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Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Assignment Solution - Thomas Cook
Travel and tourism industry in UK is the fastest growing industry and it generates highest revenue in the market of UK. Thomas Cook belongs to hospitality and tourism industry and it provides various holiday packages to the clients on various occasions. It is the multinational organization that has more than 21,000 employees and it is headquartered in Peterborough, England. The services provided by the organization like ch arter and scheduled passenger airlines, holiday packages, hotels and resorts etc. The current study analyzes the effects of current and recent trends and developments in the tour industry and assesses the timescales involved in developing the holiday packages. The report identifies the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and evaluates the planning decisions taken for the brochure. The study identifies the suitability of alternatives to traditional brochure for different types of tour operators and evaluates the suitability of different methods of distribution adopted to sell a holiday for various tour operators.
1.1 Effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry
Current trends in travel and tourism may influencing the whole industry in both the ways either positive or negative way. The current position of the travel and tourism sector is that it is growing very rapidly and attracting the new clients. The travel and tourism organizations have very vast scope in the market of UK and London is the most attractive destination for the present tourist so it can be said that changes in the current trends may influence the tour operators industry. The following are the latest trends in tour operator industry:
Internet and other technological equipments
Internet is the biggest source to search the different destination of the holidays and attract the new visitors towards the organization. It also helps the tour operators to identify the location of the destination and also attracts the clients towards the organization. With the help of internet Thomas Cook provide all the necessary detail to the clients and make them aware about the facility they are providing in their packages. Internet is the biggest platform that provide strong customer base to the clients and make the buyer aware about the destination and make them aware about their rights (Mowforth and Munt, 2015. ). Internet assists the business to do the global business and attract the customers of different countries. Internet assists the Thomas Cook to design the website of the organization and publish the online ads on in and mention the details of historical places, share the experience of pervious customers that attract the new tourist towards the organization.
Environmental awareness of tour operators
The environmental awareness among the tour operators may affect the organization in negative way like government awareness to protect the environment from pollution and not to visit the preserved areas in London. For example wild life sanctuaries in London and clients want to visit that sanctuary but due to government rules visitors can not visit the place. This kind of problems and changes may affect the organization. It also affects the brand image of the organization.
Different types of tour operators
Direct sell operators: The tour operators have sold their packages to the public directly and offer great offers to the clients. The clients can think that this will price than buy the packages directly from the tour operators. They are the mediators that buy the packages from the organization and sell the packages directly to the customers without any commission to the customers. Customers can easily buy the packages from these brokers at low rates. For example Thomas Cook provides the designed packages to the direct sale operators and they directly sale it into the market (Page, 2014). It is the latest trend in the market that helps the business to gain the competitive advantage.
Domestic operators: This is type of tour operators reside in the destination itself and provide the packages to the clients. Domestic operators use the traditional techniques to sell the tour packages in the organization in the market (Mariani.et.al.2014). It helps the management to the management to identify the current trends in the market of London.
2.1 Stages and timescales involved in developing holidays
Various stages are involved in the development of holidays that help the management to provide quality services to the customers. Thomas Cook adopts various methods in the organization to design the quality packages of the different clients the stages are as follows:
Market research: The first stage in the developing the holiday is market research that help the organization to identify the taste and preference of the customers. Market research is the most important task in the planning of the holiday packages in the organization. Thomas Cook conducts the online market research that helps the management to identify the demand of the customers with the help of web site of Thomas Cook (Mahamoud.et.al.2013). Organization conducts the research for the various destinations and identifies their view on the selected destinations.
Planning and scheduling: After conducting the market research organization try to implement views of the clients in the organization. Planning of the holidays assists the organization to design he packages as per the demand of the clients. Scheduling assists the organization to schedule the plan for the holiday in the organization and set the time for the customers. The scheduling contains the plan that help the employees like time of the holiday, season of the holiday etc. That assists the manager to plan the holiday as per the desire of the customers.
Forecasting: In forecasting manager of the organization plan the holiday by taking the effective measures of the holiday packages. Under forecasting management try to assess the climate of the particular destination and then implement the holiday packages. Forecasting help the management to identify the current position of the current selected location than design the package (Walker, 2014). For instance any customer wants to visit the London at the time of snow fall but the time is not suitable for the visit then tour operators may deny for the holiday package.
