Travel and tourism industry industry is considered to be rapidly growing in the present and past era. Growing demand in this industry has contributed to social and economic development of the country (Bhatia, 2012). Tourism industry basically combines tour and travel components to create a package holiday for its customers. The main goal of this industry is to provide standard product and services to travellers to avoid difficulties during the time. The chosen tour operator industry in this report is Thomas cook. It is an travel related service company headquarters in Mumbai and offers a range of services like international and Domestic holidays, facilities of visa and Passport. This file covers the recent developments in the tour and travel industry and stages involved in creating holidays along with the different contracting methods of tour operator. Further it discusses the planning decisions and suitability of alternatives of the brochure. It also determines the strategic and tactical decision plan for tour operators.
1.1 Effects of recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.
The business growth of travel agency has undergone significant changes in last two decades. There is increase in the development of tourism sector as government is making huge investment to satisfy the needs of the tourist (Broadie and De Sausmarez, 2013). Visa and passport facilities are easily available to the tourist because of the liberal policies framed by the government. This also leads to the economic and social development of the country. In order to attract large audience industry has classified tour operators in different forms as discussed below-
Specialist tour operators: These provide services to the tourist regarding specific geographical location or they attract people who are interested in suffaries, adventurous places or any specific kind of activity.
UK Outbound tour operators: They provide tour in multinational countries, allow tour products and packages to the customer of own country and allow them to travel to another country.
Inbound tour operators: They provide tour packages within the country to the tourist visiting from another country. They provide facilities of local arrangements such as airport pickup, and is totally responsible for the tourist's stay.
Domestic tour operators: They provide tour packages to the regional tourist, sense the demand of the current market and suggest destinations according to the peak season.
There are recent developments in the tour operator industry.
Advancement in technology: Increase in use of technology has inclined tourist towards travelling. Booking facilities are made easier and saves lot of time and its also allows tourist to search places, hotels according to their convenience (Dhiman, 2012). Thomas cook has its own site which includes informations about its tour packages and allows customers to book according to their requirements.
Low Budget plans: It allows all types of tourist to make plans as Thomas cook provide plan for middle class and high class people which they can choose according to their needs .
Increased environment awareness: Government is concerned towards the awareness of its natural surrounding and promoting tourism in advertisements in television, making people aware about the specific state and encouraging them to plan weekends.
Thomas Cook should conduct appropriate research for analysing recent trends, market, competitors and customers for the purpose of making attractive tour packages.
Travel and tourism shares a big level of market in UK. As this country majorly focus on provide tour facilities according to level of income as well as different types of tour facility according to requirement. The chosen tour operator industry is Thomas cook which is headquartered in Mumbai and provide globally and internationally tour services.
2.1 Assess stages and timescales in developing holiday packages
Stages and timescales:There are many stages that help in developing a suitable plan for tourism sector. The stages involve market research, planning and scheduling, contracting, costing holidays, financial evaluation and planning etc..
Market Research: In market research involves study of needs and wants of particular class of customers by accessing their choice and last visiting places and by web search. Thomas cook an multinational brand name in field of tour and travel ism by providing financial services, visa and other services also (Dong, Ling and Guo, 2014). It access choices and other accessories while visit places and give handsome experience to customers.
Planning and scheduling: Planning and scheduling is second important step after research of market trends and choices. In that phrase planners schedule time, destination, hotels, adventure trips and other memorable trips during visits. So scheduling provides comfortability to customers and they visit places without tension because all are booked in advance.
Contracting: For visit a place there is need of different services such as accommodation, transportation, visa and credit , discounts, adventures etc.. To provide all these services under one roof Thomas cook have to contract with many other suppliers. All services under one roof increase loyalty of customers towards Thomas cook and today it become a well known brand.
Costing holidays: Costing of tour packages attract to customers if segmentation of market is correct (FloresGarza and et. al., 2017). Thomas cook plan tour packages according to customers class, dates, place , peak of season and provide discount time to time.
Financial evaluation and pricing: Thomas cook plans and coordinate packages according to customer preferences and class. It helps in both customer enchantment and enhance financial position of organisation.
Creating the brochure: organisation builds attractive brochure for customers to advertise product and services of customers (EvansStonehouse and Campbell, 2012). It helps in to easy reach to consumers and vice versa.
Advertising: Advertising and promotions is very important tool to access a large consumer base. It advertise its products through newspapers, pamphlets, brochure, magazines etc..
Operation and execution: Thomas cook is leading name in tour and tourism sector which provides many facilities in book tour packages through online and offline mode. So it enhance consumer base and brand value also.
