Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Sample Assignment

Tour Operations Management

Unit 14 Tour Operations Management Sample Assignment

Introduction

A person wants his travelling experience to be a lifetime and memorable experience. Therefore he would never want this experience to be spoilt by mismanaging his time. It is here that Tour Operators play a vital role in making the travelling experience of a person memorable. ‘Tour Operators’ are like   a boon for those who love travelling.  Operators make arrangement for the tour operations tailoring it to the interests, budget, choices of the client along with adding and subtracting many other options. (DekaplusTravel, n.d.)
         In this assignment we shall make discussions regarding Tour operators, their style of working, services provided by them and the endeavours they make in giving a life time and memorable experience to their clients by the creation of best possible tour packages.

TASK-1

LO1 Understand the tour operators industry within the travel and tourism sector

Introduction

In this task we will discuss what a tour operator is and what are the roles and features of tour operators. We shall also discuss briefly the package travel directive and regulations in UK. Various types of Tour Operators management and the various types of services offered shall also be discussed under this task. Effects of recent trends observed in tour operator industry will also be analysed briefly. 

Tour Operator

A company or a person that offers to take the responsibility of holidays and vacations of travellers mainly through making reservations for travelling and accommodation represent a tour operator. For instance they can take the charge of the traveller’s flight, commuting from airport to the reserved hotel and all other arrangements in the hotel and sightseeing.

Role of Tour Operator

A good tour operator generally makes a combination of travelling and touring components to create a memorable holiday. An itinerary is prepared by them.The commoninstances of the product of a tour operator area flight  plus transferfacilities from the airport to the hotel and the provision of a local representative’s services combined in a package form.Tour operators at niche level may provide specialised packages for destinations, e.g. Spanish activities and experiences, like skiing, with a combination of some special activity. Theintroduction of internet has led to increase in self-tailoring the holiday packages.

Tour Operators Associations

 Three main tour operator associations operating in U.S. are  the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), National Tour Association (NTA), and the American Bus Association (ABA). It is  the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) in  Europe, and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) in UK. Receptive Services Association of America (RSAA)is the primary association for receptive North American inbound tour operators. 

Package Travel Directive And Regulation

There isno self- Operatorindustry in UK. It is working under special laws created by the Government.  PTD, EU package travel directive was introduced in the year 1990 and came into effect and application in UK law in 1992 through PTR, package travel regulation;PTD and PTR are responsible for introducing rules and regulations between the sellers and organisers. PTD and PTR are also concerned with protection right of consumer and his safety. BIS, department of Business, Innovation and Skills is responsible for the implementation of PTR. ATOL, Air Transport Organiser licensing Scheme managed by the Civil Aviation authority; is responsible for coping and securing the money of the customers in flight based packages. We see an introduction of a revised regulation in the proposal which was published by the European commission on 9th July 2013. It is undergoing a regular procedure through the parliament and ABTA beforeits implementation. Basically, PTD helps in protecting the European travellers going for a holiday with genuine information,rules ofsurcharge and hotels (ABTA: The Travel Association, n.d.)

Important Types of Tour Operatorsin Tourism Industry are:
1. Inbound Tour Operator:

Inbound Tour Operators typically deal with making arrangements for the foreign tourists in visiting their country. They represent themselves like a host. They provide the customers withvarious services when they arrive and depart; such as services of transfer, transportation, accommodation, entertainment, sightseeing, insurance services currency, etc.
Inbound tour operators create holiday packagesby tailoring it to individual needs and requirements. The packages are directly marketed or are marketed through intermediaries. The Inbound tour operators also make a valuable contribution in foreign exchange earnings for the host country’s economy.  Realizing theimportant role played by these tour operators in the promotion and growth of tourism, every country hasgiven various kinds of financial and non-financial incentives to them.

