Tour Operator Essay

Investigate the tour operations sector of the travel and tourism industry

Defining the tour operator is a far from easy process because their role, activities and form have changed dramatically from the early days when Thomas cook first organized a package trip by rail in the 1840’s. One useful approach is to identify what a tour operator does as a means of establishing their characteristics and form. In simple term a tour operators will organize, package together different elements of the tourism experience and offer a package, also known as an inclusive tour, it will normally have to include at least two elements that are offered for sale at the inclusive sale price, and will involve a stay of move that 24 hours in overnight accommodation.

These elements normally include transport, accommodation and other tourist services. The type and range of packages sold by the tourism industry can normally be divided into two types: those using the traditional charter flight and those using scheduled flight, where it is uneconomic for the tour operator to purchase charter flights.

The types of packages are often segmented according to:-

Mode of travel, such as ferry or coach holiday (typified in the UK by shearing) it may also be based on twin transport packages such as fly –drive, which are very popular with inbound tourists in the USA.

Mode of accommodation, where hotel chains become tour operators by packaging their surplus capacity to offer weekends or short breaks in business –oriented hotels, selling, rail or air transport and visits to attractions as in all inclusive package.

• Whether they are international or domestic package
• Lengths of holidays
• Distance, where the market in divided into short-haul and long-haul, over 90% of UK outbound packages are short- haul.
• Destination type

These tours may be organized by small in depend tour operators, who specialize in certain segments (for example: youth operators, such as PGL in the UK) larger operators such as TUI, which have trans-European; or global operation such as my travel group. in addition, there are over 300 tour operators who organize the itineraries, activities and 8logistics of inbound visitors to countries such as UK and who are represented by their trade organization – the British Incoming Tour Operators Association (BITOA).

Tour operators have the ability to purchase services and elements of the tourism experience from other principals or suppliers at significant discounts by buying in bulk. They fulfill a major role in the tourism sector. As they allow the different tourism sector to sell their capacity in advance – often a long time in advance as contracts are drawn up a yrs prior to tourists using accommodation or services.

Tour operators have traditionally been the “builder” of holidays. Quite simply the tour operator buys the components of a holidays – flights, accommodation and transfer – and puts them together as package so a typical package holidays, such as tow weeks at Mediterranean resort with full-board and transfer would consists of a flight, accommodation, meals and airport transfers. Because these components can be bought in bulk , the tour operators can usually provide the holiday cheaper than if the customers bought and arranged each component of the holidays separately. The tour operators are often referred to as a wholesaler of holidays, selling products through retailers, who is the travel agents. The suppliers of transports, accommodation and other components of the holidays are referred to as principals.

As the UK tourism industry developed through the second half of the twentieth century. Tour operators become successful in providing an ever-increasing range of package holidays to leisure tourists. They were able to produce brochure showing destination and accommodation options, with prices for the holiday’s shown customers would go their high street travel agent to collect brochures from different operators featuring the holiday’s area they wanted to visit. When a choice had been made the tourists returned to the travel agent to make a booking. The travel agent would receive payment form the tour operator, called a commission in return for making the booking and recommending the holidays.

Although this relationship between travel agents and tour operators still exists today, a great deal has changed in the last ten yrs as more and more tourists are able to contact both the tour operators and principals directly using the internet. At the same time, the major holiday companions have changed the way they operate and are able to sell more of their holidays directly to the publics without using travel agents. Some tour operators have become travel agent as well.

Types of tour operator

With in UK, there are some 600 organization working as tour operators. These can be grouped into one of the following categories.

• Mass –market tour operators
• Specialist tour operators
• Domestic tour operators
• In-bound tour operators

Mass market tour operators

These operators specialize in selling high volumes of holidays, mainly to traditional short-haul coastal destinations. However, in recent years more package holiday to long- haul destinations have been sold through mass market operators. These companies include some of the most familiar names in the travel industry including Thomson (tui), my travel, Thomas cook and First Choice holidays.

These so-called ‘big four’ provided holiday and flights for nearly 12 million people in 2005. However the companies have been finding it increasingly difficult to sell package holidays as more people find it more convenient to make the independent arrangements through making use of the internet. In the second half of 2007 mergers between Thomas cook and My Travel, and Thomson with first choice holiday, took place. Form now on, the ‘big two’ – TUI UK/ Thomson and Thomas Cook will be better placed to compete with other travel organizations mass market tour operators may employ “reps” who are based in larger hotels in popular resorts to provide support to their customers.

Specialist Operators

As their name suggests, specialist tour operators specialize in particular types of holiday, rather than providing mass-market products. Very often a specialist tour operator will provide holidays to a specific country or offer adventure tours to a region such as the Amazon or South East Asia. The company will be able to provide in –depth knowledge about the area in which they operate, unlike the mass-market operators. These specialist companies are becoming more popular as customers look for a more individual type of experience rather than a mass market product.

Domestic tour operators

Domestic tour operators provide package holidays which take place within UK. One of the leading providers is WA Shearing ( a meager between two coach holiday companies , Wallace Arnold and sheerings). This type of holiday is more favored by older holiday maker who enjoy the companion ship of the coach journey to regions of the UK they may not have visited before.

