Delivery in day(s): 5
Unit 14 Tour Operations in Travel Tourism Assignment
Travel and tourism sector has been developing at a higher speed from the last decade. Travelling has always been a passion for the people from the past. But in the recent times, it has gained more acceptance and importance by the people of all income groups. Travelling is a great source of reenergizing. It offers various recreational activities which refresh the minds of human beings. Travel industry is developing because of the introduction of various tour operators. The tour operators provide all the facilities required for travelling. The operators provide different tour packages according to the income of the travellers. The travelling business or tour operator work requires lots of activities and functions to be carried out in order to successfully achieve the business targets. In this report, all the factors and functions of tour operators will be discussed. Thomas Cook will be taken as a tour operator. Thomas Cook is the largest tour operator in the world.
1. Examine the recent trend and developments in the tour operations sector with a brief analysis of the type of holidays taken and the emerging popular destination.
According to the World trade organization (WTO), Travel industry has become a key source of economic development. The tourism sector of UK has 4% contribution in the economy. The recent changes, trends and development in the tourism industry as are follows:
- Technological development in the e-business:The e-business has simply the complex procedures of every business including the travel and tourism industry. On-line availability of various services has attracted the travellers and increased their interest in the tourist destinations in the world. The online services like- ticket and hotel booking has been very helpful for the traveller. It allows them to make a prior booking, know about the hotels and city they are about to visit and to cancel the bookings, f required, from the convenience of home (Medlik, 2003).
- Increase in the purchasing power or income: The increasing income rate has benefitted the travel industry up to a large extent. Every person belonging to any income group is taking keen interest in the travelling which leads to the growth in the travel sector.
- Segmentation: The current trend prevailing in the tourism sector is the segmentation. The tour operators has segmented the travel market according to the target groups like married couple, woman travellers, old age couples, group travelling, photographers travel etc. This segmentation process helps them in focusing the activities in meeting the requirements of each separate group. This trend has been accepted by the travellers from all over the world (Aramberri and Butler, 2005).
- Customized holiday packages: It is another emerging trend which allows the traveller of each income group to select and experience the travel within their budget. From the many packages, the customers have various options to choose from according to their needs and requirement. The package offering maximum satisfaction can be selected by the people. This allows the tour operators to provide the maximum satisfaction to the travellers according to the packages.
- Customer satisfaction: Now days, tour operators have ultimate goal of providing the maximum satisfaction to the travellers in order to retain their loyalty and trust in the brand. The tour operators try to provide the best services to its customers. This helps them in attaining the higher position among their competitors.
- Government: The government has also realised the importance of travel sector in the development of an economy hence; the government of UK is also providing various facilities and support to the travel industry in terms of simple VISA policies, subsidies to the travel business, developing the infrastructure and facilities of tourist destinations etc. (Bardgett, 2000).
After analysing all these factors, it is advisable to the stakeholders to invest in the travel and tourism sector as it is the highest booming sector in the present days which could be very beneficial for them.
2. Prepare an itinerary for a heritage plus wildlife and beach holiday and develop a package with stages (evaluate the destinations and attractions, appropriate timescale, and the components of the package to be purchased with contracts).
Thomas Cook has planned a 3 day holiday itinerary for a visit to wildlife, heritage sites and beaches in Hawaii.
3 Days package offers visit to:
- Kona and the beaches
- Lava and the Volcanoes at the Big Island
- Hilo and a scenic road trip
- Starting date: 1 October, 2015
- No. of people: 2 adults
Overview:Hawaii is a beautiful place surrounded by many islands. The capital island of Hawaii is Oahu. This place offers something for everyone. Hawaii has beautiful islands, Volcanoes, great food, serene beaches, wildlife, and ancient heritage sites to visit.
- Economy class Airfare from UK and return ticket from the same route
- Tour Guide from Thomas Cook for sightseeing and pickup from the airport.
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis (One room for two people).
- Breakfast and dinner
- Air-conditioned cars/buses for the pick & drop to airport, wildlife safari and sightseeing.
