Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Assignment Sample
This Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Assignment Sample provides effective insight on the concept of Travel and Tourism Management. In the first segment, an effective analysis is done on the current and recent trends and developments of the tour operator’s industry. This discussion throws light on trends like, niche tourism, democratisation of tourism, modern day booking systems, independent travellers, etc. The second segment comprises of understanding the stages involved in creating a tour package. For this purpose, a detailed analysis is provided on the assessment of various stages and timescales involved in the development of holidays. The suitability of contracting for different components of a holiday has also been effectively analysed. The third segment deals with the aspects of working in a marketing team of a tourism company. In this segment, the various planning decisions taken for the selection of a particular brochure along with the alternatives to a traditional brochure in the modern day have been discussed. Also the various distribution channels that companies like Thomas Cook and TUI resort to and the reasons for the same have been mentioned. The final segment deals with the evaluation of strategic and tactical decision made by different tour operators. An effective comparison depicting the distinct tactical decisions taken by different tourism companies in different situations has been identified and effectively analysed at the back of a credible research.
P 1.1 Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.
The following are the current and recent trends in the tour operator’s industry.
- Flexible Booking Options: Due to the advent of technology management, people can now book their tickets to their pertinent destination in a variety of ways like the Internet, teletext and call centres. People can now book their tickets at their own time and discretion with relative ease. It is not just easier but also relatively cheaper and quicker. This will affect the tour operator’s industry as tourists are slowly becoming apprehensive in resorting to the services of a travel agent in which case the travel agents will be losing a lot of money and probably there won’t be too many travel agents around in the future. Company like Thomas Cook are already shutting some of their high street agencies as customers are resorting to online agents more often than not.
- Independent Travellers: More number of independent travellers is accumulating around the world. The reason for this is the availability of cheap deals and holidays online. Because of this independent travelling is becoming more popular which does not involve the services of a tour agency. Mostly the independent travellers are businessmen or compulsive travellers pursuing their passion like mountain biking, etc and they book their own accommodation and travelling, which leads to tour operators losing money. (Travelandtourismindustry, 2016)
- Destination Marketing: The present day phenomenon depicts that tourism marketing is slowly being replaced by destination marketing. Earlier most of the advertising was done through distributing leaflets. In the recent past advertising agencies have been hired by various tour operators to enhance the image of a particular region in order to attract tourists. Today this is being done through New Media. The new media largely refers to the Internet and its immense reach. Large scale promotion and advertising of destinations is done today by tour operators online as they get access to a huge customer base in the most cost effective way. Besides, more attention can be given to the personal demands and preferences of various segments online. Thus destination marketing is majorly done with the aid of new media inn today’s day and age. (Conrady & Buck, 2011)
- Democratisation of Tourism: Talking about demographic related changes, one of the phenomenons going around globally today is the ‘Democratisation of Tourism’. The socio-economic categories are effectively demarcated into two groups. They are the enfranchised members of the consumer society and the disenfranchised poor. It is understandable that for the poor, travelling is only for the basic sake of survival and hence travelling is not an option. However among consumers, the various opportunities for tourism have spread widely and rapidly. The evolution of global economy suggests that there is a huge pool of middle class people who have enough money at their discretion for leisure and travelling purpose. So we can safely claim that although many in the world are excluded from the opportunities of travel and tourism, the process of ‘democratisation of tourism ensures that the opportunities reach many consumers and prospects. (Moutinho, 2011)
- Technology: Technology has led to the emergence of a new market place which is technologically driven comprising of fragmenting media and diverse customers. Marketing and Technology now are subjected to endless opportunities for the purpose of increased integration and synthesis between them. The developments in technology have completely transformed the way tourism providers are interacting with the customers. Today tourism operators must pay attention to the rise of the prosumer. A prosumer is one who is effectively involved in the design of the product. The ever increasing levels of internet interactivity have led to such a trend. Consumers today actively and voluntarily participate in the designing and shaping of a particular service or product once they know that it is for them. They thrive to be active participants instead of being passive audiences. The Internet and the ‘Digital Revolution’ largely, may possibly initiate a shift or change in thinking for tourism providers to move from customer relationship management towards customer managed relationship where the consumer has the liberty to influence control on the design and shaping of a product or service which directly affects the balance of power between the provider and the consumer.
