Tour operations have become the forefront of travel and tourism industry. There are various organizations that are providing the variety of holiday packages where visitors are privileged with the travel plan and also the firms are selling effectively as per the demand of clients. The function of tour operators is to seek the new traveling destinations and provide experience of holidays to customers to meet their changing demand and expectations (Guzzo and do Nascimento, 2013). Service providers have tie-ups with the hoteliers, taxi-hires, airlines etc. to add with their traveling packages. In this report, the investigation has been made by underpinning different types of tour operators of UK namely, Thomas Cook, TUI Plc, Thomson, Red Sea Holidays, Olympic Holidays etc. who are majorly catering the needs of travelers by working as the most famous and well known tour operator in UK. With the help of stages of creating holidays and skills for determining the selling price, use of relevant information has been made. The role played by brochure is reviewed with the new methods of promoting holidays.
Analyzing the effects of current trends and developments on the tour operator’s industry
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), tourism is considered as one of the major sources for fostering nation's economy. It has been analyzed that the travel and tourism sector in UK contribute 4% of the standard growth rate. It has been so effective because of major tour operator’s organizations that are playing the role of providing best packages for facilitating travelers with the comfortable and cost effective traveling (Yilmaz and Bititci, 2006). As suggested by European Union Package Travel Regulation (PTR), a tour package is inclusive of two or more travel constituents such as, a hotel and car hire or a flight and a hotel.
In this dynamic environment of tourism industry, various operators of UK have been attributed as the best suitable players who play safe in intense competition with the mergers and acquisitions. Recently, with the rising supply of 'no-frills' flights, development in advanced technology, use of internet and satisfying the traveler’s experience leads to successful travel. Following are the types of tour operators which are stated as follows:
- Outbound Operators: The visiting of travelers from one nation to another in international boundaries is refers to as outbound traveling. It is advantageous for UK as with high exchange rate for pound, the UK is advantageous with this mode of operators.
- Inbound Operators: This is an incoming source of tour operators where visitors came from another nation to visit home nation. UK earns money from the inbound operators (Mehmetoglu, 2004).
- Domestic Operators: It is when resident of home country visit places in their own country for tourism. It has been revealed that, in UK very small share is acquired from this type of operations.
- Direct Sell Operators: They are the one who deal their traveling package to tour agents.
In UK, Thomas Cook Group is the well known and old name in travel industry. It had commenced as an international organization in 1841 and now positioned itself as the world’s best known companies with respect to travel and tourism industry (Hall and Gossling, 2012). In relation to the ownership element of this British travel company, major shares are held by German mail order and minor by My Travel Group. This organization is working by providing the products and services with tour operators namely Charter airlines of UK, Belgium and Scandinavia. Hotels4u and Condor (airlines). In terms of environmental awareness, it provides sustainable tourism all throughout the year and thus, its tourism rate always remain same. It has both negative as well as positive benefits in UK economy (Buhalis and Crotts, 2013). By providing traveling facility, it allows its citizens to invest in the food, drink, entertainment and thus, causing negative effect in UK's economy. As a positive growth, it provides employment and thus, as per the current trend, re-spent and money cycle moves on.
Assessing the stages and timescale in developing holidays
The term 'package holidays' is defined as the combination two or more segments of a holiday. This is inclusive of accommodation, transport and other additional services such as providing sight visit etc. With the growth and development in online services provided, the role of intermediaries has been greatly reduced. Websites such as lastminiutes.com, expedia.com etc. offer services directly. Following stages have been assessed with the time scale in creating holidays:
According to the given scenario, educational tour for the students to Europe has to be planned. This is the first stage where the researcher is required to undertake the evaluation of current market trends. The existing products and services selection as per the package and demand of students and the family members who will come with them has to be determined (Kunkel, 2010). Europe and its visiting locations need to be examined in terms of whether, cost, recent trends etc.
Planning and scheduling
In this next stage, preparation of creation of several things such as holiday package is planned. As per the given scenario, 7 days summer vacation holidays have been planned and accordingly, the scheduling has to be made. Therefore, areas such as capacity planning where the number of travelers, aircraft seats to be booked, accommodation in hotel of Europe has to be made by keeping in mind the financial planning of cost which as per scenario is £350 per student and 40% extra for family member has to be provided.
The vital stage where arrangement in respect of administration feasibility has to be determine. There is need to plan in advance the reservation system, resort based booking and initial booking as well.
