Unit 14 Tour Operation Management Assignment
This Unit 14 Tour Operation Management Assignment helps in providing a lot of interest and insight with regards to the topic of Tour Operations Management. The various effects and impacts that current trends and developments in tourism have on the tour operator’s industry have been identified. The various stages that are involved in effectively developing a holiday have been analysed. The various methods of contracting with reference to distinct components a holiday has been spoken about. The Selling Price of a holiday has also been identified with the help of the given information. Furthermore, brochures have been reviewed and the various planning decisions for the development of a brochure have been identified. The various alternatives to a brochure have also been discussed. The various methods of distribution in the tourism industry have also been accounted for. The various business strategy decisions that different tour operators make has been provided along with their comparison of tactical decisions with relevance to two real life instances.
1.1) Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.
The tour operator’s industry can be associated with the following trends and developments:
- Nature of Travellers: A vacation in the minds of the tourists is no more just a thought of a family outing. Individual travellers are rising in ratio all over the world and one of the primary reasons includes a corporate tour and official travel. The different appeals of tourism around the world that are coming up enforce the decision of individual or independent travelling today. World Tourism is fostering due to this particular aspect and this trend is only going to continue in the near and probably the far future.
- Promotion: The phenomenon of marketing and publicity for tourism has been revolutionised over the last few years. Technological developments have meant that now modern methods of promotion are implemented by taking into consideration different tourism destination. This aspect is popularly known as destination marketing. The effective promotion of various destinations lures travellers to go and experience the various places all across the globe.
- Sustainable Tourism Development: One of the most popular means adopted by all tourism companies and operators is to establish sustainability through their operations. The growth of sustainable tourism research over the last twenty five years proves the fact that tour operators now concentrate on sustainability by preserving the community and environment and also by maintaining the cultural heritage of a particular destination. For Ex- nature based tourism, eco tourism and green tourism are examples of sustainable tourism practices. (Weiler & Moyle, 2015)
- Niche Tourism: Adding or enhancing the various appeals that are prevalent in different destinations, the rising concept of niche tourism is certainly taking the various tourists across the world by storm. Niche tourism consists of various types like golf tourism, wine tourism, etc. These unique points of attraction stimulate people to travel and be a part of the phenomenon in various destinations. Niche Tourism is one of the most unique facets of tourism and is particularly targeted to particular segment of people. (Papathanassis, 2011)
- Booking: The travel and tourism agent is losing its relevance as the number of booking options is increasing for the customers. The Internet and mobile technology advancement has ensured various websites and apps through which tourists can book their tickets at a cheaper cost and it also rids them of the intermediary cost.
- Technology: The unparallel advancement in technology has meant that the Internet has given way to digital media. Tour operators can now target customers and do their marketing and promotional activities online where they have the advantage of instant feedbacks and a large group of consumers as well. The power of technology is immense and tour operators of the modern day try and make full use of it to further their business aspirations.
2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays
The various stages and timescales involved in developing holidays include the following.
- Research: The main objective of a tour package research is to understand the key elements that can be associated with a particular region or destination. The various political, climatic, social factors should be properly recognised so that the tour packages can be developed for the future. The target market should be identified properly as the package should meet all the needs and expectations of the target market. Effective Research should also be carried out on policy decisions to be undertaken, alternative destinations, supplier information, etc.(Felp.ac.uk, 2016)
- Itinerary: The second step in the process of developing holidays includes the effective development of the tour itinerary. The tour itinerary is important as it is a schedule of what are the plan of events along with the various times and duration allotted for each event or visit to a place. In the case of new tour operators, they undertake familiarization tours to a particular destination to understand what is more significant and then prepare the itinerary accordingly.
- Negotiation with suppliers: On completion of the itinerary, negotiations have to be made with all the prospective suppliers or vendors that are associated with the tour operator. The objective is to engage in the best deal with the suppliers depending upon the size and nature of the trip. The various kinds of vendors include airlines, accommodation companies, ground operators, rented cars, etc.
- Costing: The particular tour package has to be determined a cost. In the case of tourism, cost basically refers to the total expense to be incurred for the modification of the shape of individual ingredients within a package. The total cost can be segregated as accommodation, air travel, payroll, research, and arrangement of local entities, promotional and miscellaneous costs. The cost sheet should be prepared in such a way so that a break up of individual elements of cost can be easily depicted.
- Pricing: Once the costing is determined, the tour operator focuses on the selling prices for the future and exchange rates and tries to determine final price of a particular package. The pricing should ideally be finalized a minimum of ten months prior to the commencement of the trip. The various kinds of pricing methods that can be adopted include cost oriented tour pricing, market oriented tour pricing, etc.