- Entry tickets or fees to heritage sites
- Visa charges and other taxes applicable to tourists
- Alcohol and other beverages and eatables
- Laundry or room service
- Personal expense
- Day 1- Pick up from the Kona Airport in a car. As the days are very few hence on the day 1 itself, many places at Kona has to be covered. On 1 day, the traveller can explore the Kona village, James Cook Monument and Honaunau Bay (one of the best beaches in America). Stay at this place till sunset. Then the tourists will be taken to Volcano Village and will be accommodated in a vacation rental (type of accommodation) near the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
- Day 2- Get up early and visit the national park. The entire day can be spending at this place in exploring the lava tubes, sulphur banks and volcanoes. The island has many picturesque roads. Then the tourists are taken to the Island Hilo. In between, Lava tree state park will be visited. The tourist can also enjoy the Lava viewing at this island. This will be most memorable and thrilling experience for the tourists.
- Day 3- Start the day with breakfast and visit Tsunami Museum and the Farmer’s market. And the tourist will be drove to the Hamakua Coast. The tourist will visit Akaka Falls State Park in between to see the most famous waterfalls of Hawaii. After visiting the waterfalls, the bus will drove to the Honoka’s Town (Famous for Galleries and antique shops). Then at last, a short drive to Waipi’o valley is must as it will provide the stunning view of the valley known as the “Valley of Kings”. Finally the tourist will reach to airport to catch the flight back to UK.
The trip starts from the Kona Airport and ends at the Waipi’o valley in Hilo.
3. Carryout the cost of the components and the package and determine the selling price.
Thomas cook has designed the 3 day tour package to a tropical destination- Hawaii. For this the company has booked the air tickets with its own Thomas Cook Airlines. The service providers in Hawaii will make all the arrangements for the tourists. The agents have booked various rental vacations (type of accommodation) in different islands (McKenna, 2006). Vacation Rental is like a private home which has all the basic amenities including kitchen, dining area, bathroom, garden etc. It has the capacity to accommodate more than 8 people in the house. The tourist sites, malls, volcano sites etc are all near by the accommodation. It takes less than 10-15 min. to reach all the tourist sites. The total cost of the package will be 200 dollars inclusive of all the facilities.
Sales price per person
Sales price per couple
Air tickets including return ticket
Sightseeing, Guide, entry tickets etc.
Other miscellaneous charges
Table: Showing the 3 days cost of the facilities included in the holiday packages
4. Design and plan a brochure and assess the suitability of alternative methods (non-traditional) of communication and promotion.
Brochures are an effective tool used for promoting and conveying the information about the company’s product and services. In tourism sector, brochures are used for promoting the holiday packages among the consumers through the online and offline method. The planning decisions will be taken to develop the brochures for the Thomas cook holiday packages. Proper planning, research, staffing, directing, arrangement all the resources etc. are required to design a perfect brochure for the Thomas cook travel company. The brochures are the cost and time effective method of promotion. It has a vast reach. The planning process and decisions are mentioned below:
- Recognising the prime issue:Various issues like target market, time scale, aim of the brochure, its format etc, are the main issues which must be planned in order to design and develop the brochures.
- Target market/ budget: The target market or event must be decided by the Thomas cook so that the further planning can be done according to the needs and lifestyle of the target group/customer. Since budget is the main factor hence the income and purchasing power of the target audience must be pre identified.
- Format: The format of brochures must be very attractive and should match the requirement of the target audience. The tour operator has to plan the each detail while designing the brochures.
- Time period and stages of brochure designing: It is very important to plan and decide the standard time scale and the no. of stages for designing the brochures for any event or destination (Haber and Reichel, 2005)
Brochure of Thomas Cook Tour Operator
Thomas Cook Travels
A special visit to Hawaii specially designed for adults who loves beaches, wildlife and heritage sites.
Economic prices and incomparable enriching experience with the adventure and thrill of wildlife safaris, lava viewing and lots more.
What to expect when you stay with us:
Select your kind of Hotel
Thomas Cook has reserved some of the best accommodations for its customers to provide the best comfort.