Contracting: It helps the management to provide the effective services to the clients and also assists the management to provide the services as per the desire of the customers. Manager in the organization tries to acquire the services of the different vendors like cab facility, restaurant etc. This all facility help the management to make the holiday package success full and make the client satisfied.
2.2 The suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator
The methods of contracting may help the clients to save their unnecessary cost for the additional demand and get the services according to their desire. Different methods of contracting may assist the organization to provide the services according to the demand of the various customers and develop good relations with the clients. It has been evaluated that Thomas Cook has adopted two methods that are as follows:
Sales only contract:Under this method tour operator has been selected that is actually used. The operator selects the package as per his desire and try to sell that package. This kind of contract is given to the operator in the peak season that helps the seller to sale the package easily. The contracts are taken by the operator on the basis of the expectation of the last consumer. Thomas Cook pay for the actual services consumes by the clients and then return it to the vendors (Ashworth and Goodall, 2012). For instance a Chinese group wants to visit the London and they want to live in the 3 star hotels than Thomas Cook book 10 rooms in the 3 star hotel but clients use only 8 rooms than organization may pay for the 8 rooms and return the 2 rooms to the hotel.
Fixed contract:These methods help the management to serve quality services to the clients and make them satisfy with the services of vendors. These kind services may help the management to provide the services as per the status of the organization. Thomas Cook provides business to the small vendors by making small contract with them like catering, cab facility etc. It also covers risk that in case any service is not sold than organization will pay for that. For instance Thomas Cook makes the contract with the cab vendors that at the time of Christmas they have to provide services and organization will pay them on the weekly basis.
2.3 Calculation of selling price of a holiday
One group of Chinese students will be visiting London, Paris, France and United Kingdom. The tenure of their visit is not more than 5 days and number or students are 45. For the tour, expenses are in Euro and Pound. The cost of package will be calculated in pound with exchange rate considered as 1 Euro =0.85 pounds
The rooms will be shared, that is two students will occupy one room, so total rooms required will be 45/2 =23 rooms
1 room will cost 54 Euro = 54*.85 = £ 45.9
Cost of 23 rooms for 5 days will be =23 *5*45.9 = £ 5278.5
Cost of B&B for 1 person = 12 Euro = 12*.85 =£ 10.2
Cost of B&B for 45 students for 5 days = 45 * 5*10.2 =£ 2295
Table 1 Calculation of selling price of a holiday
local tour guide
Cost for B&B
The profit margin is 20% i.e. £ 2774.7
So selling price of package = 13873.5 + 2774.7 = £ 16648.2
Thus selling price for package for 45 students would be £ 16648.2.
Selling price for one person = 16648.2/45= £ 370
3.1 The planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure
The decision making for the design for the brochure is the most important part for the organization that help the management to aware the people for the services provided by the organization. Manager of Thomas Cook always try to decide that kind of package which attract the clients in the organization. The planning for the brochure is always based on the current market trends that help the business to gain the competitive advantage and attract the clients towards the organization. The brochure of Thomas Cook is based in the actual services provided by the organization with the photographs that attracts the clients. The planning process contains various things like color of the pages, selected photographs, number of pages, marketing of the services etc. The brochure is developed by planning, organizing and implementation activities.
Finding issues that affects decisions: Management has to identify the issues which affect the whole planning process of the brochure planning (Kiessling.et.al.2014). The issue is like target market, language of the different region, cost of the designing and implement, region to publish etc this kind of issue may affect the Thomas Cook.
Budget and target market: Under this point organization has to identify the budget of the whole process of brochure and also identify the target market that which kind of clients may prefer more. This whole process contains the cost of the brochure and explains the other expenses that affect the organization.
Format of the Brochure: Under this method manager identify the format of the brochure that is it multicolor, single color etc (Nores.et.al.2015). This step contains looking of the brochure which attracts the client most. The format contains name of the organization, color of the brochure, features of the brochure, tenure and prices of the packages etc.
3.2 The suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operators
The brochure of the organization plays vital role in the sale of the packages that it gives complete description of the packages to the clients and retains them with the Thomas Cook. Management designs the brochure in a way that attracts the new clients towards the organization and makes them aware about the services to the organization. Following are the alternatives available for the different kind of tour operators:
Email brochure: This kind of brochure help the outbound tour operators to serve the services to the clients with the help of email. Under this brochure tour operators mail the details to the clients about the packages and make them aware about the price and destination of the package. It is the most effective and cheapest way to publish services in the market and make the strong customer base for the organization (Horner and Swarbrooke, 2016).