Inbound Tour Operators

It should be remembered that in global terms, the UK is an important tourism market many people living in countries throughout the world hope to be able to visit the UK at some point in their life. Each day, travel agents in different countries sell package tour holidays to the UK.

Independent travelers also book flights and accommodation to allow them to visit this country. A large no. of these tour are based on the Heritage, Gardens and Castles found throughout the UK while London remains one of the prime destinations for inbound holiday market from around the world. These are over 200 inbound tour operators providing a range of holiday’s options for overseas visitors coming to the UK.

Task 2 :Explore the stages involved in developing packages

Planning for the introduction of a new tour programmed or destination is likely to take place over a lengthy span time, sometimes as long as two years.

In planning deadlines for the programmed, it is necessary to work backwards from the planned launch dates. One critical problem is when to determine price. These have to be established at the last minute before material goes to printing, but inevitably this will be several months before the tour programmed starts. This is situation which could be considerably eased by Britain’s entry into the European common currency, should that take place within the new few years.

Market research

The decision to exploit a destination or region for package tours in as much an act of faith as the out come of carefully considered research. Forecasting future development in tourism, which as a product is affected by changing circumstances to a greater extent than most other consumer products, has proved to be notably inaccurate. Tourist patterns change over time, with a shift from one country to another and from one form of accommodation to another. With the emphasis on price the mass tour operator’s principal concern is to provide the basic sun, sea and sand package in countries that provide the best value for money. Transport costs will depend upon charter rights into the country, distance flown and ground handling costs. They will also be affected by the relative demand for, and supply of, aircraft in any given year.

Accommodation and other costs to be met overseas will be the outcome of exchange rates against sterling, and operators must consider these vis-à-vis other competitive countries’ currency values when considering how many clients they can anticipate traveling to any one destination. Operators also have to take into account such qualitative issues as the political stability of the destination, the support given to developing tourism to the destination, the support given to developing tourism to the destination by the carriers, or tourist office, of the country, and the relationship between the host and destination countries. Increasingly, the effect upon the environment of such new development must be considered, and how this can effectively manage by the operators, the hotels they work with and the local authorities.

Once the tour operators have narrowed the choice to two or three potential destinations, they must produce a realistic appraisal of the likely demand to these destinations, based on factors such as the number of tourists the destinations presently attract, growth rates over recent years, and present shares held by competing companies. The mass- market operators are unlikely to be looking at a single years programmed-any commitment to a destination is likely to be for a substantial period of time, unlike the specialist operators, which may be more flexible in switching destinations according to changing demand. Mass market operators will be considering long-term contracts with their hoteliers abroad, or even establishing their own hotels.

The process of negotiating

Once the decisions have been made as to destinations to be served and numbers of passengers to be carried during the season, and dates of departure have established, the serious negotiations can get under way with airlines, hotels and other principals, leading to formal contracts. These contracts will spell out the condition for the release of unsold accommodation or aircraft seats, or the cancellations of chartered aircraft flights, with any pen

Task 3 : Review the role of brochures and methods of distribution used to sell package Holidays

Traditionally the printed holiday brochure has been the tour operator’s most powerful marketing tool, since the intangible nature of tourism makes it imperative that the potential customer can read about what they may want to purchase. This has been accompanied by online brochures, websites and virtual tours of destinations, making the places accessible to potential visitors. It is not uncommon for up to 50 % of tour operator’s marketing budgets to be spent on brochure production although web based materials have now become a key elements of investment. This has to be viewed in the wider context of planning, organizing and implementing a tour programmed. The tour operator has to undertake a series of stages of work including:

• Research planning
• Negotiation with suppliers
• Administration
• Marketing

With the exception of the initial research stage, the holiday brochure is an integral part of the planning and marketing process.

Front cover Spine Introduction Resort pages Term & conditions Contract forms Rear cover Logo Key information to attract interest Introduction to company and outline of destination Illustration of each destination attraction and details of each hotel Illustration of company and other brochures Branding Quality statement Prices and departure grids Imagery to attract intended clients Images indicated type of holidays or destination featured.

The printed holidays brochure currently in vogues among tour operators has evolved form its moderns- day predecessor, introduced in 1953 by Thomas cook, it adopted a similar format to that of women’s magazines reflecting the important roles has gradually changed to its present one of holiday catalogue.

Holiday brochures distributed through travel agents seek to achieve a number of objectives.

To obtain sales
To provide information to assist in decisions- making by purchasing in relation to the destination, product offering bringing, prices and ancillary services. To afford cost effective distribution for the tour operators, by having an attraction cover, being permanently racked in travel agents and generating business among agents. To provide on effective tool to allow agents to sell holiday with detailed products/ booking codes. To allow a contract to be agreed between the tour operators and customers, providing information’s and procedure for changing the booking, complaints, refunds , the details of the products purchased, the clients detailed and the insurances premium paid.

In the case of direct mail, the brochure seeks to fill some of the objectives about, but places more emphasis on the customers to decided on the product offering. It also seeks to appeal to the market segment it is targeted at and needs to be easy to use.

