have already started closing down a few of their high street agencies since the customers are taking the assistance of the online agents more frequently.
- Destination marketing– The current scenario is depicting the fact that destination marketing is slowly replacing tourism marketing. Previously, major part of the advertising was done with the help of leaflet distribution. Advertising agencies, in the recent past, have been hired by different tour operators for enhancing the image of a specific location for attracting the tourists. In the current scenario, this is taking place with the help of a new form of media. This new form of media is referred as the internet and its huge reach. In the present scenario, promotions and advertising are being done on a large scale for various tourist destinations by the tour operators in the online platform since they are getting accessibility to a large base of customers in the manner that is very much cost efficient. Moreover, increased attention can be provided to the individual demands as well as preferences of different categories online. As a result, in the present scenario, destination marketing is significantly occurring with the support of the new form of media which is the internet. (Paris, 2011)
- Independent travellers– There is occurring the accumulation of increasing number of independent travellers throughout the globe. This is taking place due to the presence of online holiday deals that are very cheap to buy. This is the reason why, independent travelling is gaining popularity as it is not involving any tour agency’s services. In most cases, it has been seen that the independent travellers are considered to be businessmen or habitual travellers who wants to pursue their individual passion and they do the booking of their individual accommodation as well as design their own travel plan that results in the tour operators losing out on business. (Paris, 2011)
- Technology– A new market place has emerged that is driven by technology constituting sections of media as well as varied customers. Marketing as well as technology are presently being subjected to exhaustive scopes in respect of increased amalgamation as well as fusion amongst them. Technological development has totally changed the pattern in which the tourism providers are communicating with the various customers. The interactivity level of internet that is continuously rising gave rise to such a trend. In the current scenario, customers are participating in the designing as well as shaping of a specific product or service in an active and voluntary manner when they realise it is for them. They try to become active participants rather than being passive spectators. The internet as well as the ‘Digital Revolution’ might in a major way do a sifting or changing in the thought process of the providers of tourism in shifting from customer relationship management to customer managed relationship in which the customer is having the freedom of influencing control over the designing as well as shaping of a product or service that influences the balance of power in a direct manner amongst the customers as well as tour providers. (Akkemik, 2012)
- Democratising tourism– To discuss regarding changes associated with the demography, a major phenomenon that is occurring throughout the world in the current scenario is the aspect of democratising tourism. The socio-economic segments are efficiently bifurcated into two sections. One of them is the enfranchised members of the customer society as well as the disenfranchised poor. It might be understood that in respect of the underprivileged, travelling takes place only for the fundamental reason to survive and as a result travelling is not considered to be an alternative. On the other hand, within the customers, the different scopes for tourism have extended in a wide and rapid manner. The international economic evolutions have suggested that there is an extensive range of middle class individuals having sufficient money for vacationing as well as to travel for leisure. Therefore, it can be very well claimed that even though many throughout the world are not part of the travelling opportunities, the method of democratising tourism makes sure that the scopes reaches to different customers as well as prospects. (Akkemik, 2012)
- Niche tourism– A very significant growth in the tourism of the modern day is the initiation as well as increase of the aspect of niche tourism. In the present scenario, tourists are travelling for pursuing their passion as well as ambitions and not just to take a break from their daily life’s proceedings. For instance, the tourists who are travelling to UK might have the sole purpose of visiting the vineyards there for satiating their love for wine. This kind of tourism is also defined as ‘special interest’ tourism. Although, the term ‘niche’ means having a restricted number of customers but in this respect, it is not so as the demand in respect of niche tourism is continuously rising in the UK as well as internationally and businesses should be taking complete advantage of the rising scopes in this sector. The various types of niche tourism take into consideration the categories such as food & wine tourism, golf tourism, dark tourism, adventure tourism, medical tourism, wildlife tourism, agro tourism, screen tourism, heritage & culture tourism and so on. (Paris, 2011)
- Sustainable tourism development– This is considered to be a major scenario that each and every tour operator is aiming for actualising in the present circumstances. The development for sustainable tourism can also be termed as tourism that is considered ethical as well as healthy. This can be actualised through different means. One of the processes is catering to the environment through the adoption of the ways for enhancing or stabilising it which states that there should be the conduction of no tourism function that will be disrupting or harming the environment. Another process to provide sustainability is to preserve the culture of the region as well as the place’s cultural heritage . This assists in keeping the domestic inhabitants satisfied as well as occurrences of fewer conflicts and also for attracting increased strength of tourists. One more method of maintaining sustainability is to provide scopes for employment. A tourism organisation situated in a specific location is required to benefit the place economically as well as provide opportunities for work to the capable and interested individuals.