E-brochure: This is another way to advertise the services in the market and make the buyer aware about the services of the organization. E-brochure is the best and easiest way to interact with the clients. Under this method manager add the brochure on the website of the Thomas Cook and whenever any client visit the website he or she can easily view the brochure.
Video brochure: It is an attractive way to give description of the packages to the clients that is video brochure that brochure contains the video of the organization services and photos of the different destinations that attract the clients towards the organization (Ammirato.et.al.2015). This kind of brochure may attract the new clients. This kind of brochure is suitable for the inbound tour operators.
3.3 The suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator
Thomas Cook adopts various techniques to sell the services in the market either with the help of mediators or directly. Management does not focus on the one method organization focus on that which method will give more benefit. Organization tries to adopt that kind of method which provides services to the clients directly and make the buyer aware about the products and services of the organization. Following are the methods adopted by the Thomas Cook to solve the holiday packages:
Internet: It is the best and easiest way to sale the products in the market and generates more revenue in comparison to the direct sales (Baum, 2016). The IT department of the Thomas Cook put various posts in the website of the organization make the buyer aware about the tour packages. Management provides discount on the web site and this may attract the new clients towards the organization.
Direct sale: Under this marketing employees of the organization meet the clients to sale the packages and sometimes outlets are another way of direct sale. It may help the business to make the strong base of client for the organization. Direct sale may help the business to generate more revenue and to gain the competitive advantage.
Telephone:Under telephonic sell management call the selected clients and aware them about the packages of the organization this may help the business to generate the lead of the interested clients (Candela and Figini, 2012). Employees of Thomas Cook call the old clients to visit the various destinations at nominal rates.
4.1 The strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator
Various strategic decisions are taken by the Thomas Cook for the expansion of the business. These kinds of decision are taken by the organization to provide quality services to the clients and make the buyer aware about the services of Thomas Cook. This kind of decisions contains cost of the packages, brochure designing, appropriate distribution channel and targeted clients.
This all strategies may help the business to gain the sustainable growth and maintain the market position. Some of the strategic decisions taken by the business are as follows:
Segmenting, positioning and targeting:Under this strategy organization may design the policy that may help the business to classify the clients as per the cost of the packages (Evans.et.al.2012). The decisions are taken by the business to serve quality services to the customer and retain them with the organization. This is the most important decision that is taken by the Thomas Cook to serve desired services to the customers.
Promotional Strategy: It is the core part of the organization that help the business to raise the profits of the organization maintain the position of the organization in the market. This kind of business strategy helps the business to gain the competitive advantage and raise the profits of the organization. Under this strategy management may aware the buyer about the holiday packages and also mention the discounts and price of the holiday packages.
4.2 The tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations
Thomas Cook takes various tactical decisions that increases the profits of the organization and raise the customer base for the organization. Various external factors may affect the tactical decision of the organization. The major focus of the business is to raise the profits of the organization and take the decision in the favor of the organization. The tactical decisions are in the favor of the Thomas Cook are as follows:
Maximizing occupancy of contracted beds: For the growth of the organization management always try to raise the occupancy of the beds with the contracted hotels. It is the best way to raise the profits of the Thomas Cook. It may help the business to gain the competitive advantage and also increase the customer base for the organization.
Utilization of coach and aircraft seats: Another competitive decision has been taken by the Thomas Cook is to provide the coach and aircraft facility to the client that is very unique and trendy facility for the clients (Clemen and Reilly, 2013). This kind of decisions may help the organization to gain the expected revenue and create the bench mark of the services for the clients. Thomas Cook deals in the air coaches but did not add them in the travel packages but after the tactical decision organization will add them in the travel packages.
Thomas Cook is adopts various techniques to provide quality services to the clients and make the buyer aware about the services of the business. Organization designs the online packages that help the buyer to identify the current trends in the market. It is the best and easiest way to gain the competitive advantage. Thomas Cook designs various strategies to create the strong customer base for the organization. Organization adopts various tactical and strategic decisions that may help the business to expand the operations in the different parts of the world.
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