2. Outbound Tour Operators:

These are the operatorswho are basically specialized inthe promotion and creation ofmulti-nationalholiday tours. The outbound tour operators offer a holiday package to an individual or a group of individuals of his own nation to another nation or a number of nations for a specified pre-decidedtime period.
The outbound tour operator makes arrangement for documents for travelling like visas, transportation to the starting point and making contracts with inbound tour operators or ground operators for the provision of transportation, accommodation, local sightseeing and various other services required throughout the tour.
Normally, these operators operate in liaison with the ground operators or inbound tour operators and provide servicesincluding meeting inbound tour group at the destination airport, transfer services from the airport to the reserved place of accommodation in hotel, arrangement and organization of local representative for sightseeing etc. These tours may be in the form of leisure orbusiness oriented.

3. Domestic Tour Operator:

Domestic Tour Operation management operate within the boundaries of their country. They help in promoting the beauty, culture and diversity of the country amongst the citizens of the country and create tour packagesin accordance with the customer’s choice and interest. Domestic Tour Operators are floating novel packagesin order to tap the enormous potentialthis industry offers in the domestic market.

4. Ground Operator:

Ground operator is referred to as, , ‘destination management companies’, ‘reception operator’ and ‘handling agencies’ e.g. ‘handling agencies’ in China, ground ‘reception operator in United States,  and destination management companies in UK.
Ground operators are basically responsible for providing ‘land arrangements’ at a specific destination. Therefore , a ground operator helps in providing the services to big  tour operators  who do not have a local office or branch at the destination place; by  dealing at the destination place with the basic and main  suppliers like the  hoteliers, car rentals, , transport operators,  entertainment etc.
The reception operator coordinates, secures, supervises and handles payments and accounts of all services regarding the tour in his area. He provides invaluable services for successful and efficient operations.
When compared to other industries, the travel industry is relatively young. Until 1945, this industry did not gain much momentum. However this industry has seen a dramatic change in the past four decades. Many drastic developments such as deregulations of airlines in 1978, changing attitude of public, introduction of AMTRAK in 1974, globalization, changes in information technology, and so on have helped this industry to become a fastest growing industry.
Thus,  tour operators  are concerned with  arrangement , planning  and manage the tour and travel services ingredients  like  , travel tickets,  information required during travelling,   documents for travelling ,travel  itinerary, accommodation for stay, transportation facilities, car rental, travel insurance, currency, cruise ship,  and other ground facilities  in an extensive  profitable and efficient manner  to  make the travelling experience of the segment of the targeted market memorable and lifetime. If we look at the operational aspect and process of delivering service, we find that it is a complicated process and requires extensive management strategies and approach. (Verma (I), n.d.)

P1.1 Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.

Effects of Current And Recent Trends And Developments On The Tour Operators Industry:

  • Changing holiday trends: The mass market tourism in particular have witnessed many changes in this industry.
  • Trend of all-inclusive holidays: All inclusive holidays are framed as one complete package that comprises of all the necessary and basic elements of a holiday. 
  • Expanding market of cruise:  This is a rising trend in association with shipping and flight industries.
  • Changing Economical factors: These factors greatly affect the pricing trends of packages offered by tour operators.
  • Awareness regarding Environment: Due to increase in environmental awareness globally, the tour operations management have to create the packages keeping in mind the emerging demands in environmental consciousness.

TASK- 2

P2 Understand stages involved in creating holidays.

Today people consider the tours as their life time experience and want complete satisfaction from the tour operators. Creating tour packages according to the customer’s demand and satisfying them is not an overnight job. This involves the hard work of the efficient staff members of the tour industry.(Verma (II), n.d.)

P2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays.