- Sustainable Tourism Development: This is one of the key aspects that all travel and tourism operators aim to achieve in the modern day scenario. Sustainable tourism development can also be referred to as ethical or healthy tourism. This can be achieved in more than one ways. One of the ways is to cater to the environment by adopting means to enhance or stabilise it in which case it means that no tourism operation should be conducted that disrupts or harms the environment. Another way of providing sustainability is by preserving the regional culture and heritage of a place. This keeps the local residents content and free of conflict and also attracts high number of tourists. Another way to maintain sustainability is by providing employment opportunities. A tourism establishment in a particular region should economically benefit the region and providing jobs to willing people ensures that. (Mowforth & Munt, 2015)
- Niche Tourism: One of the most impressive developments in modern day tourism is the rise and advent of niche tourism today. Tourism has left the long existent realms of people taking a vacation for a change in proceedings in life. Today tourists travel to pursue their passion and aspirations. For instance travelling to the vineyards of UK by wine lovers, mountain trekking for trekkers, etc. Thus this kind of tourism can also be referred to as ‘special interest’ tourism. One has to understand that the word ‘niche’ might suggest a limited or restricted amount of audience but that is not the case. The demand for niche tourism is constantly growing both in UK and globally and businesses need to take full advantage of the emerging opportunities in this sector. The different kinds of niche tourism include food and wine tourism, dark tourism, golf tourism, adventure tourism, wildlife tourism, medical tourism, aggro tourism, culture & heritage tourism, screen tourism, etc. (Nibusinessinfo, 2016)
P2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays.
The stages that are involved in developing sightseeing tour for Chinese students from London, UK to Paris, France are mentioned as under,
- Research – Destination and Market – This is one of the main objective for analysing as well as understanding the major attributes that are related with a specific market for tourists as well as destinations. In general, various tour operators feel that it is quite a challenge for arranging all things for every individual. In this regard, any tour operator before entering the market for tourism will be undertaking the below mentioned steps,
- To identify the factors associated with economic, political, social and climatic aspects that affect the future growth associated with package tours.
- To make the tour for meeting the precise requirements in respect of the target market.
- To identify the major locations as well as to have a comparative analysis of alternative locations.
- To approach the suppliers. (Buckley, 2011)
- To make the policy decisions.
- Tour Itinerary Development – After conducting the research study associated with the location as well as the market that has been targeted, the next step of process related to development is being involved to work out on the successful itinerary related with tour. This depends on two aspects which are, for the new tour operators to be researching on the tour destination as well as ingredients for tour and the renowned ones should be reviewing the questionnaires that the earlier participants in tours have completed. Post that, the tour operator will be making business contract with every potential vendor in advance for putting together every component.
- Negotiation with Tourism Suppliers – After finalizing the itinerary, the next step requires negotiation with potential suppliers of tourism. The tour planner will be working with various suppliers of tourism based on the tour size as well as its nature. The significant ones amongst them are organisations for lodging, airlines, operators for transport, car rentals, vendors for sightseeing and many more. There is an option for the tour planners for negotiating with the air carriers in a direct manner or with the help of a travel agency. Also, when the organisation is new and generally functions on railroad tours, the organisation will be obtaining an improved margin as well as price, functioning with the help of a travel agency than in a direct manner, the reason being that vendors associated with air carrier normally offers reductions in prices on to their most preferred customers. In addition, it can be said that honest as well as reliable nature of the tourism suppliers is a significant factor that should be taken into consideration by the tour planner. (Buckley, 2011) Hence, to select as well as negotiate with these tourism suppliers, the tour planners should be aware of the anticipated crisis situations that take place when the contracts are getting finalized.