Thomas Cook Airlines
Thomas Cook books air tickets with its own airlines to provide the best comfort for its customers. It offers various facilities like:
All these facilities are available to customers travelling from Thomas cook airlines.
Welcome to Hawaii
Thomas Cook provides the memorable experience to its clients visiting the Hawaii. It is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Hawaii is surrounded by various islands like Kona Island, the Big Island, Hilo Island, Hamakua Coast and many others.
Tourist Destinations in Hawaii
These are all the famous tourist destinations in Hawaii. All theses destinations are covered in the holiday packages. The tourists can visit theses sites according to the packages selected by them.
Important features of the Packages:
Total cost of the packages:
The cost varies from packages to packages. Thomas Cook offers holiday’s packages from 2 days to 11 days. The cost depends upon the no. of days selected by the client. As per the above itinerary, the cost of the 3 day package is around 1800 dollars for 2 adult persons.
In this section, the traditional and alternative brochures for the Thomas Cook Cruise and Air tours operators will be discussed. The traditional methods have been very useful in transferring and promoting the company’s image, services, products etc. among the travellers. With the technological up gradation in the present times, the tour operators have also opted for the alternate mediums. The alternative methods or brochures like e-brochures are being used by the tour operators to attract the large no. of people.
The e-brochure or online brochure has various advantages than the traditional brochures like it has a wide reach; it is cost effective and time saving as compared to traditional brochures. The traditional brochures required lots of physical activity, large amount of funds for printing and distribution, and involved lots of time whereas, the e-brochures are cost and time effective and do not require physical labour. The cost of designing and promoting an e-brochure is less than printing a physical or paper brochure.
The e-brochures have visual presentation which is an added advantage as the visual beauty of a tourist destination attracts large no. of people. It helps in increasing the sale of tour packages of different tour operators. Along with the pictures, the video of the destination can also be used for promoting the travel destination. The videos can be incorporated in the e-brochures and could be promoted on line through the social media websites like Twitter, Face book, you tube etc.
The Thomas cook and Air tours must design an e-brochure for their websites where the pictures, videos and useful information system about the different travel destinations could be included and promoted on line. The e-brochures could be integrated with the other online marketing campaigns to effectively convey the information to the target customers (Davies, 1981).
5. Evaluate and discuss the non-traditional methods of distribution that can be used to sell holiday packages.
Brochures have always been an effective mode of promotion and selling the tour packages of different tour operators. However with the changes in the business environment, technology and preferences of the consumers etc. has led to various changes in the designing pattern of brochures. In the present scenario, the design has become technology oriented. The brochures are designed and developed online. There are various non-traditional modes of distributing the brochures and selling the holiday packages. These methods are online marketing, direct sales and telephonic sales etc.
Agent based booking or Face to face sales: The Thomas Cook sells its packages through this method of sales. They have various travel agencies where the consumers can directly contact the agent and make a booking to the desired destination and resolve the queries face to face. The sales depend upon the communication and convincing skills of the travel agent. Telephonic sales: When the company gets online queries regarding the travel destinations or packages, the agents calls the consumer and resolves their queries. The consumers can make booking through telephones also.
Direct sales through online marketing: Direct sales of tour packages are associated with online marketing management. The interested consumer can access the online brochures and makes the necessary enquiries. The direct sales are associated with online source. The interested consumers can directly book the desired travel destination online. The sale through this method depends upon the audio-visual representation of the destination. After analysing the different methods of selling a holiday package through the distribution of brochures, the direct selling through online is the most effective method as it has a widest reach, cost effective and time saving method (Medlik, 2003).
1. Using the findings from task 1 in assignment 1, analyse the emerging trends in the UK tour operations sector and evaluate how the various tour operators (competitors) responded
The emerging trends in tourism sector which were discussed in task 1have made the travel and tourism sector and its activities very sensitive. They need to provide comprehensive services to all the customers. The tour operators have adopted various strategies to provide fast and quality services to its global clients. The tour operators carry out the intensive research of the market and clients in order to gain all the necessary information their preferences and tastes. Tour operators have to take various strategic decisions to successfully operate its activities. Various strategic plans are prepared by the tour operators including the price efficiency strategy, competitive strategy and customer segmentation or target market strategy. These strategic plans decide the future status of the organization. The strategies adopted by the various tour operators are mentioned below:
- Discount Pricing Strategy: pricing is the most important factor for the tour operators. The tour operators can provide the maximum discount to its clients by adopting the fixed price strategy. This strategy will attract the clients and provides the competitive edge to the tour operators.