A brochure will typically comprise the elements embodied and involve a complex process of design including

Identifying the market audience and product
Utilizing an appropriate company brand.
Designing a mock-up, using the computer, with illustration and professional photographs of the hotels, destination, products offering and services. Using a desktop publishing system that will help with brochure layout and design Producing a proof, this is checked so that inaccuracies can be identified and rectified prior to printing.

With increasing consumer regulation is most countries holiday brochures must get potential tourist to book a holiday advertising dreams or images of their ideal holiday but must also be honest, truthful and accurate. Above all they must not make false statements that can be prosecuted in many countries under trade descriptions legislation.

Task -4 :Examine strategic and tactical decision making for tour operators

A number of pricing strategies are commonly used by tour operators.
Fluid pricing
Discounting pricing
Seasonal pricing
Completive pricing
Promotional pricing

Fluid pricing

The brochure is issued a long time before the season and is printed with prices. The prices at this stage may not be a true reflection of the price that the customer will ultimately pay. Operators may prices if costs increase, or if there is a surge in demand. Also many tour operators may use the same hotel but arrive at different prices for the package.

Discounting pricing

Prices may be discounted if holidays remain unsold. By fixing contracts and therefore prices a long time ahead of the season, tour operators purchase their supplies at the cheapest prices. In order to ensure that holidays are not left unsold and that cash flow is good, tour operators must encourage early booking. When early booking are high, the tour operators knows whether there will be any excess capacity in holidays- hopefully none and takes a substantial deposit per person. Tour operators are able to use or invest this money as they do not need to pay their suppliers until the holidays are taken

Seasonal pricing
Tour operators divide the year into different seasons. First, there is a broad division into winter and summer season. In summer there are more beach holidays, and in entire ski programmes are running. A summer brochure will typically cover the period May to November, and a winter one will run from November to April. Within these periods there are peak seasons, shoulders seasons and off-peak seasons. Tour operators vary their capacity during the season but must fill the planes they have contracted. This can result in discounted prices at shoulder season. At peak season- the school holiday period of July and August in summer, and the Christmas holidays in winter –demand and therefore prices are at their highest. Tour operators have been heavily criticized for charging their highest prices in school holiday times, but they to make their profit when they can.

Competitive pricing
Mass market operators are very keen to remain competitive on price; they will often match prices offered by the competition. Sometimes more up market operators will do this as well as, so it is worth customers asking them.

Promotional pricing
Tour operators have tried various promotions linked to price over recent years, including a two –for-one offer. This was not very successful as many customers believed that the original prices had been raised to cover the offer, early booking promotions with price discounts are more credible.


Tour operators must determine how best to distribute their products and services in order to maximize sales. Traditionally, distribution is via travel agents who stock tour operators’ brochures and sell on their behalf on commission. Although this method is still common, it is now used in conjunction with internet distribution where customers can find information and even book via the tour operators’ own websites or via a travel agent’s website. When products and services are sold via the tour operators’ website or by telephone, this is known as direct sell. Some tour operators, for example Portland, only use direct methods. Most tour operators use a combination of distribution methods.


Promotion is the work of marketing personnel. The nature of promotion depends on the budget available, and ranges from television advertising campaigns to press releases about new products and destinations. Promotions may be aimed at the final consumer or to the trade. Trade promotion can be just an important as consumer promotion as travel professional can bring preferred products to the attention of their customers. For examples of trade promotions include educational trips for agents to resorts, competitions and sales incentives.

Late sales

Tour operators do their best avoid late sales and encourage customers to book holidays in advance. This give the tour operator the benefits of adjusting contracts to meet demand, making a better margin on sales and enjoying good cash flow. Late sales harm cash flow and are usually discounted so less profit is made.


DFDs Seaways:
Tourism at biz/ed:
UK Tourism:
Holloway J C –the business of Tourism (Longman,1999)
Bull A – the Economics of Travel and Tourism (Longman,1999) Yale P- the Business of Tourism (Longman,2000)

Understand the tour operators industry within the travel and tourism sector 1.1 – Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.

LO2. Understand stages involved in creating holidays:
2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays 2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator 2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday from given information.

LO3. Be able to review brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays 3.1- Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure 3.2 Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operator 3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator

LO4. P4. Understand strategic and tactical decision making for tour operators 4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator 4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations


Hospitality means providing service to others, as well as demonstrating consistent excellence and quality. It should also mean profitably providing value at any price level, while demonstrating your own unique points of distinction. Most of all, hospitality should be a “place”, where people can still be exceptional individuals and they can extend their own personality and style (Hogan, 2008).The hospitality industry is part of a huge group of companies known as travel and tourism industry, which provides the necessary or desirable goods and services to travellers. The hospitality and tourism industries are the large stand fastest-growing industries in the world(Walker, 2010).

