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Unit 15 Resort Management Assignment - Thomas Cook
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 15 Resort Management - Thomas Cook
Resort is a place where people come to enjoy and have some recreational activities away from their routine life. The purpose of visiting can be for tourism or for vacations. Management operations at the resort are the most important aspect as this will decide the profits or the revenues of the resort. Thus good services and abiding all the laws is very essential. The present Unit 15 Resort Management Assignment Thomas Cook is about Thomas cook and its resorts namely SunConnect and SENTIDO hotels and resorts. Thomas Cook gives its customers many hotels to choose for their holidaying. They have a dedicated online customer service and they cover thousands of destinations across the globe. Being a trained travel and tourism executive with vast experience I have prepared a report on Thomas Cook and their resorts. The different operations, functions and legal aspects are discussed here.
1.1 Investigate and analyse the various functions of resort operations, including the coordination and handling of various suppliers and customer service function as well as managing the legal requirements, e.g. health and safety issues, contracts, meetinglocal laws, etc.
Thomas cooks philosophy of “Let’s Go” attracts a large number of tourists who select them as their tour operator for holidaying. They have many hotels and resorts under them and also their airlines. They design their packages which includes all the travel and accommodation. Thus attracting many customers who don’t have to look for alternative sources for accommodation and travel during their holiday. They two resorts SunConnect and SENTIDO are very famous among the tourists.
- SunConnectresorts are a perfect holiday destination with family and also to meet new people. They offer beach holidays to their customers with spacious rooms, pool facility, and many other features like wireless internet, a lounge for teens with all the digital games, a bar with varied drinks and fun activities for all age groups which make the holidays memorable and relaxing. The beach holiday provided by the SunConnect resorts is the most exciting programmes where lot of water activities are available for the customers.
- SENTIDO Hotels and Resorts is the most sought after resorts for single travellers, couples and small families. They have more than 65 hotels and two cruise lines to the most unforgettable destinations all over the world. They offer Wi-Fi in selected areas and early check in and late checkout options. They offer many programmes which are full of fun and relaxing for their customers. The ‘Body and Mind’ programme is for the people who like fun along with fitness such as Tai Chi, Yoga etc., the ‘Family and Kids’ programme offers fun activities for adults and well as kids and ‘Culture and People’ programmes where they take you across villages and markets to get to know the culture of people(Hamilton 2013).
The main functions of resort operations are to provide excellent customer service, provide all the components of a good holiday, coordinating with the suppliers of different services etc. the suppliers of services can be the transport suppliers, accommodation and other ancillary services. The transportation service suppliers should ensure all the facilities required for taking the customers to the destination, provide the customers information about the scheduled time, handling of their luggage, in flight services, airports for arrival and departure etc. Thomas cook has their own airline services which they provide to their customers. The accommodation to their customers should be based on their requirement i.e. whether they need a single /double bedroom, air conditioning etc. Thomas cook communicates all the information of their customers to their agents with who they sign agreements. The agents support them with their good customer care services and also promote the tour operator. The legal requirements have to be fulfilled by tour operators such as the Health and safety act 1974 according to which the safety of employees has to be considered by getting into an agreement, contract has to be signed with employees with respect to their working hours i.e. full time or part time, abiding the local laws and following the data protection act in which all the information available at the resorts about the customers is strictly confidential and should not be provided to third party (Gee, 2011).
2.1 Discuss the importance of effective quality systems in resort operations and discuss how resorts usually apply and monitor quality procedures in managing conflicts and the legal issues.