- Segmentation and targeting: The market is divided into various segments like adults, couples, women travellers, family, corporate groups etc. The next step is to target the customers or client group according to the company’s objectives or aims. This strategy is very useful as with the help of targeting the customers, the tour operators can focus all their activities and planning on the targeted group or client. This strategy will provide the specialized edge to the tour operator in the travel market. Strategies regarding the services, prices, place/destinations, etc must also be decided to carry out the decided plan.
- Seasonal aspect: Before finalising the prices of the holiday packages, the seasonal aspects are also considered. During the peak season (When the tourists’ inflow is at peak or maximum) the prices are higher and during the off season, the prices are kept lower in order to attract the consumers.
- Competitive pricing strategy: The tour operators must also consider the prices offered by the competitors. The tour operators must always try to provide the better services at a competitive price or price lower than the competitors. The pricing is the main factor which attracts the clients. The great service experience at reasonable price will not only attract the consumers in large no. but will also develop the loyal client base.
- Promotional strategy: The promotion is equally an important factor which must be considered by the tour operators. It is very important to successfully promote the services or brand name among the consumers/travellers in the market. Without promotion, even the excellent tour operators won’t be able to achieve success. Hence, in order to have a large market share, the tour operators need to develop the creative and innovative promotional strategies (Buhalis and Law, 2008).
2. Briefly examine the differences between tactical and strategic decisions and identify and compare some of the tactical decisions that could have taken by your chosen tour operator.
Breakdown: The Difference between Strategy and Tactics
To identify broader goals that helps the organization in getting recognized, famous and highly profitable.
To fulfil the sub- objectives which are required to achieve the ultimate or final aim of the organization.
Upper level or top level management takes the strategic decisions as they are well aware about the companies’ status and condition.
Lower level managers take tactical decisions as they are responsible for the day to day operations. .
Responsible for the entire organization
Accountable for specific resources or tasks assigned.
It has a wider scope as strategic decisions are concerned with the well being of the entire organization. The whole organization depends upon the strategic decisions.
These are specific in terms of resources or activities. Tactic decisions focus on everyday functions or operations and it is a part of strategic decision.
Long Term as it is focused on long term objectives.
These decisions are taken to solve the short term objectives.
Accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives as a whole.
Achieving the aim for a specific activity or task or department.
The decisions taken to design, promote and sale the tour packages are termed as the tactical decisions. These are very important to ensure the effective operations of a tour operator. Some of the important tactical decisions taken by the tour operators like Thomas Cook are: negotiating prices with the suppliers, arranging the accommodation and binding various suppliers for the smooth functioning of the entire process of providing the memorable and comfortable experience to the travellers.
One of the most important tactical decisions to be taken by the tour operators is to maintain the relationship with the several suppliers/service providers. The personal selling and corporate selling tools must be adopted by the tour operators to deal with the suppliers.
Understanding the customers experience is the next most important tactical decision. In this process, the tour operators adopts various methods to collect the information about the past travel experience of various customers. These past experiences help the tour operators in understanding and eliminating their flaws & weaknesses and helps them in providing better services to the travellers in the future. Through these decisions, the tour operators are able to identify the problems and issues associated with any tour packages and solve them in the specified time limit. This will help them in satisfying the consumers need and attain a loyal and dedicated consumer base (Page and Connell, 2010).
The present report has been beneficial in providing an insight into the various aspects of different tour operators. The various aspects that were covered in the discussions were about the current trends and developments in the tourism industry, how a holiday package is planned and designed by the tour operators like Thomas cook, importance of brochures and how they are designed and various other functions. In the last segment of the report, the strategic and tactical decisions of different tour operators were identified and discussed. The above report has provided a clear picture of the tour operators and their activities.
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