- Administration: Personnel are required for the purpose of proper functioning of operations during the trip. The tour operator himself cannot come and conduct the tour. For this reason they recruit and hire people who are friendly, socially advanced and pleasant, possess good organisational skills, ethically bright and love the aspect of travelling. These people look after the tourists, guide them and enlighten them during a trip.
- Marketing and Promotion: Marketing and publicity of a tour package is important as this is what stimulates tourists and prospective customers around the world to travel to a particular place or choose a particular package. Customer demand and preferences should be considered while designing marketing or a advertising and promotion campaign. (Jefkins, 2012)
- Brochure: A tour brochure is one of the most effective tools of marketing for tour operators. It contains information that persuades holiday makers to avail the various tourism products and services. The various kinds of information that should be provided within a brochure include name of the company, mode of transportation, destination details, descriptions, ground operation services, meals, charges, conditions for booking, etc.
- Execution: Planning should be followed by effective implementation and execution. A tour manager who is tactical will ensure that tour manuals are determined for various tour personnels like the tour manager, escort, guides, etc. The various procedures and policies that have to be followed in order to ensure that the tour is managed and executed as per plans is included within the manual. Day to day responsibilities is also provided within the manual for the efficiency of the personnel conducting and facilitating the entire tour.
2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator
The different methods of contracting has been analysed here. The components taken into consideration include accommodation and airline travels. First analysis will be of the accommodation component followed by the airline.
- Rack Rate: This is the price that has to be paid by the tourists or the customers with regards to the accommodation. No contractual relationship or establishment is required in this case as dependency is prevalent on an all time availability of accommodation during the booking period. This is a price that the public will be paying and in order to earn a profit, charges would have to go above the rack rate which may result in over pricing or an expensive deal.
- Ad-hoc Rate: In this scenario, a pre determined agreement is established with regards to the price payable and the rate is below that of the rack rate. But in this case the hotel and lodges does not offer guaranteed accommodation hence no promise on the part of the tour operators can be made with bookings and reservations. (Setupmyhotel, 2016)
- Family Rate: This rate is determined only to be applicable on families. Issues of extra bedding for children and other add on incentives can be associated with this type of contracting.
- Competitive rates: This is contracted on the basis of customer preference. Scheduled flights are cheaper than chartered flights but due to the immense levels of competition within the Aviation Industry, the prices of seats are almost at par in a few locations around the world. It does not however apply to the whole world.
- High Standard Rates: Customers or tourists wanting first class service while touring will be required to pay extra for availing preferential treatment and services. The rates are above standard and the facility and the hospitality provided is top notch. This is not applicable for all travellers but only for those who demand the facilities. (Martinez, 2008)
2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday from given information below.
The Total number of TTM students taken into consideration for the trip to Europe is 15. They are charged at 350 pounds per head for a total of 7 days. The total number of family members accounted for is 12. They are charged at a price which is 40% higher than the normal price (40/100*350=490) + 350 which comes down to 490 pounds per family member.
TYPE OF VISITORS
Children below six months
Children above six months
3 children aged below six months are not charged anything. Above the age of six months, a total of 10 members are present who are charged half the rate that is charged to family members (490/2) which is 245 pounds per head. The total number of members going for the trip to Europe equals 40 which include TTM students, family members, and children below and above six months. Therefore the total selling price of the holiday package for 40 members for a period of 7 days is 13580 pounds.
3.1) evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure
The various and distinct planning decisions with regards to designing a brochure include the following.
- Information Search: A brochure should not only be a mere designed entity but should also be informative. The primary task is to search relevant data that can be included or added to the brochure. The client requirements should be kept in mind while planning the content of the brochure. All the requirements should be first understood by being in close quarters with the client so that all the necessary components can be suitably incorporated. Extensive research will help in accumulating all the relevant materials which should be incorporated in the brochure tactfully.
- Conceptualisation: The second most significant step is designing and proper conceptualisation is required at this stage. This process is creative in nature and requires specialised people for efficient output. Various factors like the layout, design, colour. Fonts, etc have to be planned here for the purpose of implementation. Proper decisions have to be taken here as any mistake can prove to be costly. A lot of planning and consulting is required to properly conceptualise the designing of the brochure. Emphasis should be laid on client requirements as well as on creativity but at the same time the brochure should be detailed and informative in a brief way. Brevity and innovation has to be catered to. (Ag.tennessee.edu, 2010)
- Development of Design: Once proper and effective conceptualisation has been done, it is now time for designing the complete brochure. The already implemented styles and patterns are further developed and enhanced. Logo creation and other inclusion of the web page materials within the brochure is planned and developed. Design development is an important step as everything has to be in place and order for the most favourable outcome of the brochure to be achieved. The use of various photo and video editing softwares like Coral draw, etc are used here.