This is the stage which is inclusive of allocation, commitment, ad hoc, time series charters, split charters, ad hoc catering schedule services using air brokers, etc. It is significant to ensure the safety of travelers (Hall and Page, 2006).
Costing the holidays is primarily taken care. At the time of full season, a variety of activities occur which are inclusive of holiday management, customer care etc. The cost needs to be evaluated on certain basis such as fixed and variable, direct and indirect, load factors, mark ups, profit margins, seasonal flexing, competitive pricing, skimming, special offers, discounting strategies, currency exchange.
In this last stage, the planning for tour days to Europe has to be made. As per scenario, it is given that it will be 7 days educational trip. And therefore, planning from moving till the visit to Europe and its final back to pavilion would be planned and executed.
Evaluating suitability of different methods of contracting and types of tour operator
The evaluation of the various methods of contracting has been made to analyze the suitability of the package which has been planned for the students and their family members. Europe has been chosen as a place of visit for them and accordingly the planning of time, distance and cost is made (Farmaki, 2013). Following are the methods stated which the college conducting educational trip Europe can select:
This is a type of contracting where the companies give an assurance of volume based utilization to maximize the revenue collection. All the specification are made by the tour operators as per the demand of the customer. Here, the college management can give the specification to them about their short trip with all the demands for traveling and stay at Europe.
Sale only contract
This is another type of contract where the niche consumer segment is designed as a highly expensive tour plan. Such plans are made at the time of lean session in an order to reduce the risk that arises from the response for package designed by them.
The holiday packages are designed and structured by the tour operators with an intention to reduce the work of visitor in engaging in planning (Aktas, Aksu and çizel, 2003). The central idea behind providing the complete package lies in serving the facility to consumers for depending on all the things at one single place. Based on the four types of Tour operators discussed above namely, outbound, Inbound, Domestic and Direct Sell Operators, the selection is made by following two options which would be beneficial for better tour plan selection by College.
With the advance technology, the selection can be made using tour operation from the websites. It is effective as it is the direct deal which the college management can made with the tour operators. However, there are certain ways such as ineffective information, lack of Prince which may affect the traveling.
There are various types of holiday packages available in the UK. It is based on the type of tour operators such as domestic, inbound, outbound, direct sell etc. In an order to make the traveling for 7 days more relaxing and effective, College can make use of anyone from among four big traveling organizations of UK namely, Thomson, First Choice, MyTravel, and Thomas cook (Damonte, Collins and Megehee, 2013). They are responsible for all the functions and arrangements of the traveling. It would be better from the side of college and students in respect of overall management of making trip successful.
Evaluating the planning decisions for designing brochures
The evaluation of the planning decision for the brochures has been made with respect to the traveling trip which is based on educational trip to Europe. As per travel and tourism industry, brochure is defined as a method which carries information and is inclusive of selling of goods and services for holiday packages. As per this trip, the selection of own package has been made. It is an educational tour package for the students to Europe. It is planned for seven days and maximum charge for each student is £350. The design which is planned for current package is inclusive of proper planning, research, implementation and organizing the things properly for the overall tourism process (Voxted, 2011). The plan is inclusive of several facilities such as accommodation, transport, breakfast and dinner. In addition, any family members is brought about, 40% additional price will be charged. Children below 6 months will have free travel. Following are the steps made for designing the brochure of the current trip to Europe stated as follows:
Identification of planning issue
While making the plan for designing the project, various issues have been identified. They are related to aim of brochure, its target ares, timescale which are required to make the design attractive (Hjalager, 2001).
In this step, the work is made upon, enhancing the attractiveness and visibility of the brochure (Buda and McIntosh, 2013). UKCBC is working for providing best of trip and tours with the large segments to design the format of tour.
Target market and Budget
There is need to consider the area in niche market where the mass dimension is selected by tour operators (Mehmetoglu, 2004). Budget is the most important factor which is required to be properly planned. UKCBC is putting an effort to employ various market research activities to assess about the spending power of clients.
Timescale and the stages involved in the brochure design
There is requirement of designing the complete brochure as per direction to be executed (Barron, Leask and Fyall, 2014). It is essential to underpin all the stages which are required to be taken making effective planning decision. The central ideas behind the same are to make the design of brochure attractive and purposeful.