 Here I need to design a wedding package tour for 7 days in Las Vegas which has to be a helicopter sightseeing tour and a walking tour in the VIA ALGARVIANA. I need to keep in mind the timescales and pass through various stages while tailoring these tour packages.
After the research we selected The Hoover damn, the engineers wonder for the wedding place. The package will involve:

  • Pick up of the Guests from Las Vegas Airport in the luxury coach and the arrangements in hotel.
  • As it is a helicopter sightseeing tour, it can be associated with flight tour operators.
  • Arrangement of capturing the memorable moments with high definition DVD of the wedding ceremony.
  • Arrangement of beautician on request.
  • Whole wedding arrangement with bouquets, cakes, Champagne toast.
  • Daily visit of the places around. (All Grand Canyon Tours, n.d.)

While designing the wedding package the Coach is provided to the guest and stay at a standard hotel for 7 days will be planned. Along with this the coach will be in regular service for the guests for the daily trips to the nearby places to see including the meals. The whole staying package for seven days will as 665 pounds.
Here the helicopter tour operators will take care of the picking up of the clients from the hotel in luxury motor coach, having an amazing view of the from the top of it and one meal. This type of helicopter tours cost approximately 1299.00 pounds per person. This is exclusive the hotel stay and transportation but the customer will not to pay anything extra locally.
The total cost for the helicopter wedding tour will be 1964.00 pounds per person.
Designing of the Algarve will include:
The route is fully marked, more than 340 km, divided into stages of up to 25 km, which are each planned to be completed in one day.

  • Day 1: Pick up from Airport in Taxi or coach and stay in the Hotel.
  • Day 2: The walk along the Historical Way through the hills between Santiago do Cacém and Vale Seco begins.Accommodation for the night will be in the converted mill buildings of the 19th century twin windmills.
  • Day 3: Walk will pass by Campilhas Dam & Reservoir. The night will be spent at guesthouse in the centre of the village.
  • Day 4: The path goes over the Alentejo plains. The night will be spent at a guesthouse in a typical Alentejano.
  • Day 5:This part is a trail to Pego da Pias pools and is known as the water section of the tour. The night accommodation will be at a family owned pension in the centre of Odemira.
  • Day 6: The route follows the River Mira and the River S. Teotonio along wide trails. The accommodation will be in a small hotel on the edge of the town.
  • Day 7: It is a tour along some inhospitable but memorable trails to the Algarve village of Odeceixe. Accommodation in the night will be at a small guest house close to the village centre.
  • Day 8: The coach will be arranged for the departure. (Penguin Travel, n.d.)

While designing the walking tour package, the guest will be received in the Coach or taxi from the airport and the charges will be done according to that. The stay is ay various places in the seven days where the meals are included.This tour will cost approximately 381 pounds per person.

Timescale involved in creating a holiday:

The timescale also plays an important role in the budget of the holiday package. The budget of the package will differ if the timespan for booking the holiday is small, the holiday season is peak or it is an occasion of Christmas or Thanks giving.

  • Helicopter booking: The trip for Las Vegas is a helicopter sightseeing wedding tour, so booking of the people in advance is required to make proper hassle free arrangements.
  • Airlines booking: Pre booking for the wedding tour is required, as the whole group wants to travel together. For the walk tour, it depends on the number of people going for the trip. But the booking of the airlines directly affects the budget of the package. An advance booking is always preferable.
  • Hotel booking: The budget of the package is also dependent on the season of the trip. The hotel tariffs are always high during the tourist season. So the time scale plays a major role. Last minute bookings and last minute cancellations hike the budget of the tour.
P2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator.

