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Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Assignment Virgin Holidays
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Virgin Holidays
Virgin Holidays limited offers holidays for various destinations like India, UK, and Australia etc. Virgin Holidays operates business in different segments like Virgin Airlines, Virgin tours and many more. The study defines various different types of tour operators and impact of integration on the leading tour operating company. Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Assignment Virgin Holidays depicts the role of trade bodies to guide the tour companies. The research explains the various stages involved in designing the holiday package and timescales in developing the holiday. It will calculate the selling price of the packages with the given scenario. The study evaluates the planning decision taken by the manager to design the brochure and it will provide the suitable alternative to the traditional printed brochure of the organization. Report define the different strategic decisions opt by the organization and tactical decisions taken by the different tour operators in various situations.
2.1 Timescales involved in developing the holiday
Developing the project with in time is most important aspect for the organization by focusing on the targeted customers. Virgin Holidays develops the plan by keeping various points in mind like place, research activities, customer needs etc. These all factors are the most important points for developing holiday plan. The planning provides the basis to design the holiday package according to the demand of the customer. Following points depicts the stages that are involved to develop the plan for Chinese students:
- Research:It is the most important part in planning the holiday package. Research helps Virgin Holidays to identify the taste and preferences of the customers and design the plan according to their need. It facilitates the organization to investigate the current trends of the market planning and provide significant alternatives (Steffensen.et.al.2014). Research also helps in identifying the issues in the existing packages.
- Planning and Scheduling:After the research is completed, the next step is to perform the planning for the holiday package. Planning part contains various activities like allocation of resources, scheduling of services, cost of the package, tenure of the package etc. This step facilitates the organization to identify the various future factors like climate of destination, currency fluctuation, brokers etc. In scheduling, the management decides the tenure of the package, season etc. Scheduling facilitate the organization to implement the plan on time. The management would be able to make the plan more effective manner by utilizing the resources optimally.
- Contracting:In this stage, Virgin Holidays signs contracts with the service providers for different services like accommodation, travel and food etc. The organization evaluates several vendors and signs contract with the service providers providing quality services. Virgin Holiday has made exclusive agreement with the various service providers to provide better and quality services to group (Anderson and Marcus, 2015).
In addition to this, it is been identified that Virgin Holidays would take nearly 4 months to complete the whole planning process. These activities can be planned with the help of Gantt chart:
Table:1 Gantt chart
2.2 Different methods of contracting and types of tour operators
Contract plays vital role in Virgin Media as it assists the management to provide better services to the customers and assure them to provide demanded services. Virgin Media has contracts with airlines and for better accommodation company contracts with different hotels at different destinations. During the planning stage of a tour Virgin Media identifies and evaluates its vendors. Once the vendors are finalised, the organisation signs contract with the vendors. Organisation signs contract with its vendors in advance so that the operator may provide quality services to the visitors (Pasman and Rogers, 2015). Various contracts are commenced by the company to provide quality services for lunch and dinner, accommodation and others related to tour. Following are the methods of contract:
- Allocation:Under this type of contract the service provider reserves the services for a travel and tour organisation. For instance accommodation provider agrees to book the certain number of room for the fixed tenure. The contract require the fixed date which is generally 28 days prior to the tour. The company cancels the booking of vacant room and returns them to the hotel with no charge. But Virgin Holidays has to pay for the acquired rooms. The travel organisation operating on global level prefers this type of contract to avoid uncertainty. Virgin Media signs this type of contract for popular destination where the flow of tourists is consistent throughout the year.
- Ad hoc:This kind of contract is used by the organisations to arrange the facilities before starting the tour. According to this contract, the services are charged on the period basis like per day per individual. The contract helps the organization to pay for the used services in context of time. This kind of contract save the money of the organisation as the organisation has to only pay for the services used. The service providers also ensure quality services to the users as they aim to get long term business. Operators manage the services and take the consent of the parties through emails and proper documentation (Witt.et.al.2013).
Tour operators plays significant role in delivering the services on behalf of the organizations. They assist the customers by informing them about the various offers and discounts offered by the organisation. Tour operators generally offer the services to the customers in the country and outside the country. Following are the types of operators:
- Inbound tour operators:Inbound tour operators are the tour operators who specialise in products to a particular destination. Inbound tour operator’s work along with the distributors to sell their products. These operators help a country in selling the tourism products to the travel and tourism organisations.