Kind of brochure preferable for UKCBC Tour Operator
In an order to serve the best of experience to the visitors of UKCBC, E-brochure is the most preferable kind of tour operator system. In this method, video cassette is played which provide the information regarding the trip and visitors. The emphasis has been given on the design of the brochure in order to attract the customers. More and more number of photographs was added to it so that people were appealed in the best way possible. The quality, design and color have been given highly preference. The significance of brochure was enriched through the layout and contents provided in it. It covers the information regarding all the places subscribed under it. The contents have been included to provide the best of the possible use for the visitors. It has been made with effective consideration of all the UK laws and legislation. The distribution of the brochure was made at all the significant places of the UK such as airport, restaurants, etc. The factor such as timing distribution should be effectively mentioned in the brochure. The focus has been given on providing the best of information more through pictures than the content. It should be more appealing rather content based aspects.
Assessing the suitability of types of tour operators
Different types of tour operators followed different traditional methods for their brochures planning. Similar is the case with the major tour operators such as Thomas Cook and TUI Plc etc who since their foundation uses traditional brochures methods. With the advance technology and change in market trends, it has been analyzed that selection of tour operators for making the trip successful by the customers also takes brochure into consideration. It is very important to undertake several new, innovative and creative ways to switch for brochure (Nickson, 2008). The central idea behind the same is that the improved and latest quality of brochure is useful and is an important medium for conveying information with respect to the products and services of the respective tour operators.
Traditionally, the brochures are handled manually and are in the form of hard copy. With the modernization, an efficient method has been developed and now in this present age, an alternative works in place of traditional brochure. It is E-brochure which is a latest mean for customers. This is an online brochure design which is more effective and efficient than manual or physical brochure. Thomas Cook would be more beneficial if the E-brochure method can be utilized for serving its clients or visitors. The advantage for using this online method would support cost effective way. Another advantage of developing this E-brochure method is that the process of its design includes less cost and in contrary gives major benefit and impact widely to the large mass of people. This is also the way to work in support to enhance the sales of the various products and services offerings of the tour operators company. In similar fashion, there is video brochure available where the user friendly or social sites such as Facebook, YouTube are used to meet the purpose of promotion. This is a way by which customers can themselves have a short trip on their own by visiting the tour operators websites.
It is recommendable to the Tour Operators such as Thomas Cook to understand the advantage of E-brochure in an order to ripen the benefit of more customer’s attraction and ways to enhance their sales. It is suggestible that Thomas Cook makes use of integrated approach where the all there sources namely, E-brochure, video and online marketing can be combined to design its E-brochure (Mehmetoglu, 2004). These are small acts or actions which act as an effective tools to support customers in utilizing resources for promotion a with proper resources utilization.
Evaluating suitability of distribution methods for different types of tour operators
The evaluation of suitability of different distribution methods for different types of tour operators has been provided. As per current recommended E-brochure design for the proposed package will be available for the students and their family members a well. It carries a background to evaluate that these are the ways where the alternatives for the consumers with the growing market trends has been analyzed. This is a method which would be more effective in terms of cost and benefits than the various tour operators organizations.
Tour operations management has been very significant as carrying out the effective distribution method helps to define proper way for growth of organization. Since the foundation of these tour and travel organization such as Thomas Cook, TUI Plc etc brochure proved to be effective method for selling the packages. With its growing advantage and benefit, understanding has been developed that design of these brochures are significant as in this advance world, high technology use should be more better for organizations. However, to facilitate the trip to Europe, own package would be more beneficial as it is cost effective for the students. The advantage of taking the family member of friends is also there. Moreover, it is inclusive of all the services that are equivalent to the other tour operators exist in UK. There is an advantage of this package that as is effective in many ways.
Strategic decisions by different types of tour operators
In order to gain market opportunity and better compete with other tour operators in UK in the marketplace, it is essential to develop strategic plans and applied them in their day to day activities. New plan can be developed through considering different activities including competitive strategy, adopting of price efficiency and selection of specific consumer segment to promote products in a significant manner. These activities can be explored in a following manner.
Segmentation, targeting and positioning
By using segmentation approach, tour operator’s organisations such as Thomas Cook, TUI plc etc of UK would be able to classify its market on the basis of the demographic profiles like income, age, gender and life styles of visitors (Annual Report and Accounts, 2010). After analysing competitors core strengths, tour operate will be able to capture their consumer segment. For example, Thomas Cook is developed their strategies by considering pricing, promotion, and place factors so large amount of customers can be attracted and existing customers can be retained with the firm for long time period in an appropriate manner.