Every traveller has a different demand and likes during a tour. The tailoring of the tour package is completely dependent on the interests of the customers. For this the tour industry is divided into different divisions. They deal with adventurous trips, educational trips, marine trips, sports trip, bird watching, beach trips and so on. For this the tour operators have contracts with the local service providers, airways and railways, along with the hotels.
Contractual relationship with hotels: The tour operators deal with two types of contracts of beds with the hotels. One is floating and the other is fixed. In floating contracts, the operators book a specific number of beds every week and pay to the hotels according to the number usage of the beds. In fixed contracts, the tour operator’s book fixed beds throughout the year and pay a specific amount according to the contracts. The contracted per cent of beds are increased and decreased according to the season and demand of the destination.
Contractual relationship with the Airlines and Railways: Tour operators have contacts with certain Airlines for specific number of seats, which they use for the transportation of their customers while selling the packages. They book the contractual tickets well in advance during the cheap rates. If the flights are cancelled the, the operators take the full responsibility and make arrangements to return the money or arrange the tickets in other flights. If the flights are late, the customers are taken full care by the members of FTO.
In the similar manner they book the railway tickets in advance for the transportation of the tourists if requires.
For a successful holiday all the tour operators should have a healthy relationship with the other operators and service providers. With each- others coordination they can successfully arrange and satisfy the customers. (Tapper and Font, n.d.)

P2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday from given information below.

Here I will consider 1 pound is equal to 1.2 Euros. This rate of conversion has been considered as of April 8, 2014.

AvraBeach Hotel, Rhodes

(Using bus from airport to hotel)

Room rent per person inclusive taxes         =   15 Euros

Supplement for half boarding                      =    15 Euros

Total per person for a day                             =     30 Euro

Person’s stay for 7 days                               =     210 Euro

Return fare                                                   =     130 pounds

                                                                     =     156.23 Euros

Return Bus fare                                               =      10 Euros

Cost of local representative visit per group    =       100 Euros

Cost of local representative per person           =       1.25 Euros

Total cost per person                                       =      210.00+156.23+10.00+1.25

                                                                       =        377.48 Euros

Margin @ 15 %                                              =         56.62 Euros

Total cost of the package per person              =         434.10 Euros

(Using cab from Airport to Hotel)

Room rent per person inclusive taxes           =   15 Euros

Supplement for half boarding                      =    15 Euros

Total per person for a day                             =     30 Euro

Person’s stay for 7 days                               =     210 Euro

Return fare                                                   =     130 pounds

                                                                     =     156.23 Euros

Cab Fare                                                       =      35 Euros

Cost of local representative per group         =    100 Euros

Cost of local representative per person        =    1.25 Euros

Total cost of per person                               =    210.00+156.23 + 35.00+1.25

                                                                      =   402.48 Euros

Margin @ 15 %                                              = 60.37 Euros

Total cost of the package per person              = 462.85 Euros

Princess Hotel Kiotari, Rhodes

(Using bus from Airport to Hotel

Room rentinclusive taxes                           =   19 Euros

Supplement for half boarding                      =    15 Euros

Total per person for a day                             =    34 Euro

Person’s stay for 7 days                               =     238 Euro

Return fare                                                   =     130 pounds

                                                                     =     156.23 Euros

Bus Fare                                                       =      10 Euros

Cost of local representative per group         =    100 Euros

Cost of local representative per person        =    1.25 Euros

Total cost of per person                                 =    238.00+156.23 + 10.00+1.25

                                                                       =   405.48 Euros

Margin @ 15 %                                              =   60.82 Euros

Total cost of the package per person              =    466.30 Euros

(Using Cab from Airport to Hotel)

Room rent per person inclusive taxes           =   19 Euros

Supplement for half boarding                      =    15 Euros

Total per person for a day                             =    34 Euro

Person’s stay for 7 days                               =     238 Euro

Return fare                                                   =     130 pounds

                                                                     =     156.23 Euros

Cab Fare                                                       =      35 Euros

Cost of local representative per group         =    100 Euros

Cost of local representative per person        =    1.25 Euros

Total cost per person                                     =    238.00+156.23 + 35.00+1.25

                                                                       =   430.48 Euros

Margin @ 15 %                                           =     64.57 Euros

Total cost of the package per person           =     495.05 Euros

TASK-3

P3 Be able to review brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays

The importance of brochure varies from company to company and the way they take brochure as a promotional tool or not. Although brochure of the travel and tourism company helps in guiding the tourist in an effective manner in selling their holidays and E-brochure is being increasingly used today by many of the tourist for their convenience, whereby package holidays are often sold by the travel agents.