Maintaining effective quality systems in resort operations is very important. The objectives and targets should be very clear such as analysis of the business, costing and setting prices for the packages, the revenue that will be collected, the profit and the cash flow. Thomas cook resorts provide many tangible and intangible services to their customers. The way they perform these services is very important. The appearance of the staff should be appealing; they should be well dressed with a good hairstyle. Names and designation badges should be displayed on their uniform. The language used by the staff should be warm and understandable. Professional etiquettes should be maintained and they should take up the responsibility of the job they are assigned and provide the customers with the relevant information. Quality management systems also include many training operations that are provided to the staff. They are trained to handle all the different situations which may arise. People who specialise in resort management are appointed by the resort to manage its operations (Schwartz, Tapper and Font, 2008). A front office manager is appointed to handle the queries of the customers and a house keeping person takes care of all the customer requirements. Thomas cook provides 24/7 customer service to their customers and maintains healthy relations with them. Staff of Thomas cook is considered as their representatives thus good training provided to them will ensure good services. They should be welcoming and be able to provide customers information about all the local tourist destinations. A good relationship with the travel agents is also important. An agreement with them is essential and the agents in turn provide services and promote Thomas. The staffs at Thomas cook also abides by all the legal proceedings. Discrimination is avoided based on age, sex, caste and religion in accordance to Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. Contract has to be signed between tour operators and other parties who provide services so that there are no legal issues arising. The facilities that are present in the package have to be made very clear to the customers in accordance to Package Tours and Package Holidays Regulations to avoid legal complications late. The data provided by the customers to the resort should be maintained as confidential and not revealed to any third party.
2.2. Analyse how implementing an effective quality systems and procedures by your organisation (tour operator) produced results and impacted on the operation of the resort.
When all the quality systems of the resort are followed properly it will always result in an overall benefit to the tour operator and in this case, Thomas Cook. Its resorts SunConnect and SENTIDO are widely appreciated for the quality of services they provide to their customers making them come back again and again. Healthy relationship with their customers is also very essential. Their complaints should always be taken positively as it will help the resort to improve their services. The staffs of the resorts are their most valuable resources and when they perform well, the resort does well. The manager of the resort is the connecting link between the customer and the resort operation. Tourism always brings with is some positive and negative aspects. During a conflict, Thomas cook revolves it efficiently. This can be seen in some of the cases discussed below. Sometimes, it may so happen that the resort may be over booked and when a customer arrives with his booking documents, due to miscommunication, no room may be available for him. In such situations, SunConnect resorts arranges for alternate accommodation to the customers which is of the same quality as SunConnect or higher quality. They do not charge any extra amount for such adjustments. In situations where the facilities mentioned in the tour package are not provided to the customers, then SENTIDO hotels refund the amount to the customers or adjust it by providing accommodation in any of the other resorts of Thomas Cook(Goh, Brown and Spickett, 2010). In some situations, the customer may fall sick due to bad quality of food leading to food poisoning. It is the responsibility of SunConnect resort to provide the customers with proper medication and ensure them the best health. By providing these services, the customers get satisfied and the revenue increases. Thomas cook also provides 24/7 services to their customers at their resorts. Their queries will be answered and all the services like food water will be provided on time. Thus all these operations will lead to customer satisfaction.
3.1. Analyse a range of incidents that affect the resort environment and evaluate the procedures to be implemented by a tour operator to deal with different force majeure situations in the resort.
Holidaying is relaxing from the routine day activities and enjoying the beauty of different places. People prefer all in one luxury resorts so that all the fun activities as well as leisure time is available under one roof. But some unexpected incident may occur that may hinder the holidaying spirit. Such incident should be managed by the resort staff efficiently. The management of the resort should be well prepared for any kind of incident that may occur. Proper planning is very essential in such circumstances. The staffs of Thomas Cook resorts are well trained about the incident that may occur and how to handle them. First aid, contact numbers of doctors etc are kept handy so that the situation does not go out of hand. Supporting and managing the customers so that they do not panic is also important. Controlling and stopping incidents such as natural incidents, transport incidents, medical incidents, political problems etc. are not in the hands of the Thomas cook management (Brey, 2010).Some of the incidents that affect SunConnect resorts and SENTIDO resorts are as discussed below.