- Costing of a package tour – The aspect of cost related with package tour is crucial for understanding the implications as well as practices for managing tour to determine the financial worth of a tour package. The components for making up the overall cost of a tour package can be fragmented into different parts such as cost for air travel, cost for accommodation, cost for local arrangement, cost for payroll, cost for research, cost for marketing, and so on. Moreover, the designing of the cost sheet is done for showing the overall cost or structure for cost in addition to the break-up of individual components related with cost. (Buckley, 2011)
- Financial Evaluation & Pricing – Post the completion of the costing of a package tour, the determination of the rates of exchange are done by the tour planner, after that the future selling prices are estimated and then tour prices gets finalized. The finalization of the price structure should be done by the tour planner some ten months or more prior to a tour departure. So, in addition to the normal risks to determine the price of the tour in advance, the tour operators should definitely be evaluating the monetary risks like foreign exchange, payments to be made in respect of airlines, hotels, as well as various locations based agencies. There exist two kinds of tour pricing viz. cost based tour pricing as well as market based tour pricing. The cost based tour pricing takes into consideration the factors such as mark-up, total cost, product cost and rate of return whereas the market based tour pricing takes into consideration factors such as skimming, going, differential, penetrating and backward.
- Marketing of a tour package – The tour operators positioning in a strategic manner amongst the different vendors takes into consideration airlines, operators of transport, hotels and so on as well as the capability in combining the different components of the travel industry into comparatively reasonable as well as tour packages that are standardized, have surfaced as the major manipulators of the industry for tourism. It is the marketing of the tour that is applying additional refined strategic aspects of knowing what the tourist requires and to satisfy the requirement of the customers with the help of services provided and satisfying the value of the consumers in relation with the aspect to plan, prepare as well as experience the person’s travel. (Buckley, 2011)
- Developing a tour marketing plan – The plan associated with tour marketing is focused on the goals of the company. It is significant in having a proper acknowledgement of what the tour operator feels towards actualising with the help of the marketing plan. As a matter of fact, the tour organisation is required in understanding its product as well as its market prior to the development of a marketing plan. (Buckley, 2011) The tour marketing plan is generally a short period plan that will be guiding the tour operator for one to three years. It will be providing a clear direction related with the function of tour marketing that depends on a proper approach towards action as well as planning.
Time Scale for sightseeing tour (From London, UK to Paris, France)
Nature of tour: Sightseeing tour
Tour Location: Paris, France
Date of commencement of tour: 07.08.2018.
Duration of Tour: 5 days
Number of individuals taking the tour: 15
Nature of the tourists: Students
Places to visit: The Eiffel Tower, The Catacombs of Paris, Musee Du Louvre, The Pantheon, Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pere Lachaise Cemetary
Tour cost: £200 (including air-fare, lodging, breakfast, dinner, lunch and sight-seeing)
NB. Any changes in the tour plan will be informed before 15 days of the commencement of the tour. Cancellation policies regarding the tour will be under the sole discretion of the company management.
P 2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator.
The suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday are mentioned as under,
- Transport – Transport plays a pivotal role as an element of the holiday. In the global business environment, there is absolutely no possibility for tourism to have its existence separately from transport and as a result it can be expressed in clear terms that there exists a strong positive connection amongst tourism as well as transport. Transportation is considered to be a significant component of the tourism industry and because of the developments of transportation that there has been an expansion of tourism. The policies associated with transport as well as decisions of the government are able to make on the availability of the destination in respect of the tourists. (Shaw, 2011)
- Hotels – In the present scenario, it is seen that individuals like spending quality time with family and friends and simultaneously explore different places of tourist attraction around the world. Therefore, a very significant role is played by the hotels and accommodation facilities to popularize the destination for the tourists. There is also the significance of providing comfortable accommodation for individuals belonging to different financial backgrounds. While five star hotels assist in catering to the requirements of wealthy tourists, small and medium priced hotels as well as lodges are available for the middle class travellers. (Thomas, 2011)
- Attractions – A place of tourist attraction plays an essential part as an element of the holiday.. The attraction for tourists helps in contributing to revenues of the government, providing employment facilities, stimulating the investment related to infrastructure, contributing to local economies as well as providing earnings associated with foreign exchange.
P 2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday.
This task will be involving the calculation of the selling prices of a holiday for the sightseeing tour of the Chinese students. In respect of the case scenario that is given, there is a need for designing in respect of the tour operators for a group of Chinese students that consists of 15 individuals who will be travelling to Paris from London in August, 2018 for a period of 5 days.
Total Cost Involved in the Tour Package of Paris in France
Details of the Package
Price per Person
Price for 15 Persons
Transportation Charges (Coach, taxi, etc.)