- Ground tour operators: Ground operators are generally focused on providing the ground services like local transportation, local sightseeing and accommodation to the tourists. Ground operator’s assists the organization by providing services at various destinations according to the demand of the visitors (KhairatPOF and Maher, 2012). Ground operators work in partnership with travel and tour organization like Virgin Media and provide services at local i.e. destination level. They follow the guidance of the travel and tour organisations and provide facilities to the visitors according to the plan.
2.3 Calculation of the selling price of the holiday
For calculating the selling cost, the Euro had been converted into Pounds. The conversion rate considered is 1 Euro =0.83 pound
Cost of coach = £ 1000
Charges of local guide = £ 200
Cost of supplement for 15 persons for five days (10 Euro per person) = 10*0.83 *15*5 =£ 622.5
The room will be shared by two so for fifteen people 8 rooms would be required.
Cost of Hotel= 60*0.83*8*5 =£ 1992
Total cost of tour = £ 1000 + £ 200 + £ 622.5 + = 1992 =3814.5
Table 2 Selling cost
Cost of hotel
Cost of supplement
Cost of coach
Charges of local guide
Profit margin (10%)
Actual selling price
Fixed cost of package =£ 3814.5
Profit margin would be 10% = 381.45
The actual selling price of holiday package would be = £ 4195.95
Tour cost for an individual =4195.95/15 = 279.73 =£ 280
3.1 Decision for planning of design of the brochure
Virgin holiday travel and tourism organization has developed the plan for adventure tourism. For the purpose management of company is looking to design an attractive and informative brochure. For influencing the decisions of target audience and offering the key information about the activities, destination and prices of services, the role of brochure is important (Evans.et.al. 2012). For that reason, design of brochure needs to be attractive and unique that helps to develop the interest of people. Following are the key decisions for planning of the brochure:
- Colour combination: The identity of brochure is influenced by the colour as well as the texture that have been used for highlighting the information on pages. For the proposed travel and tourism package the Virgin holiday management could use light colours like blue. This colour will be attractive and good for reading the information. In addition to this, company will analyze the past brochures and feedback of customers about the brochures colour which help to make more appropriate decisions for colour combination.
- Formatting: In order to design the brochure, the management of Virgin holiday will have to make sure that the brochure is well formatted. A well formatted brochure makes significant impact on the decision of the customers. A systematic format of brochure involves information about the package as per the priority, details about the destination, timing, prices and added services (Goodall and Ashworth, 2013). In order to offer the information to target customers, Virgin holiday will give the preference to Z format brochure. In addition to this, this kind of format will help to add the images and categorise the information in different sections.
- Content of brochure: For planning of design of brochure, organization has to make decision over the content. This is an important element for marketing and offering of the information. For a good brochure, management will use the simple and attractive language, use the social and cultural terms that will influence the decision of customers (Grant, 2016).
- Paper quality: For the present, plan for travel and tourism the Virgin management will use glossy and smooth paper. It will enhance the effectiveness of images and content that used for offering the information.
3.2 Suitability of alternatives of traditional brochures for different types of tour operators
There are different types of tour operating organizations operating their business within industry. In order to sustain the position as well attract the customer, these organization are using the different types of brochures to influence the decision of target customers. By referring the recent trends, it is being considered that there are various types of brochures available to replace the traditional brochures.
For offering the information, inbound and outbound tour operators can use the direct mail brochures that will be cost and time effective. These type of brochures would be assisting in the promotional activities of the plan and acquire higher attraction of the people towards the brand. Online brochure is the very popular type of promotional tool that would be better alternative for in and out bound travel organizations (Kärcher, 2013). The promotional brochures are been considered as the most appropriate brochure for the specialised tour operators as it would support to promote the tour packages being arranged for the specific reasons like business, leisure, etc.