- Implemented Output: The implemented features and decisions with regards to the creation of the brochure result in the finished work or the output of the brochure. All the finishing touches and extra add ons and modifications are achieved and the final product is produced. Before finalising and passing the designed brochure to the client, it should be rechecked as to whether all the planned factors and the client’s requirements have been incorporated or not.
- Quality: One of the most important aspects that have to be properly administered is the level or nature of work or design that is being done. The client needs top quality work and no compromise can be expected from his side. Therefore ensuring that top quality work is done throughout the designing process can be established through proper planning and guidance from the experts.
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.
The various alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operators are the following.
- Direct Mailers: In direct mailers, offers, contests, discounts, etc, all these information are directly mailed to the tourists and the other prospective customers so that they can be aware of all the offers that are going on. The reason behind adopting this method is that the mail is bound to come within the vision or reach of the targeted individuals.
- Television: Marketing planning and Promotion on the electronic medium is very popular and has been adopted for a large part of the last 30 years. The only disadvantage is that television commercials can be expensive as buying relevant ad space to meet the target criteria involves high cost and hence it might not be the most viable option all the time.
- Internet: A large section of the world population is involved on the Internet today and the ratio is forecasted to grow in the future. Therefore more and more people are finding their existence online and hence a lot of people can be reached as well. The Internet is also considerably a lesser expensive place to advertise on as compared to television media buying. (Morgan & Ranchhod, 2010)
- Websites/E-Commerce: Online Agents or operators look to sell packages from their company websites and portals directly. Tourism products can also be sold online through the official website or my taking the services of an external portal.
- Travel magazines: The marketing campaign can be targeted towards the print medium as well by targeting newspapers and travel magazines. People with the knack of reading magazines at various places like salons, airports, stations, etc are sure to come across the campaign and this might help create stimulation in demand. Tie ups can be done with airline companies.
- Mobile Applications: The technological turnaround in the aspect of mobile phones has given rise to applications. Smart phones are parallel to the recognition of mobile apps which is one of the most efficient ways of disseminating information and promoting products and services to a huge customer base.
Taking into consideration the modern era and the technological revolutions over the last decade and just above, I think that the most appropriate alternatives to a brochure for my tour package will be that of Internet, E-Commerce and Mobile applications. The increasing tendency of people towards the internet and mobile applications helps in efficiency of the dissemination of information, ideas and offers. Moreover, the Internet provides the chance of targeting a huge customer base in the cheapest way possible and for this reason; these alternatives will be chosen for my tour package.
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 package
The different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday include:
- Retail Travel Agent: These agents sell services associated with travel to customers directly and take the onus upon them book the customer’s tickets, hotel accommodation, etc. They generally are a one stop travel shop where they can answer customer queries. An example of retail agents can be local visitor centres.
- Tour Wholesaler: The wholesalers in the Tourism Industry function in a very similar way like they do in other industries. In other industries, the supply is done of tangible products but in this case the supply is of touring services which includes accommodation, travels, etc. It has to be noted that wholesalers do not sell directly to the final customers. They provide the link between individual operators and the different retailers. Wholesalers generally turn to inbound operators for the various touring options.
- Inbound Tour Operators: These are businesses that focus on preparing programmes and itineraries for the purpose of distribution by the virtue of overseas travel distributors. Inbound tour operators ensure the link between various tourism products with the distributors from overseas who buy those including wholesalers, planners of events, etc. The various inbound markets include that of the independent travellers, Group tours, and convention and incentive traveller. (Smallbusiness.wa.gov, 2016)
- Online Agent: Online Agents are the most popular today in the modern world with regards to distribution of tourism. The most common of distribution forum is the company website where packages can be sold to customers. Live inventory is required in this case so that customers can easily come and perform the exchanges. Apart from the website, independent online distributors are also present the website of which can be used to sell packages.
- Business Events Distributor: These distributors mainly focus on organising corporate and business trips relevant and pertaining mainly to the corporate world. Events like conferences, seminars; corporate award shows etc are examples of events and packages sold by the Business Events Distributor. (Travel Distribution System, 2016)
For my tour package, I think the most ideal would be online agents. With the help of the Internet and Digital media, it will give me better chances to reach out to as many customers as possible and that too in the most cost effective way. Not only will my package be marketed to a wide number of audiences, the recent developments and buzz prevailing on the social forums and the Internet will allow me to design the package in a customised way. A better understanding can be derived about individual customer preferences and demands and these requirements can be easily catered to. Distributing online will also provide the liberty of customised marketing and effective promotion. For all these reasons, I think that online distributor will be the ideal mode of distribution for my tour package.
4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator
- Outbound Tour Operators: These operators focus on the creation and promotion of travel products to customers in their own region or market. They are mostly long haul travellers seeking experiences of a foreign tourist destination. Trips may be designed and operated or collaboration can also be done with local business partners at the particular destination. They have the option of choosing the trips that are already designed by the inbound operators and promote them to their own set of clients. These operators have a lot of knowledge on the requirements of their customers and build strategies in order to meet their needs. These days they are laying emphasis on independent travellers as they are designing trips for them and not just the family travellers.