Total Cost in Euros
Total cost price = €1980
Profit % = 10%
Therefore Selling price = €1980 + €198 = € 2178
P 3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure.
The various planning decisions or stages involved for the design of a selected brochure include:
- Stage 1: Research, Strategy or Feasibility: In this stage, all information available that is relevant to the project should be collected. This includes written brief, background material, studying of existing brand legal issues backed by effective research. The client’s expectations should be understood by constantly asking him questions as without asking questions, the brochure will just solve the solitary purpose of design.
- Stage 2: Design Concepts: After the acceptance and agreement of the initial process, the next step involves the preliminary design ideas. This is the time when the creative process takes over. The various considerations of significance include colour combinations, typography, graphic style, keywords and technology. The concepts that turn out to be the most suitable are assessed and further developed. Effective client feedback results in the particular concept being chosen.
- Stage 3: Detailed Design Development: The selected concept is further developed by the implementation of all relevant details. Variations and mock ups may further be developed. A logo is created with distinct colours and variations and the various pages of the website are effectively assembled by the virtue of Photoshop and the sample pages are created on HTML. This stage involves the detailed specification of the design fostering the needs of product planning and final costing.
- Stage 4: Implementation: Once the approval has been generated in Stage 3, the implementation of all the decide factors are initiated and the finished artwork is produced. In the case of print, creation of print ready pdfs is undertaken and detailed specifications are also created for the external suppliers. With the help of a professional programmer, designs are effectively converted into HTML code for websites.
- Stage 5: Supervision of production: Quality control is important; hence effective supervision of the produced work is necessary. For ex- if the design is for a website, the best way to choose a website name should be suggested. The application of Search Engine Optimisation is important and should be implemented accurately within the design. (Promo design, 2013)
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.
The concepts of designing a traditional brochure have been challenged by the existence of a few suitable alternatives that have cropped up. The alternative brochures of Thomas Cook and The Travel Network group can be taken as reference in this context. VSIthinking recently launched a new website for accommodating the Thomas Cook Brochure Store. This responsive website is the most updated version of the highly impactful project to deliver the brochures related to the packages of Thomas Cook online. This has helped the company reduce the printing costs and also a considerable reduction in waste has been achieved that considerably benefits the environment. This website allows the customers’ accessibility to all the Thomas Cook Brochures and speciality brand on any internet enabled device like a computer, mobile, tablet, etc. The website is flexible in the sense that its size and functionality is proportionate to the device in which it is being accessed from. This helps in ease of access from every device and one can access the brochures at home on the sofa, while going to work, etc. (VSIthinking, 2016)
The Travel Network Group have their magazine named ‘Insight ‘which contains latest news and information about the Travel Trust Association, independent travel experts, etc. They tend to include pertinent and significant brochures in this magazine with the view that in quest for latest information and data about the industry in the magazine, readers might be fascinated at the inclusion of the information provided by the brochures. (Issuu, 2012). For my tour package, the better alternative would be the website brochure adopted by Thomas Cook. This is because of the increasing number of internet users globally. People might find an exclusively designated website for brochures more convincing and easier than having to search for brochure information in magazines. Besides, the flexible compatibility of the website to proportionately adjust its size and functionality in accordance to the device of access makes it very potent and efficient. This is the primary reason why i would opt for the alternative to the traditional brochures of Thomas Cook.
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 package.
In today’s day and age, several methods of distribution for the purpose of selling a holiday exist. These can be analysed with reference to Thomas Cook and TUI Travel. The Omni channel distribution system of Thomas Cook includes retail stores, websites and call centres and the third party travel agents. This wide network of distribution channels enables more choice to the customers as well as maximises the customer reach. The objective is to build on the existent strength by the development of a single customer gateway that will result in the delivery of consistent customer experience with effective access granted to the entire range of products and services available across all distribution channels. One of the main objectives is to become the leading tourist operator comprising of a platform hosting a broad range of products and services. (Thomas Cook Group, 2013)
For TUI Travels, direct distribution channels are the key to the group’s strategy. Increasing the direct distribution of holidays cuts down on the distribution costs and also reduces the dependency on the third party distributors and can aim to consolidate on the customer relationship aspect. The distribution mix in 2014 improved by 68% and one of the major reasons was the driving impact posed by the online channels that also saw an improvement rate of 3% amounting to 38% of the total mainstream sales in 2014. Through the course of 2014, they generated 4.1 billion pounds of online revenue within the main stream business which effectively reflects a 6% growth in the online bookings. (Davies, 2014). Thus in both cases we see that an added inclination is there towards the Online distribution channel. However, for my package, I would like to recommend the Thomas Cook idea of a distribution system simply because all though they are inclined towards the Internet Distribution channel, they still understand the significance of having retail stores and call centres for selling of holiday packages. Although most of the distribution traffic will be directed towards the online channel, the retail outlets and call centres will help sell a package to the people who don’t have the liberty to use the internet or are keener on availing the traditional methods of choosing a package by visiting the retail stores.