E-brochure is also in the current trends of promotional activities that travel and tourism organization could use. The domestic and ground tour operating organizations could use the e-brochure techniques that will help to make the strong relations with the leading tourism organization as well promote their brand at national and international level which will help to encourage the business. E-brochure is better alternative for traditional brochure which covers less areas and customer groups. This kind of change and initiative will be beneficial for different types of travel and agencies and leading organizations to market the services. For Virgin holiday, mail brochure will be effective alternative for promoting the brand and influence the decision of target customers which will increase the sales.
3.3 Method of distribution for selling the holiday for different tour operations
The distribution of plan and package is essential for encouraging the sales and margin of profit. Virgin holiday has developed the plan for adventure holiday that would promote through online and print media sources to create the awareness. However marketing of plan is important but without effective distribution it will be hard for organization to achieve the target. For that reason, Virgin holiday could use the online tools like website, social media links and mobile applications for distribution and booking of plan (Lemelin.et.al. 2013). Moreover, in the current scenario people are also giving the preference to online sources for analyzing and booking of seats tourism with family and friends. It has been recognised that the direct sales methods used to make online sales of brochure would prove to be fruitful to Virgin holidays. It would also facilitate the tour operator in approaching the wider areas of customer with the help of online marketing sources and grab the attention of massive population towards the package.
In addition to this, email marketing tool could also be adopted by Virgin holidays to sell the holiday package within the targeted segment of customers. Apart from that, personal selling is also an effective method of distribution of tour plan and services. This is traditional method which could be beneficial for influencing the decision of corporate. For example, the executives of Virgin will contact the business organization to select the plan for motivating the staff members and encourage the competition within organization to achieve the objective (Page, 2014). This kind of distribution strategy and planning will be beneficial for travel and tourism organization.
The report concludes that the travel and tourism industry had identified the variation with the way of time of time ranging from the first step. It has been concluded that has the wide range of market and to maintain the proper relation with the customer management has to design the plan according to the demand of the customer. For effective package Virgin Holidays has to plan and schedule the package. Organization has to adopt the suitable method which benefits the organization in monetary term and provides better services to the valuable customers. Virgin Holidays has adopts allocation and Ad-hoc of contracting which facilitates the management to serve valuable services to the visitors. Further study evaluates the planning decision of the Virgin Holidays for the brochure and asses the suitable alternative for different brochures and types of tour operators which suits the package. The research evaluates the suitable method of distribution and it evaluates the strategic decision taken by the tour operators. The current research dignifies the tactical decisions that are taken by the various tour operators.
Books and Journals
Anderson, C.K. and Marcus, B., 2015. Tour operator revenue management–Competitive supply chain contracting. Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, 14(4), pp.245-261.
Evans, N., Stonehouse, G. and Campbell, D., 2012. Strategic management for travel and tourism. Taylor & Francis.
Fallon, C.K., Panganiban, A.R., Wohleber, R., Matthews, G., Kustubayeva, A.M. and Roberts, R., 2014. Emotional intelligence, cognitive ability and information search in tactical decision-making. Personality and Individual Differences, 65, pp.24-29.
Grant, R.M., 2016. Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition. John Wiley & Sons.
Horner, S. and Swarbrooke, J., 2016. Consumer behaviour in tourism. Routledge.
Kapiki, S.T. and Tarikulov, M., 2014, April. Development Prospects of Uzbekistan's Tourism and Hospitality Industry by Utilizing the EU Experience. In Published in the Proceedings of the “International
Conference on Tourism Milestones–Preparing for tomorrow”, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, DOI (Vol. 10, No. 2.1, pp. 4753-1845).
Kärcher, K., 2013. Reinventing the Package Holiday Business: New information and communication technologies. Springer-Verlag.
KhairatP0F, G. and Maher, A., 2012. Integrating sustainability into tour operator business: An innovative approach in sustainable tourism.Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 7(1),
Lemelin, H., Dawson, J. and Stewart, E.J. eds., 2013. Last chance tourism: Adapting tourism opportunities in a changing world. Routledge.
Morozova, L.S., Ananjev, A.N., Morozov, V.Y., Havanova, N.V. and Litvinova, E.V., 2015. Influence of Tourism Industry Development on the Regional Labour Market (on the Example of the Yaroslavl
Region). Review of European Studies, 7(3), p.51.
Page, S.J., 2014. Tourism management. Routledge.