- Natural incidents: these incidents cannot be controlled by anybody and can be witness anywhere and anytime such as hurricanes, tropical storms, avalanches, floods and huge tidal waves and volcanic eruptions. In the year 2011 rainstorms had hit Greece and Turkey and hurricane had devastated the entire Mexico. Two resorts of SENTIDO located in Greece and Turkey and a single resort of SunConnect located at Turkey had incurred many damages. Their resorts were completely in water destroying large portions of their property. In such situations, the management has to be ready to shift their customers at a safe place and with the information collected at the time of checking into the resort, their relatives have to be informed about the calamity.
- Transport incidents: incidents such as crashes, hijacks, use of unsafe vehicles, problems related to aviation, railway safety problem etc. need to be considered by the resort management. These incidents can be very harmful to the people but can be prevented by taken proper safety measures. One such measure is to provide the customers with travel insurance. Thomas cook has its own airline facility which it provides to the customers along with the package. The crew members of the airlines are well trained to handle any problems which occur. They also provide other transport facilities after thoroughly checking the safety of the customers (Gill and Williams 2014).
- Medical incidents: these incidents can be food poisoning, cholera, malaria or Legionnaire's disease. Due to change in the business environment conditions and the food, some people may not be able to adjust. Thomas cook being a popular tour operator take utmost care in the quality of food provided to their customers. Hygiene is also maintained at the resorts so that insects and mosquitoes are not found. They have an emergency medical kit with them to treat their customers whenever needed.
- Political problems: wars, disputes, riots and terrorism are included in this. In 1991, Gulf war took place due to which many tourists did not prefer to visit Turkey as it was considered to be unsafe. SENTIDO and SunConnect businesses were greatly affected by this. They had to immediately make arrangements for the safety for their customers.
3.2. Discuss how the procedures to be implemented in dealing with incidents comply with guidelines of trade associations and government bodies.
Resort management involves both the trade associations and government bodies when it comes to management of incidents that take place. Many laws and rules and regulations have been framed by these organizations which have to be strictly followed by all tour operators and Thomas cook ensures that it abides by them. The procedures they follow have to be intimidated to thee associations. Thomas cook and its two resorts SunConnect and SENTIDO maintain healthy relations with them. At the time of any incident which occur (Dawson and Scott, 2013). The Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) takes actions such as contacting the customers, refunding back the amount spent on the tour or re booking their resorts if it is acceptable by the customers and making arrangements for the customers to return to their homes. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also plays an important role during unpredicted incidents such as providing the information to family members, giving emergency contact details to the relatives and they will also advice the tourist about the safety of the tour. They have well trained staff to handle such situations. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) also provides psychological treatment to the people in the incident; provide 24*7 customer services when any such incidents take place. The Duty Office is the main connecting link between the resorts and UK. During incidents it informs the necessary people concerned and takes safety actions. It arranges for alternative accommodation, travel airlines, medical assistance and food for the people. Therefore, the tour operators should be well prepared to face all the above listed incidents and should train their staff for crisis management. Thomas cook pays serious attention to this and has strong and healthy relationship with the local authorities and the government bodies. Customers are an important stakeholder for Thomas and hence they connect with their customers through regular SMSs or emails to keep them updated about their tours and all the safety measures taken by them to win the trust of their customers. SunConnect and SENTIDO maintain incident management teams, and HR team for psychological assistance to their customers, a site response team who informs the local authorities and Foreign office and an emergency team (Batat and Frochot, 2013).
Different aspects of resort operations and functions are discussed in the case study. Having several years of experience in the travel and tourism sector, I can say that the strategies and management activities followed at Thomas cook are the best in the class. Both SunConnect and SANTIDO resorts provide world class facilities to their customers. They provide the customers with many fun activities and also follow all the legal procedures. Managing of incidents is done well by them because they provide their staff with extensive training to handle difficult situations which may arise.
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