The travel and tourism industry is composed of five parts: a) the tourism lodgings (hotels, motels, camps, cruise ships), b) the transportation services (ships, airplanes, trains),c) food and beverage operations (restaurants, bars, taverns, catering), d) retail stores (gifts, souvenir, arts/crafts shops) and e) the activities(recreation, educational trips, business, festivals, sport events), (Kasavana and Brooks,2007).The hospitality industry includes the tourism lodgings, the catering companies, as well as the food and beverage departments operating within the lodgings. Tourism lodgings stand out among other travel and tourism companies because they offer their guests overnight accommodation, food and drinks, recreational activities and more.

LO1 Understand the tour operators industry within the travel and tourism sector 1.1 – Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry. The new philosophy in hospitality is that managers are counselling their associates, give them resources and help them to think for themselves. “Do whatever it takes” is critical for success. For success in service the hospitality operations, among others, should focus on the guest, emphasize high-touch instead of just high-tech and encourage changes, as well as innovations (Walker, 2010).

2 Current trends in hospitality and tourism


Nowadays, people more than ever travel freely around the world. The international tourist arrivals from 674 million in 2000, reached the 797 in 2005 (increased by18.25%) and the 940 million in 2010 (increase 39.46% in relation to 2000 and increase 17.94 in relation to 2005). Respectively, the international tourism receipts (global tourism expenditure) from475 billion US dollars in 2000, reached the 679 billion in 2005 (increased by 42.94%) and the 918 billion in 2010 (increased by 93.26% in relation to2000).

Safety and security

The industry’s concern with security has increased greatly due to several terrorist attacks worldwide, as well as because of tourists’ kidnappings, robberies and assaults. Security of all types of hospitality and tourism operations is critical and disaster plans should be made for each kind of threat. Personal safety of guests must be the first priority (Walker, 2010).Increased security measures exist in all the international airports and most airline companies have upgraded their security measures by investing millions of dollars.

Moreover, they make plans in order to exceed the requirements of the air line industry through technology advancements (Hall etal, 2003). A property’s security program should include certain actions and procedures to prevent or discourage incidents (Ellis and Stipanuk, 1999).


The tourism and hospitality industry is among the most diverse of all industries in terms of employee population and groups of guests. Hospitality and tourism present a unique opportunity to understand new cultural experiences for both employees and the tourists. It is important for the personnel to understand and appreciate different cultures in order to enhance the nature of their interactions with tourists of different cultures, religions, races, colours, ages, genders and sexual orientations. It is for this reason that businesses plying their trade in this industry must endeavour to train their personnel to appreciate and accommodate people from diverse backgrounds around the world. As such, diversity not only facilitates easy understanding of different cultural, social and economic perspectives but enhances the delivery of satisfactory services as well, through communication and observation (Merchant, 2011.


As global competition and market consumption change the expanding service sector, quality plays an increasingly essential role in both attracting and retaining service customers (Helms and Mayo, 2008). Service quality and the degree of satisfaction derived from service quality are becoming the most important differentiating factors in almost every hospitality environment (O’Neill and Palmer, 2004). For the hotel industry, the increasing competition and expansion of unique services and convenience has forced hoteliers to continuously search for the competitive advantage (O’Neill, 2005). Service is at the top of guests’ expectations, yet few companies offer exceptional service. World-class service does not just happen; training is important in delivering the service that guests have come to expect (Walker, 2010).


Technology is a driving force of change that presents opportunities for greater efficiencies and integration for improved guest services. Technology has become a tourism business activity in development of strategic resources and is considered as a tool to increase competitiveness. Effective use of information technology can make significant operational improvements. Advanced software and communication tools allow enlarging operational efficiency, for example, orders may be made better, faster and cheaper. In addition, decision-making through decision support tools, databases and modelling tools assist the manager’s job.


Price and value are significant factors to the more perceptive guests of today. Customers and their perceptions about price have changed. Guests are resistant to paying more (instead, they prefer to get more for less) and tourism enterprises should take measures in order to solve this problem. The key word today is “value.” Value is what you get compared to what you pay. But how could a hotelier increase value without lowering prices?

Demographic changes.

The global population is gradually increasing and many retirees have the time and money to travel and utilize hospitality services. According to the United Nations, population ageing is increasingly becoming one of the most salient social, economic and demographic phenomena of our times. By 2030 the EU can expect 14% fewer workers and7% fewer consumers as 2005. By 2050, the number of people over 60 in Europe will reach 40% of the total population or 60% of the working age population.

The population volume decreases, migration (internal and international) increases, and age, gender, educational and household structures have all changed in recent years and will continue to changeup to 2020.Demographic change can affect different aspects of tourism. It impacts directly on tourist demand (volume and structure) and the tourism labour market (number of workers and their qualifications) and has an indirect effect on jobs within the tourism industry and tourism services (type and quality of sector-specific and enhancing infrastructure).

LO2. Understand stages involved in creating holidays:

2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays In ancient times people was travelled for the purpose of war, religious pilgrimage and trading. From the third century the ancient Greeks, for example, travelled to visit the sites of their gods and to visit the temples and the Parthenon in Athens. During the Roman Empire, citizens of Rome travelled freely to those countries their armies had conquered, using their own currency and not having to worry about border restrictions. The Romans built long straight roads along which their armies could march and goods could be transported. In countries they conquered, the Romans established trade and created leisure facilities such as spas – the most famous example in this country is the Roman spa in Bath. Those who could afford to travelled to newly conquered countries and to visit their friends and relatives. With the fall of the Roman Empire around 400AD, and for a period after, only the most adventurous or those involved in international trade travelled abroad.