P2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays.
The stages that are having the involvement towards the development of holidays are mentioned as under,
- Research destination and Market– This is considered to be the major criteria to analyse and understand the significant traits that are associated with a particular market in respect of tourists and locations. Basically, different tour operators have a feeling that it is very much challenging to arrange each and every thing in respect of all the people.
Regarding this, it can be stated that any tour operator prior to the entry in the tourism market will undertake the following steps,
- Identifying the factors related with economical, political, climatic as well as social scenarios that influences the future development related with tour packages.
- Making the tour to meet the particular needs regarding the target market.
- Identifying the important destinations and having a comparative evaluation with other destinations.
- Approaching the suppliers.
- Making the decisions regarding the policies. (W?odarczyk, 2011)
- Developing the tour itinerary– Post the conduction of the research study in relation with the destination and the targeted market, the next step to the method associated with growth is to have an involvement in working out on the successful itinerary in relation to tourism. This is based on two circumstances that are on one hand in respect of new tour operators to research on the destinations of tourism and the tourism ingredients and on the other hand reviewing the questionnaires by the established tour operators which have been completed by the previous tour participants. After that, the tour operator will be establishing a contract with all the potential vendors beforehand, to put together all the elements. (W?odarczyk, 2011)
- Negotiating with the tour suppliers– Post the finalisation of the itinerary, the next step is associated with the aspect of negotiating with the potential tourism suppliers. The tour planner will function with different tourism suppliers depending on the size and nature of the tour. The important ones amongst them are the companies in respect of lodging, airlines, transport operators, sightseeing vendors, car rentals and so on. There is an opportunity in respect of the tour planners to negotiate with the air carriers directly or with the support of a travel agency. Moreover, when the company has newly started functioning and basically functions in respect of railroad tours, the company obtains a better margin and price, operating with the support of a travel agency than doing it directly since the vendors who have an association with the air carrier generally provides price reductions in respect of their most favoured customers. (Akkemik, 2012) Moreover, it can be state that trustworthy and truthful characteristics of the tourism suppliers is considered to be an essential factor that needs to be considered by the tour planner. As a result, for selecting and negotiating with these suppliers of tourism, the tour planner should have the awareness of the expected problems that occur when the finalization of the contracts are taking place.
- Package tour costing– The scenario of package tour cost is essential to understand the propositions and the practices to manage tour for determining the financial value of a tour package. The elements that make up the total cost for a tour package can be segmented into various parts like air travel cost, accommodation cost, local arrangement cost, payroll cost, research cost, marketing cost and many more. In addition to that, there occurs the cost-sheet designing to show the total cost or cost structure, along with the fragmentation of the individual elements associated with cost. (W?odarczyk, 2011)
- Financial assessment and pricing– After completing the cost related with the tour packages, there occurs the aspect of determining the rates of exchange with the help of the tour planner, then the estimation of the future selling prices occurs and after that there occurs the finalization of the prices for the tour. Price structure should be finalised by the tour planner around ten or more months earlier of the tour departure. Therefore, along with the basic challenges for the determination of the tour price in advance, the tour operators should certainly do the evaluation of the financial risks such as foreign exchange, payments for hotels, airlines, and different destination based travel agencies. There is the existence of two types of pricing associated with tour such as tour pricing depending on cost and tour pricing depending on market. Tour pricing depending on cost considers the issues like mark-up, product cost, total cost and rate of return and on the other hand, tour pricing depending on market considers factors like differential, penetrating, skimming and so on. (Paris, 2011)
- Tour package marketing– The positioning of the tour operators strategically within the various vendors considers the airlines, transport operators, hotels and many more and the ability to combine the various elements of the travel industry into relatively rational and standardized tour packages are now being considered as the significant manipulators of the tourism industry. The tour marketing is doing the application of additional improved strategies to know what is required by the tourists and for satisfying the customer needs with the assistance of services that are being offered as well as providing satisfaction to the customer values in association with the scenario of planning, preparing and experiencing the travelling of the individual.