Tour operators can promote their products by creating lucrative tour packages. In this regards, proper allocation of organizational resources such as human capital, finance and other resources are required to enhance the profitability of the organization. For example, Thomas Cook is providing various discount offers in booking in different occasions like seasonal and festivals, booking in different occasions like seasonal and festival to attract visitors. This strategy helps tour operator to retain its current position and better perform as compared to other business rivals present in the marketplace. In this regards, tour operator can use attractive website and use non -traditional marketing methods so that awareness among customers can be increased (Yilmaz and Bititci, 2006).
By implementing discounting pricing strategy, tour operators of UK can attract customers through providing high discount to the customers within stipulated time so that they will retain with them for long time period. In addition, this strategy will be helpful for the company to take competitive advantage in the market effectively.
Apart from the above strategies, tour operators like Thomas Cook can develop and implement strategic policies such as joint tender for in-flight catering and balancing between quality and cost so that quality of services will be offered to their customers at reasonable price.
Comparing tactical decisions by tour operators for different situations
In order to handle day to day business activities relating to the designing and sales activities, it is essential for tour operator to take strategic decision at right time. For proper functioning of their business such as offering services to the customers regarding travel package and discount on seasonal packages, operator would be able to enhance its customer base (Farmaki, 2013). In cut throat competitive market, it is essential for the tour operators to adopt the personal and corporate selling tools to promote sales and awareness among customer. However, tour operators like Thomas cook mainly relay on traditional promotion technologies which is costly as compared and time consuming. By using modern media marketing channels, company would be able to reduce marketing cost and reach coverage in a significant manner.
There are various range of tactical decisions which are taken by the tour operators. Another in similar respect is inclusive of relationship with the stakeholder’s negation of the decision of the service providers, expansion of business, developing new and innovative packages, distribution methods etc. The organization has to care of the relationships to be maintained with the customers, stakeholder’s suppliers and most importantly with the organisations with whom the tie ups are maintained. The central idea behind the dealing with the tactical decisions is the making use of both personal and professional promotional tools that helps in giving the customers with the best of travelling experiences (Kunkel, 2010). In similar fashion, efforts can be made by the tour operator’s organisations to conduct or participate in the meeting with an objective to create and develop long term relationships. These are the classification of decision which is made to enhance the profits and maximize sales. This is also to ripen the benefit of consumer's trust and loyalty. Furthermore, the tactical decision is inclusive of undertaking tour operators companies who takes customer expectations and experience as a priority. They are useful in providing the best of services to the tour operators to gain the lifelong good experience
Travel and tourism has been the most important sector which is inclusive of various work and responsibilities. The current project provides an insight into the various aspects of the travels and tourism industry. It has been made in special context by underpinning four major tour operators of UK. The Thomas Cook which is the most lead and major tour operator has been presented as a part of the study. The efforts are made to reflect the clear understanding of recent trends in the UK travel and tourism industry. It has been presented with the various new, creative and innovative ways of handling the tourism successful. Various stages of designing an effective holiday package has been presented with the suitability of the provided resources. With the special consideration of scenario, the efforts are made by defining the different methods and components of the holidays and tour operators. It has been made with the proper calculation of the selling price as well. Brochures have been the most significant part of the overall tour package. From the entire study, it has been found that, reviewing of the brochures and its comparison with the traditional one has been highlighted. In a nutshell, it has been analyzed that appropriate activities are helpful and are benefit for finding out most suitable methods to attract visitors.
- Aktas, A, Aksu, A. and çizel, B., 2003. Tourist profile research: Antalya region example 2001. Tourism Review.
- Barron, P., Leask, A. and Fyall, A., 2014. Engaging the multi-generational workforce in tourism and hospitality. Tourism Review.
- Buda, M. D. and McIntosh, J. A., 2013. Dark tourism and voyeurism: tourist arrested for “spying” in Iran". International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research.
- Buhalis, D. and Crotts, J., 2013. Global alliances in tourism and hospitality management. Routledge.
- Damonte, T. L., Collins, D. M. and Megehee, M. C., 2013. Segmenting tourists by direct tourism expenditures at new festivals. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research.