In the Middle Ages people seldom travelled, apart from going on pilgrimage, however there were holidays, or rather ‘holy’ days. These were days on which a religious festival was celebrated. Many of the UK’s traditional fairs can be traced to this period Tour holidays may vary from different stages, timescales and a variety of services. Commonly they combine such things as transport, accommodation and meals. They may also include the provision of a tour guide and/or leader. Tours can be long or short in duration and distance. They may be a one-day or overnight package, or they could be a period of a month or more. During the middle Ages most transport was by foot or on horseback, though some people could afford a wagon. In the early 1600s the sprung coach was introduced. This was more comfortable but could only be afforded by the very rich.

In the early seventeenth century wealthy young men were travelling across Europe on the Grand Tour, spending as long as a year visiting the capitals of Europe, as part of their education. Another development in travel at this time was the taking of ‘a cure’ by the wealthy, who visited the various spa towns to take the waters, which were reputed to provide a cure for a range of ailments. These resorts became very popular, and there are still spas today at Buxton, Bath and Harrogate. By1815, tarmac had been developed for use as a road surface, which led to further developments in the road system in the UK and to an increase in the movement of people and vehicles.

The types of holiday packages available in today’s market are vast and varied. This ensures all consumers’ needs and desires are met. Package tours can be further broken down into specific tour types. Tours available range from Special-interest tours, Adventure tours, City or Regional tours, Group tours and Fully Escorted tours. Special-interest tours are designed around a particular interest area which could include arts, food and wine, sport, cultural or agricultural. Specialist tours may include an expert or celebrity guide who relates to the theme of a tour (e.g. a gardening expert accompanying a garden tour, or an art expert accompanying an art tour). Adventure tours are designed to allow the consumer to participate in their area of interest for the length of the tour and more experience based.

They generally are physical and require a certain level of fitness, however, can sometimes be modified to meet your needs depending on the other travellers. Some examples of this tour type include diving, rock or mountain climbing, horse riding, skiing or cycling. City/regional tours normally last for one full day or less. They follow a fixed itinerary and will visit areas of interest in a specific place, whether that is historic, religious or cultural, refreshments or meals are often included. Group tours also follow a fixed and pre-arranged itinerary. They often only take place depending on the number of travellers i.e. they require a certain number of travellers in order to go ahead or it becomes a financial cost rather than profitable. It is also worth noting there are a maximum number of travellers on group tours too, as determined by the mode of transport – a 56 seater coach can accommodate no more passengers and therefore the number limit is defined. Group tours are generally always escorted or a tour guide service is provided. Fully escorted tours are often a good idea for solo travellers and especially women travelling alone.

This type of tour offers a sense of security or overcomes language and cultural barriers. Also, these types of tours are often somewhat educational, the escort providing local, historical and cultural knowledge or insight gives the consumer are more worthwhile experience and understanding of the country (place) visited. Those who have studied tourism over the last few decades will be well aware that the pace of change in some areas has been phenomenal, while in other aspects of the field, there has been relatively little change. The rather confused pattern of tourism development and growth illustrates a major dichotomy which exists in tourism, namely, that between its dynamism and its inertia, and the tension between these two attributes accounts in part for a general difficulty in being able to predict the future patterns of tourism.

This paper reviews some of the approaches used to describe and predict the future nature and scale of tourism and argues that few have been effective or accurate, and that this is due in part to the heterogeneous nature of tourism, in both its demand and supply, and that the role of external agents is constantly altering the anticipated pattern of growth and development. Particular attention is paid to the life cycle model which has been used for a quarter of a century to describe the process of development of tourist destinations, whether such a model can be used to predict future patterns, and whether cycles, waves or wheels are suitable analogies for the pattern of tourism growth. The paper argues for a blending of both evolutionary and revolutionary predictions in the case of tourism destinations, an approach which allows for the incorporation of ideas such as chaos theory and chance into the equation of growth, in order to reflect both the inertia and dynamism that are inherent in tourism.

2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator

‘Making travel experiences special’ underpins everything we do and keeps our focus on providing the unrivalled choice, professionalism and confidence our customers and stakeholders can rely on, now and in the future. Our business is grouped into three sectors, comprising many of the best loved and market-leading travel brands worldwide – Mainstream, Accommodation & Destinations and Specialist & Activity. From the most popular holiday brands to an unparalleled collection of specialist travel providers, we offer the breadth and depth of experiences and expertise for every conceivable type of traveller.

TUI provide hotel accommodation, transfers, excursions and tours, meetings and events and cruise handling services to tour operators, travel agents, corporate clients and customers worldwide. Its top selling brands include hotel beds, late rooms, beds online, Asia rooms and inter cruises. Also we are specialist for adventure, education, marine and sports. Also our specialist activities comprises over 100 global travel businesses to fulfil the holiday and travel needs of customers with a wide range of interests and passions. Its top selling brands include Crystal, Hayes & Jarvis, The Moorings, Educational Tours Inc, Brightspark and Le Boat. This sector is divided into six divisions:


Including market leading brands in adventure and experience travel. Adventure operates as a strategic partnership between TUI Travel’s adventure travel businesses and Intrepid Travel to make the largest adventure travel business.