- Inbound Tour Operators: The marketing and promotion adopted by these operators mainly focus on long haul travellers. Potential tourists in far away foreign locations may not have clear idea about how to proceed during a vacation in a foreign land. These operators aim at taking the guess work out of the equation and provide assurance to the customers. They look to offer tours that cater to a wide range of interests if the destination is one which the customer does not know much about. In case of destinations that are well known to the customers, focus is mainly given on speciality travel. (Usaid.gov, 2007)
- Local Service Providers: This term basically refers to ground operators but mostly relates to operations that include local services such as hotel accommodation, guest houses, home stays, etc. Other things include meals, rents, performances which are cultural in nature, etc. The tour offerings of local service providers may include parks, museums, etc. The terms ground operators and local service providers are almost similar.
- Travel Portals: Travel portals offer customers the liberty of many travel options in a single website or catalogue and it makes it easier for the customers to choose and pay for their most favourable trip. Portals generally earn commissions from the various operators that get its packages sold to customers via the particular website. Travellers may wish to purchase the tourism products directly from the website or the catalogue but other tour operators also aim at getting their products sold through these websites and as a result the portals earn commission out of it. (Evans & Campbell, 2012)
- Travel Agencies: Travel agencies are perhaps the most visible companies that are present in the travel trade. Their aim is to not just sell tour packages but also to pursue the resell of services such as hotel accommodations, ticket services, sightseeing, etc. While ticketing, they are known as the intermediaries and can be more expensive than arranging tickets independently.
4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations
The Tour operator taken into consideration here is Thomas Cook. The various tactical decisions taken by them in different situations can be determined by taking into account real life instances. The first instance that is taken here speaks about how Thomas Cook revived itself from the doldrums when it was facing financial bankruptcy. In order to ensure that the business picks up again, Thomas Cook’s appointed chairman Frank Meysman shifted the office to a place where the rent was cheaper in order to complement the existing situation. The rationale behind it was that the other branches of Thomas Cook in places like Germany, France, etc understand the fact that the headquarters have adopted a cost saving technique. This would mean that the branches would follow suit. An interim CEO was hired who ensured that the company did not sink altogether. After this it was up to Frank and the other members of the management to ensure that a turnaround could be achieved. After a loan of 100 million pounds was taken from money lenders, Frank shifted focus from money to customers. Customer requirement and demand were closely studied and a lot of emphasis was laid on proper marketing and promotion. The chairman realised the importance of customer loyalty and brand building. Marketing had been the chairman’s life and this is how Thomas Cook slowly but surely revived itself into some kind of competency. (Prevett, 2014)
In 2013 however, Thomas Cook was facing massive losses and could not be in reckoning with the other profitable operators and hence had to do something in order to cut down the costs and expenses. The primary aim was to reduce the expenses of the administrative costs and the first thing on mind of the then chief executive was the cut down or dismissal of jobs. Thomas Cook had already cut down around 1100 jobs in the last year and this year the figure could go up to 1600 job cuts. The job risks were maximum in the offices at Peterborough and Preston. As on 2013, Thomas Cook had shut down 149 stores already and was left with around 1874 travel agencies. The employees and staff were angry and shocked at this. Thus this was a situation where Thomas Cook might have made a tactical blunder. The Chairman of 2014 Frank Meysman had resorted to destination marketing and promotion but the CEO as on 2013, Peter Fankhauser, was not an expertise in marketing and did not want to avail the risk of pursuing the business with the current strength. This is why cost cutting seemed like the most valuable option to him. (Neate, 2013). These are two distinct tactical judgements that have been portrayed with regards to the operations of Thomas Cook in the last few years.
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From this Unit 14 Tour Operation Management Assignment we get to know that the recent trends and developments in tourism include that of technological advancements, niche tourism, better booking facilities, etc. The various stages in developing holidays include proper research, preparation of the itinerary, marketing, execution, etc. Rack Rate, Ad hoc rate, etc have been taken into account to facilitate the understanding different forms of contracting for different components. The selling price for a total number of 40 members travelling to Europe has been generated based on the given data. The various alternatives to a traditional brochure include television, magazines, internet, e-commerce & websites, direct mailers, etc. The various methods of distribution used to sell a holiday by different types of operators include retail tour sellers, tour wholesalers, online agents, etc. The strategic decisions take by inbound operators, outbound operators, local operators, travel portals and travel agencies have also been analysed in detail.
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This Unit 14 Tour Operation Management Assignment helps in providing a lot of interest and insight with regards to the topic of Tour Operations Management, Locus Assignment Help in UK posting units solutions so scholars can explore assignment help and get review the quality of our work.