- Tour marketing plan development– The plan related with the marketing of tours is concentrated on the organisational goals. It is important to appropriately acknowledge the feeling of the tour operator in respect of the actualisation with the support of the plan for marketing. The tour company should have a sound product understanding and its market before developing the marketing plan. (W?odarczyk, 2011)The tour marketing plan is basically a short term plan that will guide the tour operators for 1 to 3 years. It will showcase clarity in direction associated with the functional aspect of tour marketing that is based on an appropriate approach in respect of planning and action.
Time scale of tour package for the TTM students to Europe
Nature of tour:Educational tour
Tour Location: Europe
Date of commencing tour: 05.08.2015
Tour duration: 7 days
Number of individuals taking the tour: 20
Nature of the tourists: Students
Cost of tour: £350 (which includes accommodation, transport, breakfast & dinner and entry tickets to the major tourist attractions)
NB. Any prior changes in the tour plan will be informed before 15 days of the tour commencement. Cancellation policies in regard of the tour will be under the sole discretion of the company management.
P2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator.
The suitability of various processes of contracting for various components of the holiday is as follows,
- Hotels– In the current circumstances, it has been observed that people are having the affinity to spend quality time with families as well as friends and at the same time does the exploration of the various places of tourist attraction throughout the globe. As a result, hotels as well as facilities for accommodation are playing a very crucial part for popularizing the tourist destinations. There also exists the importance of offering comfortable accommodation in respect of people who belongs to various financial backgrounds. (Page, 2012) For instance, 5 star hotels cater to the needs of affluent tourists and the hotels that are small as well as medium priced and also the lodges are catering to the needs of the travellers comprising of the middle class segment.
- Attractions– A tourist attraction place is playing an important role as a holiday component. The places for tourist attraction assists in the contribution of government revenues, offering facilities for employment, stimulation of the investment associated with infrastructure, contribution towards domestic economies and to provide incomes in association with foreign exchanges. (Hughes, 2013)
- Transportation– Transport is playing an important function as a component for holiday. In the global perspective, there is utterly no scope in respect of tourism for having its presence in separation from transportation and therefore, it can be expressed clearly that there is the existence of a firm positive connection within tourism and transport. (Hughes, 2013) Transportation is taken into consideration as a major element in respect of the industry for tourism and due to the growth in transportation there has occurred a tourism expansion. The policies in relation with transportation and governmental decisions have the ability of making the destination available for the tourists.
P 2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday.
This task will take into consideration the calculation of the selling price of a holiday in regard to an educational tour package for the TTM students to Europe. In relation to the given case study, there is a need to do the calculation for the tour operators in respect of the TTM students consisting of 20 individuals who will travel to Europe in August, 2015 for period of 7 days.
Involvement of Total Cost regarding the educational tour package to Europe:
Price per person
Price for 20 persons
Total Cost (in pounds)
Total Cost Price = £7000
Profit % = 10%
Hence, Selling Price = £7000 + £700 = £7700
P3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure.
The planning decisions that are taken to design a brochure are mentioned as under,
- Research, strategy or feasibility– This stage depicts that each and every information available that has relevance with the project should be gathered. This takes into consideration written briefs, background materials, study of existing brand regulatory factors supported by productive research. The expectations of the clients should be acknowledged by continuously asking questions to the individual since without asking the questions, the brochure will not be fulfilling the overall designing purpose.