Offering specially designed travel packages for schools and universities, including educational tours, student ski trips, adventure and activity holidays. This division also includes our language education brands.


Comprising some of the world’s leading yachting and marine recreation brands including The Moorings and Sunsail. It also includes Le Boat, the largest provider of self-drive boating holidays on the inland waterways of Europe.

North American Specialist

Travel companies located across the United States and in major Canadian cities focused on adventure travel and escorted tours. These include Quark Expeditions, the world’s largest and most diverse polar travel company.


This division is building a leading position in the sports tour market for both spectators and corporate clients, through brands including Gullivers Sports Travel and Sportsworld.

Cosmos Holidays

Cosmos Holidays is the UK’s largest independent tour operator and has been providing great value fully-protected holidays for over 50 years making it one of the most established travel companies in the UK travel sector. Cosmos Holidays offers a flexible choice of holidays from mainstream to specialist including beach, multi-centre, tour and stay, cruise and city breaks in up to 65 destinations worldwide. Its range of holidays includes Villas with Pools, Goa and the Indian Ocean, Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida, the Mediterranean, Egypt and North Africa. Specialist holidays include Finnish Lapland Santa Adventures, Dream Weddings and newly launched ski holidays.

Your holiday can make a real difference to your favourite destinations. It can help protect the natural environment, traditions and culture – the things that make your visit special. And it can improve the well being of local families – spreading the benefit of your visit to those who really need it. All of which can make your holiday experience even better! Most importantly, it can help ensure that there are great places for us all to visit – for generations to come.

Bales worldwide

Here at Bales Worldwide, the same travel experts who have carefully crafted our escorted group tours, can help you to create your own unique travel experience. Tailor made holidays are designed around you and your tastes, allowing you to choose where you go, how long you stay and your unforgettable experiences along the way. Whether you wish to explore China’s Silk Road or cruise the Mekong River, visit the mesmerizing North East of India or venture into South America’s Amazon Basin, we have the expert knowledge to help. We will organize everything from international flights, accommodation and transfers, to sightseeing with knowledgeable guides; all with our trademark attention to detail and our specialist knowledge of over 50 countries worldwide.

2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday from given information.

LO3. Be able to review brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays 3.1- Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure.

Do you plan to open your own travel agency? If so, then you should understand that, just like a regular business, you need to market your establishment to tourists. One simple way you could reach out to your target audience would be to hand out printed marketing collaterals. Also need to concentrate the previous information and analysis for how many brochures going to produce and how many pages include and what type of packages going to produce. And how much is the cost for making brochure. Of course, in order for this strategy to be effective, you have to make sure that the content of these materials are relevant and convincing. Since you are operating a travel establishment, here are some of the ways that you can create an appealing brochure:

1. Include pictures of attractions and scenic spots

Keep in mind that although your business sort of acts like a mediator, in a way you are still selling holidays. Thus, this is one way of landing the right deals. Thus, always include great shots of popular tourist attractions. Next to these photos, do not forget to include descriptions of these beautiful areas and indicate a list of reasons why people should visit them.

1. Use colours that enhance the image

Say, for instance, that you wish to highlight the Newquay Harbour. To make its image stand out, use background colours that complement the picture, either blue or green. It would look awkward and unnatural to use a black or grey backdrop.

1. Insert descriptions that are easy to read

To engage the reader to witness attractions up close and personal, use statements that signify a call to action. Include words that appeal to the senses. Some of them include “explore”, “taste”, “try”, “witness”, and many others. Of course, it is also important that the text is readable; so make sure the font is just the right size.

1. Add other useful details

The reason why tourists read brochures is to help them familiarise the destination they are visiting. To help them, you could include information on some of their basic necessities. For instance, you could list down the name of a hotel that is near one of the attractions. In summary, a good travel brochure appeals to a tourist to try and experience what the destination has to offer.

3.2 Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operator.

Ever since the packaged holiday was invented, the holiday brochure has been considered to be the most important element of the marketing mix of any holiday operator. No factor has traditionally been more important than the brochure in terms of informing customers and persuading them to buy. Accordingly, holiday operators spend significant amounts on the production and distribution of brochures. But increasingly the cost-effectiveness of the brochure is being questioned. It is estimated that less than one on ten brochures is ever used to actually prompt a booking. Millions of brochures are collected from travel agents or sent in the post – only to find themselves in the bin or being recycled.