P3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure

Brochure related to tourism, its design requires a real understanding of psychology of audience and what they are looking for in that tourism brochure. The planning process of the brochure design begins with the “first impressions” and works in a way making base of content, colours, photos and many more items. The brochures are available in various ways as online, websites and virtual tours of destinations which help in making the places available to potential customers.
Purpose of the brochure design guide is designed in a way to give an overview of some key considerations which are important for a brochure design to be successful.
The planning of HDC International brochure considers three primary objectives before its design as:

  • Learning Objectives- The kind of information which the brochure is going to present is being quantified with the help of learning objectives. For Example tourist will be able to find benefits they are gaining from visiting HDC tourism industry and would be able to describe main facilities which are available for them and understanding the admission costs and services on reading the brochure. With such objectives the designer is clear of the fact that what all content and photos will be required in making these objectives accomplished.
  • Emotional Objectives- These objectives are based on meeting the customer requirements emotionally or all about making the customer feel as for instance he will think that it would be a great experience which the customer can’t miss. Emotional objectives are based on the designer’s photos being selected and framed in the brochure.
  • Behavioural Objectives- These objectives are most important for attracting the customer. These could be the behaviour which are demanded by the potential tourist as tourists would go on tours and eat and enjoy on our mentioned sites, will also inform others about HDC attraction and despite of all this most importantly tourists will be motivated to visit again. But the accomplishment of behavioural objectives is based on proper accomplishment of the other two objectives.

Apart from these the planning decisions involved in designing of the HDC International Brochure includes the following:

  • Point size
  • Font
  • Brochure Folds
  • Paper Texture
  • Paper Selection
  • Paper Finish being flat and non- glary
  • Photos and Graphics to be used to attract the potential customers
  • Publication (HDC International (II), n.d.)
P3.2 Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operator

Apart from traditional brochures the tour operators have their focus on marketing their products with adoption of various ways. The adoptions of various other methods in marketing their products include their website, online procedures are at its advanced stage and being adopted by many while running their businesses or being in office, marketing of their holiday packages whether online or on the basis of direct marketing. These holiday packages are being sold by various tour operators in addition to describing the added advantage of using such packages by the target customers. To assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure could therefore be appropriate with the use of E-Brochures as E-Brochures have been in constant demand of the customers as they are not having enough time to contact with the tour operators directly. Such brochures are made keeping in mind the ways to attract customers towards their holiday packages and towards opting for their site to travel. Another alternative to a traditional brochure is the media which is made operative inorder to meet the needs of the modern client. As the use of video brochures attract more customers and make customers informed about the travel industry and the features which are being promoted by the industry. With the help of You Tube basically such brochures are made available to the prospective clients. (HDC International (I), n.d.)

P3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator

There are various methods of distribution which are being adopted so as to sell a holiday by different types of tour operates as:
Travel Agents who are the retail distributors in selling a package holidays. The main role of a travel agent is to sell the product which is put together by a tour operator in return for commission which may lie between 10 to 15% of the holiday booking price. The travel agents basic motive is to sell a product to the customers as they certain commission rates being set with the tour operators. They are also very peculiar in attracting the repeat businesses by making the customer satisfied by the operator who is offering them the best value for money.
Direct distribution method or channel to a sell a product by a tour operator directly as the tour operator operates with the customer directly by using telephone, internet or may be with the help of social media. For number of operator’s distribution via travel agents have become less important and is in less demand when compared with the modern techniques of selling the product as internet, telephone, etc. As customer ownership is important for the operator so they put their efforts in selling the product directly. In addition to this the specialist holiday product and selling additional services like car hiring, excursion in-resorts, etc. are being sold to the prospective customer by the tour operator directly. Last but not the least by way of distributing the product to the customer directly, there seems to be less pressure on achieving high volumes of booking. (Business Strategy Casebook, n.d.)

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