Post tour management: The final step in tour operations is know and evaluate about costumer experiences while using services and products of Thomas cook. It helps in reform finding that exist while operation.
2.2 Suitability of different methods of contracting components of the holiday and different types of tour operator regulator
Contracts are the agreements that are signed between two or more parties which are legally enforceable at certain terms and conditions. Thomas cook makes certain contracts with its staff, customers and partners in reducing expenses and cutting cost (Medlik, 2016). Contracts under the respective industry is fixed 18 months in advance and needs to analyse capacity for agreeing contracts with hotels and airlines.
Methods of contracting are discussed below-
Fixed contract: A contractual relationship between the organisation and its members to satisfy needs of the customer by providing them better services. Thomas cook signs contract with with various vendors such as with hotels, cabs, tourist guides which provide standard services and their customers don't have any problem while travelling. Besides this it also covers risks and uncertainties at the time of travel.
Allocation contract: Contract is framed between the tour operator and the respective hotel. Example- allocation of beds in hotel (Lacej and Kalaj, 2015). Thomas cook must confirm by an agreed date to the hotel for the booking of rooms on the specified date of the month. This provides Thomas cook to provide better services to its customer and allows hotels to sell the remaining rooms at the competitive price.
Ad- hoc contract: This type of contract is made between the tour operator and its respective members to know about the experience or feedback about service provided to them. This type of contract is for non monetary purpose. Thomas cook makes contracts with its customers to know the experiences of the services provided to them and take careful actions of improving them.
2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday package
Pricing strategies are the method used by the companies to set price base for their products and services. It is the tactic used by the company to increase the sales and maximise the profit by selling goods an services for appropriate prices.
Selling is the cost determined to sell a tour package in addition to provide standard services to its respective customers. Thomas cook has planned a holiday package for a couple. Selling price for tour and travel package and price per candidate has been calculated.
(£)106.04*21= 2163.84 (for one night)
(£)1932*5 = 10812.2 (for 5 days)
Visitor Attraction charges
Charges of tour guide
Add: Profit margin @ 33%
Food prices are not computed in the above calculation. Thus,price selling tour and travel package should be approximately 28929.18 pounds. Tourist can make their judgement after considering all these factors and choose the operator according to the reputation and cost factors of the company.
3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of selected brochure
When a company design a brochures they have to evaluate various things such as budgets, promotional cost, time, content to be written in it and many more, so that they able to design an effective and attractive brochures (Naji-Azimi and et.al., 2012.). This can be distributed in many various ways like newspaper, handed out personally, by mail etc. Thomas cook can distribute and publish their brochures in UK for the promotion of their company. It is beneficial for the company in the following ways :-
Brochures are small in size which help company to do advertising in various ways, it allow distributors to place it on door, car windshieds, handed to passers-by and place it on company reception area where visitors can easily take it.
Sending of brochures which contain all relevant information save time of company. It can be mail or distribute to potential customers.
Their are proper planing decision are taken for designing of brochures, they are as follow:-
Decide target audience for brochure: First Thomas Cook has to identify its target audience on basis of age, income, location, lifestyle choice etc. and according to specific customer mindset company should design it.
Establish a budget: Thomas Cook should make proper budget or determine range on basis of printing and designing cost which they can afford for brochures and seems to be valuable for it.
Gather sample brochures: In this the respective company should collect different different sample of brochures based on size, colour, image and text and then finalised or design a unique or attractive brochure for the company with appropriate background, content, image and it must contain proper contact information such as contact number, address, email id etc.
3.2 Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operator
In current time period, there is advancement of technology in field of brochures, the use of traditional printed brochures are changing rapidly and now every company is using it as promotional and advertising tools (Ramanathan, Ramanathan and Zhang, 2016). The alternative of traditional brochures which are use by Thomas Cook are discuss below:-
E- Brochures: Thomas Cook can use E-brochure, these are type of brochures are in soft from and can be forward anyone easily through email for advertisement purpose because it is flexible, environment safe, cost effective, easy to modify, look high quality, easy to download and forward, user friendly, which is more beneficial and attractive from traditional brochures.
Advantage: Printing expenses of E- Boucher is less and it also easy to distribute in target audience or market.
Disadvantage:- E- Boucher are small and there is limitation of space to showcase company information or products in it.
Social Media: It is most cost effective digital marketing platform use for promotion purpose by every company. Some of famous social media networks are Facebook, Instagram, twitter, linked in, snap chat etc. on which Thomas Cook can do there advertising and it is reachable to most of the population.
Advantage: Social media is cost effective, it is cheaper than the traditional advertising methods.
Disadvantage:- It can be used ineffectively like using of network to improve sales without targeting audience, it can create negative reputation in market.