P 4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator.
The strategic decisions that are made by different kinds of tour operators are mentioned as under,
- Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning – It assists in market segmentation, identification of the target consumers in an efficient way as well as assists in positioning the products or services that the tour operator provides in a way that will be attracting a significant strength of consumers. For instance, Thomas Cook which is one of the largest tour operators does its market segmentation based on the aspects associated with geography, demography, psychographic and behavioural. In respect of the aspects associated with psychographic and behavioural, Thomas Cook tries to gather information in relation with the lifestyle of individuals who belong to various countries as well as does proper examination of the consumer’s purchase behaviour. (Romero, 2011)
- Tour packages’ seasonal scenario – There is the preference of the consumers in respect of travelling in various seasons that is majorly depending on the festive season or various vacations in schools and so on. In this respect, there is a difference in the rate of price of the tour packages and also depends on the consumer’s rate of turnover.
- Strategy for competitive pricing – This pricing strategy assists in providing a competitive advantage for the tour operators by focusing on the tour package price that other tour operators are offering to the consumers. For instance, Thomas Cook is following the pricing strategy that depends on pricing of the competitors, product and pricing of the consumer. (Romero, 2011)
- Strategy for innovative promotion – Adopting exclusive and innovative techniques associated with promotion or advertisement is regarded as very significant to attract a huge number of individuals. The promotional strategies that are innovative also assist in handling the competition in a successful manner. For instance, Cox and Kings, a specialised tour operator is implementing exclusive strategies for promotion for promoting the packages for tour. Various mediums of advertising like electronic media, print media are also used in an effective manner by the organisation in this regard. (Romero, 2011)
- Strategy for discounting price – This is considered to be a major scenario for attracting new as well as additional consumers by the tour operators for offering discounts for the consumers regarding which a contract related to fixed price is adopted by them. This assists in providing a competitive advantage in respect of the tour operators as well as assists in making sure that the consumers are satisfied and thus are able to be retained.
P 4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations.
Tactical decisions assists in ensuring smooth and flexible operation of the business and also assists in avoiding the prospect of any type of confusion in respect of day-to-day organisational matters. Certain tactical decisions prepared by the tour operators take into consideration the aspect of negotiation with the service providers, making various arrangements in respect of transportations as well as lodgings and to maintain healthy relationship with the stakeholders as well by informing them in respect of the organisational behaviour. (Robinson, 2011) One of the important tactical decisions taken by the tour operators is to ensure coordination that is efficient as well as for deriving the anticipated outcomes from the same it is definitely very significant for the tour operators for consulting in respect of various services as well as for conducting a proper research of the market to gain information in respect of the price rates for the services that are provided recently. (Robinson, 2011) For instance, certain tactical decisions that Thomas Cook takes in respect of the service processing are associated with the allowance of the use of services related with high speed internet for providing instant and optimum services for the consumers. Thomas Cook’s channel of distribution does the linking of customers with the producers in a direct manner and as a result, the rate of pricing gets significantly reduced in respect of the consumers.
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This Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Assignment Sample associated with travel and tourism management involves the various stages that are required for the creation of tour packages. In this respect, the stages as well as timescale that have their involvement in development of holidays have been assessed, also the evaluation of the suitability of various methods of contracting for various elements of the holiday and various types of tour operators are done. Also, there has been the evaluation of the strategic decisions made by various types of tour operators as well as a comparison has been made in respect of the tactical decisions that a tour operator can undertake in various circumstances.
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