Traditional strengths

It is not hard to see why brochures have been so important. They play a key role in the holiday buying process. Recent research on customer attitudes to paper brochures confirmed the strengths of the medium. Consumers had positive views on the ability of the brochure to: * Advertise the ‘wares’ and positioning (price + target market) of each holiday company * Indicate general price levels – and what is possible within a particular price band (although consumers find most travel brochures confusing in terms of working out the actual holiday price) * Tempt the consumer to consider new destinations or to help eliminate some destinations from the ‘potential’ list

* Help to short list resorts within a particular country * Allow easy comparison of hotels both within one brochure and across a number of brochures – even if in a slightly superficial way (there is limited space for hotel descriptions) * Provide a reference document for discussions of potential destinations with other party members * Put the reader in a holiday mood – to tempt / prompt the consumer to start the (possibly stressful) process of choosing and booking a holiday.


However, the same research has also highlighted perceived shortcomings with paper brochures from a consumer perspective. Customers commented that: * The brochure doesn’t tell you the whole truth (although by law brochure content needs to be truthful) * Some brochures are just too big (‘fat’) – including too many destinations that you don’t want. * Price / travel information are not always ‘on the page’. Consumers dislike rear sections or separate price supplements. They want easy to understand prices next to accommodation details.

Need for savings

Brochure production is the biggest parts of marketing spend for the traditional tour operator. It has been estimated that each of the four main vertically integrated UK travel companies produces:
* Around 150 publications per year
* Between 1 and 5 editions per publication
* Up to 800 pages per edition
* Print runs of up to 3 million copies per edition.

This is an exceptional amount of paper – and much of the cost is wasted. In an industry with low profit margins, it is not surprising that tour operators want to find most cost-effective ways of providing the information consumers need to make their holiday choice.

e-Brochures – the future? Corse
e-brochures are increasingly being used in the travel trade. The objective is to provide in digital format information that consumers and travel agents need to promote relevant holidays – and to save costs. E-brochures feature the same content as paper brochures is much cheaper than paper. Publication of the same content on the internet has a negligible additional cost. The main consumer advantages of e-brochures are: * CD Roms take up much less space in travel agencies.

* Pages
3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator

From the definition of a distribution channel (see paragraph 2.1.2.) it can be concluded that a distribution channel forms the link between a producer and a consumer. Therefore there are basically five distribution channels available for a tour operator. These are: email, internet, telephone, retail and conventional mail. All these distribution channels can be used for either indirect or direct selling, meaning either with or without a retailer positioned between the producer and the customer. The use of multiple distribution channels is common for most industries. Especially the rise of the internet has incited many companies to review their channel strategy and integrate the support unities the internet offers. ICT, and particularly the internet, has a great potential to complement rather than to cannibalize a business existing channels. The channels used in a marketing strategy have a mutual supporting role in which for example the internet is not necessarily used as a sales function but rather as a sales supporting information source.

The kind of multi channel retailing that fuels sustainable growth and margin expansion requires a tightly integrated strategy across all channels, including physical stores, catalogue, the internet and mobile services. During the past decade, there has been a pronounced shift in how people purchase travel and tourism products. This change has been driven by the rapid growth in the spread and use of the internet, especially in developed economies. It has been estimated that the global number of users of the internet has grown from 16 million in December 1995, through 361 million in December 2000 to reach 1.8 billion by December 2009. The travel and tourism industry has been at the forefront in the innovative development of ecommerce applications on the internet.

So effective has the industry been in this regard that a large majority of tourists in the leading source markets of Europe and North America now research, plan and purchase travel online. While the gallop in the growth of online travel sales was brought to a halt in 2009 by the recession, it appears that the fall in online sales was much less than that in offline sales which suggests that the online share of the market continued to grow. The pace of change in sales of travel is being paralleled by the development of online marketing and promotional tools.

Traditional marketing methods are being challenged as technology has displaced mass marketing and enabled tourism providers to develop personalised, direct communications to consumers. The boom in interactive information sharing and online collaboration on the internet (Web 2.0) is enriching the online marketing mix. Social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are now developing as marketplaces with an increasing array of tourism and travel products being promoted through these networks.

LO4. P4. Understand strategic and tactical decision making for tour operators 4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator.

In general strategic is defined as “the long term direction of an organisation”. However to be more specific and basid on characteristic , it involves , strategy may be defined as the long term direction and scope of an organisation to achieve competitive advantage through the configuration of resources within a changing environment for the fulfilment of stakeholders aspirations and expectations.

TUI Travel

TUI Travel is made up of a portfolio of brands with diverse cultures and international colleagues. We have one vision and a set of values, together known as ‘TUI Spirit’, which unite us and support us in delivering our goals. Our Group vision is ‘Making travel experiences special’. It’s what we believe we are in business to do and it gives us a clear sense of purpose. Our values support our vision. They are more than words, they are embedded into how we do things at TUI Travel and are fundamental to the way in which we operate, helping us define the way we relate to our customers, shareholders, each other and the world at large. Each value has behaviours associated with it.


Our aim is provide our guests with everything that makes the perfect holiday – from putting the package together to our service in resort. Despite being the biggest independent operator in the UK, we are smaller than the major publicly owned tour operators, which gives us the flexibility to respond to customer needs as and when they arise.