- Designing concepts– After acceptance as well as agreement of the preliminary method, the next stage has the involvement of the initial ideas for designing. This is the phase where the creative method will be taking over. The different important considerations will be including combinations of colour, typography, keywords, technological aspects as well as graphical style. The most appropriate concepts are evaluated and developed further. Productive client feedback will be resulting in the choosing of the specific concepts. (Hamilton, 2013)
- Developing detailed design– The chosen concept is developed further by implementing each and every pertinent detail. There should be the further development of variations as well as mock-ups. There is the creation of a logo having distinctive colours as well as variations and the different website pages are assembled in an effective manner with the help of Photoshop and through HTML the sample pages are created. This stage has the involvement of the elaborate designing specifications that fosters the requirement to plan a product as well as ultimate pricing. (Hamilton, 2013)
- Implementation– After the generation of the approval in Stage 3, all the decided factor’s implementation gets initiated and the completed artwork is generated. Regarding print, undertaking of the creation of print ready PDFs takes place as well as there is the creation of detailed specifications in respect of the external suppliers. With the assistance of a professional programmer, there occurs the effective conversion of the designs to HTML code in respect of websites. (Hamilton, 2013)
- Supervising production– It is essential to have quality control, as a result, it is necessary to have efficient supervision of the work that gets produced. For instance, when the designing occurs in respect of a website, the optimum way for choosing the name of the website should be recommended. It is essential for applying Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and its implementation should be done in an accurate manner within the design.
P3.2Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operators and recommend the most appropriate for your tour package.
The notion regarding the design of traditional brochures have been confronted through the existence of a small number of appropriate options that have come into being. Thomas Cook’s as well as The Travel Network Group’s optional brochures can be referred in this regard.
To accommodate the Thomas Cook Brochure Store, ‘VSIthinking’ currently did the launching of a new website. This responsive website is considered to be the most modernized adaptation of the highly influential project for delivering the brochures associated with the packages of Thomas Cook online. This has assisted the organisation in reducing the cost of printing as well as a significant reduction in waste has been actualised that significantly benefitting the business environment . This website permits the customers to access each and every brochure of Thomas Cook on any internet supported devices such as a mobile, tablet, computer and so on. There is flexibility in the website in respect of the fact that its size as well as functionality is in proportion to the device from which it is getting accessibility. This assists in the easiness of accessibility from all the devices and an individual will be able to access the brochures from home, while travelling for work and so on. (Vanhove, 2011)
The Travel Network Group are having their magazine titled ‘Insight’ that is containing the most current news as well as information regarding the Travel Trust Association, independent travel professionals and so on. They will be including relevant as well as important brochures in the magazine with the notion that for quenching their thirst for recent information as well as data regarding the industry, readers might feel satisfied by including the information that the brochures are providing.
In respect of my tour package, the more appropriate choice will be the website brochure that Thomas Cook is adopting. The reason being that there are a growing number of internet users internationally. Individuals might consider a solely designated website in respect of brochures to be more credible as well as easier in comparison to searching for information on brochures in magazines. (Mowforth, 2015) Apart from that, the website being more flexibly compatible for fairly adjusting its size as well as functionality in accord to the accessible device making it very much powerful as well as effective. This is the fundamental reason for me to choose the alternative to a traditional brochure regarding Thomas Cook.
P3.3 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 package.
In the current period, various distribution methods exist for the selling purpose in respect of a holiday. The analysis of this can be done with the help of Thomas Cook as well as TUI Travel.
Thomas Cook’s ‘Omni Channel’ system of distribution takes into consideration retail stores, call centres, websites as well as the 3rd party travelling agents. This broad network for the channel of distribution facilitates more options for the customers and for maximising the reach of the customers. The goal is for building on the present developmental strength of an individual customer opportunity that will be resulting in the steady delivery of customer experience with efficient accessibility approved to the complete range of products as well as services that is present across each and every channel of distribution. One of the major goals is becoming the foremost online tour operator that comprises of a platform that hosts a wide range of products as well as services. (McDonald, 2012)
In respect of TUI Travels, the key to the strategic aspect for the group is considered to be the direct channels of distribution. Increase in the direct distribution regarding holidays diminishes the cost of distribution as well as minimises the dependence on the 3rd party distributors as well as can focus on consolidating on the aspect of the relationship with the customer. In 2014, there was the improvement of the distribution mix by 68% and the significant cause was the dynamic influence created by the online channels that also showcased a rate of improvement of 3% that amounted to 38% of the overall normal sales in 2014. (Moutinho, 2011) Throughout 2014, there was the generation of £4.1 bn of online profit within the main- stream business that is efficiently reflecting a 6% rise in respect of bookings that occurred online.
Therefore, in both the scenarios, it is seen that there is additional affinity in respect of online channel of distribution. On the other hand, in respect of my tour package, Thomas Cook’s idea will get recommended for the system of distribution since even though they have an inclination towards the internet channel of distribution, they have an understanding of the importance of possessing retail stores as well as call centres to sale the packages for holidays. (Paris, 2011) The retail stores will assist in selling a tour package to those individuals who are not having the knowledge of using the internet or are eager to avail the traditional process of selecting a tour package through their visit to a retail outlet.
P4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator.
The strategic decisions made by various types of tour operator are as follows,
- Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning– It supports in segmenting the marketing mix , identifying the target customers in an effective manner and assisting to position the products or services that are being offered by the tour operators in a manner that will attract a huge number of customers. For example – The market segmentation of Thomas Cook takes place depending on the scenarios related with demographic, geographic, psychographic and so on.
- Seasonal scenario of tour packages– Customer preference exists in regard to travel in different seasons that mainly depends on the festive seasons on different school vacations and many more. For example – There occurs a price rate difference for the tour packages that is depending on the turnover rate of the customers. (McCalman, 2015)
- Competitive pricing strategy– This strategy for pricing supports in offering a competitive beneficial aspect in respect of the tour operators by concentrating on the prices of the tour packages that are being offered by other tour operators in respect of the customers.For example – The pricing strategy followed by Thomas Cook is depending on the competitor’s price, product as well as customer pricing.
- Innovative promotional strategy– Through the adoption of unique as well as pioneering methods in association with promotional aspects or advertisement is considered to be very important for attracting a significant strength of people. The innovative promotional strategies also support to handle competition successfully. (McDaniel, 2011) For example – Cox & Kings does the implementation of unique promotional strategies to promote the tour packages. The company uses different advertising mediums such as electronic media and print media effectively.
P4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations.
Tactical decisions supports to ensure flexible functional aspect of business as well as supports in evading the possibility of any kind of confusion regarding daily matters related to the organisation. Specific tactical decisions that the tour operators prepare considers the scenario to negotiate with the providers of service, making different deals regarding transportation and lodgings as well as for maintaining a constructive bond with the stakeholders also, by letting them know regarding the activities of the organisation. (Lind, 2014)
A major tactical decision that the tour operators undertake is ensuring coordination that is effective and to derive the expected result from it. It is having a lot of significance in respect of the tour operators to so consultation regarding different services and to conduct an appropriate market research for gaining information regarding the price-rates in respect of the services that are currently being offered. For example – Thomas Cook is having specific tactical decisions in regard of the processing of services, in association with allowing the using of these services, associated with high-speed internet to provide quick as well as best services to the customers. The channel of distribution for Thomas Cook links the customers and the producers directly and therefore, there is a significant reduction in the price rates for the customers.
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This assignment delves with tourism operation management involving the different stages that are associated with the formation of packages related with tours. The stages and timescale that are involved in developing holidays have been evaluated, also the assessment of the appropriateness of different processes to contract the different components of holiday and different kinds of tour operators are made. In addition, there has been the assessment of the strategies prepared by different kinds of tour operators and a distinction occurred regarding the tactical decisions that a tour operator will be undertaking in different scenarios.
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