The Monarch Group believes that in order to integrate a sustainable way of thinking into the tourism industry it should promote responsible travel and lead the way to a sustainable future. Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income and employment for local people. The aim is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people, tour operators and our customers. The more we do now, the brighter the future will be. Environmentally-friendly hotels not only save money for the owner/manager, but also resources for the world, while at the same time letting their guests continue doing good things for the environment. Whether through water or energy conservation, recycling or reducing the consumption of natural resources, a positive impact can be made.

Sustainability is starting to matter to consumers; people buy into fair trade, organics and local produce and we aim to continue this way of thinking when our customers go on holiday. We believe there is plenty of scope for having a relaxing break without breaking the bank, and at no cost to the environment. Through The Tour Operations division of the Group our mission is to provide a tourism experience, which benefits our guests, suppliers and the destinations in which we operate. Through our professional experience, passion and dedication, we will continue to respect local cultures, support local communities and make a positive contribution in caring for the environment. In pursuit of the above our commitment is to:

* Understand and respect cultures by promoting and communicating their traditions, lifestyles and heritage to our guests and employees; * Support communities by involving and co-operating with local people, using local skills and products where practical. We will abide by local, national and international laws, discouraging illegal, abusive or exploitative forms of tourism; and Care for the environment by conserving landscapes, plants, animals and protected areas and by encouraging guests and employees to take a responsible approach in their use of natural resources. We love what we do. We created our business out of our customers’ desires to travel. Everything we do today we approach with that same passion. We take our work seriously, but we believe that everything is a little easier when you smile. Through our devotion to getting the details right, we are constantly striving to transform our customers’ experience from good enough to always great. If something goes wrong, we’ll correct it – in a timely and fair manner. Brave

We are constantly searching for ways to improve: we take the initiative, we think up new ideas and we use creativity to deliver better products and services. Our heritage and experience give us the confidence to be courageous and to be different in the marketplace.


We believe it’s a privilege to serve each and every customer. We endeavour to be in harmony with their needs so that, as they change, we promptly react to ensure that we deliver the best possible experience.


Everything we do should be straightforward and direct: our processes, our pricing and our service. We are honest and clear with one another. That way, we ensure we perform to the best of our ability.

4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations

Tactical decision making is the establishment of key initiatives to achieve the overall strategy. They usually determine the day to day implementation
of the company’s activities that will help to realize the ultimate goal. Moreover, tactical decisions are medium-term decisions that support the strategic decisions.

TUI Travel

TUI Travel always respects our customers and never forgets that they choose to spend their leisure time with us. We share a duty to maintain their loyalty and trust. We anticipate customers’ desires and everything we do is with them in mind. We believe there is no such thing as mass market but a huge market of individuals. Also we are committed to sustainable development and to making a positive impact on society. We know leadership has to be earned and we never take it for granted. We communicate openly and easily and help each other develop and grow. We celebrate local differences and actively seek to contribute to a better world. We share an infectious, entrepreneurial streak and a clear focus on the need for profitability.

We look for opportunities that have a commercial advantage for us and add value to our customers’ experience. We predict, translate and bring to market new leisure-time products based on their genuine appeal to customers. Moreover TUI is passionate about being the best and about winning with integrity. We seek the ideas and trends that change leisure-time markets for the better and move quickly to action them. We thrive on teamwork. We are not afraid of making brave decisions. We want to do something new every day and we love what we do.

We’re passionate about what we do and search out the best quality accommodation for any budget. All accommodation is personally checked to ensure it meets our high standards. We make sure that every element of every holiday is put together with care and attention to detail so that everything runs smoothly – remembering it’s the little things that often make the biggest difference.


In resort our customers are guests, not just numbers. Cosmos resort staff are dedicated to ensuring every guest has the best possible holiday and are always on hand to help. We aim to make every holiday revolve around our guests, giving them the freedom to relax and unwind knowing that their holiday is Packaged with Care. Also we are mostly concentrating to carbon emission, waste and recycling and sustainable tourism for all the way of our business.

Online travel agents (OTAs) represent the fastest growing distribution channel and have gained significant market share: OTAs appear to have been particularly successful in the short-break travel market which has experienced very high growth during the past decade. It can be expected that OTAs will continue to thrive since they are positioned to provide consumers with access to lower prices, comparative pricing, and personalised as well as comprehensive product information, for which there is a strong demand.

However, OTAs will need to invest in dynamic and increasingly sophisticated customer “interfaces” if they wish to manage more complex transactions. At the same time, retail agencies will require an online presence in order to promote themselves more effectively among suppliers and consumers. OTAs can exist without an offline presence but retail travel agencies will be unable to grow their business without an online presence. Lines will continue to blur between the two with a new type of travel agency possibly emerging which blends offline and online services


There is a global increase in tourism and hospitality both in tourist arrivals and tourism expenditure. The trends that are mostly affecting the industry are: the increased concern with guests’ safety and security; the enhanced diversity in the workforce composition; the importance of outstanding services leading to additional opportunities for increased revenue; the new technologies which contribute to improved guest services and enhance competitiveness; the population ageing that impacts directly on tourist demand and the tourism labour market; and the correlation between price and value which is very important for the perceptive guests of today. In the field of tourism lodgings’ development, the trend is an increasing number of hotels worldwide applying policies friendly to the environment.


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