Radio/ TV advertising: The respective company can do Radio and TV advertising by which they attract and influence more target customers through commercial and ad. Some of the benefits of this media are- it is reachable to large audience and give long lasting impact on mind, attract more effectively, through it (Robinson and et.al., 2016) Thomas Cook can convey there message with sight, sound, motion with gives business instant credibility.
Advantage: Through it an organization can target or cover most of the audience and population for their products and services.
Disadvantage:- It is expensive media for the advertisement and promotion of any advertisement.
Outdoor Media and Newspaper Advertising: Thomas Cook can also do outdoor advertisement media such as billboards, tubes, Tfl busses, Street furniture etc. which is highly noticed by mass audiences, it is cost effective and highly impactful on audience. The respective company can also do advertising through newspaper which is in printed form and contain all the important information it is easily reachable to mass population.
Advantage: The outdoor media and newspapers is cost effective and target huge number of population.
Disadvantage: It give its impact on audience for very less time.
3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator
For promotion of business it is important to select appropriate method of distribution or distribution channel. It is a chain of intermediaries through which products and services is go through until it reaches to the customer, in other word it is link between customer and producer. Their are various distribution channel some of them which is suitable for Thomas Cook are mentioned below:-
Direct Distribution: In this distribution channel in which a producer sells its products and services directly to the consumer without any intermediaries (Van De Mosselaer, Van Der Duimand and Van Wijk, 2012). Thomas Cook follow this channel by doing face to face sales, computer sales like send mails to their target audiences but didn't involve any form of distributors, all activities should be carried out by original producer.
Two Level distribution: when there is involvement of two stage of distributors between producer and consumer then it known as two level of distribution. It is own by company when it is not possible for producer to reach customer on its own, in this case they take help from wholesaler and retailers. Like Thomas Cook hire intermediaries to attract and engage customers of far or different location .
Through Social network websites: Social medial such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter, snap chat etc. can also be used as distribution channel. Thomas Cook can post all their packages and programmes on these social media which attract and engage customers for all location like domestic and international both .
Concierge services: It help customers by performing numerous tasks like restaurant reservation, booking hotels, arranging for spa services, recommending night life hot spot, booking transportation(such as taxi, limousines, air planes, boats, etc. ) and coordinating services. Through this service the respective company can attract their customers by providing personal concierge to them.
4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator
Strategic decision making is also known as strategic planning which involves creation process of an organization's mission, value, goal and objective which can transform a company into large group and industry by analysing its current scenario. The decision making strategy which is adopted by Thomas Cook are following:-
Pricing Strategy: It is refer to method which a company use to price their product and services. All small, medium and large companies fix their price of product and services on the basis on production, labour and advertisement expenses. Thomas Cook should price their holiday packages and programmes by considering all its expenses like transportation cost, hotel room, other facilities, guide etc., and make packages which attract and valuable for the customers (Witt, Brooke and Buckley, 2013). They also provide discounts, festivals offers, brochures etc. to their regular and loyal customers and other too in peak time.
Surcharge Policy: Amount which is paid for insurance to the employees or clients at the time when some mis happening or accident occurs in company. Respective company can adopt this policy for their employees to maintain their security as well as for customers to satisfy and attract them mostly in peak time.
Image position and Branding: For the survival of an organization in a market brand image and position is very essential. Image position and branding is related to the position or image of company in mind of a customer, it is key of marketing strategy. Thomas Cook should create good sustainability and goodwill in tourism industry with good brand image which help them to attract customers.
Distribution Decision: To generate revenue distribution decision plays important role, it help company to identify accurate target customer and help in focusing to them. Thomas Cook must have effective and efficient distribution channel in domestic country through which they attract more customer and generate revenue from it.
The most significant changes in tourism has undergone significant changes in last 15 years due to the arrival of Chinese tourist in the world market. Earlier tourism was not catering specific needs of the people but nowadays travel and tourism industry are satisfying the needs of every customer's. According to the level of income or enjoyment tour operative industry are providing speciality tours which were not provided earlier.
4.2 compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations
In some situation it is necessary for tour operator to take tactical decision in designing of holiday package for their customers. Tactical decision are medium term decision which is a misguide strategy or wrong decision taken by a business leads to failure. The tactical decision which are taken by Thomas Cook are given below:-
Competition: To reduce competition and to estimate rivals from marketplace tactical decision can be taken to protect the business. To attract customers on primary basis Thomas Cook can improve qualities of products and services, provide discount to customers and low prices of product then competitors (You and Ritchie, 2012). They can provide extra facilities to customers through which they can gain advantages as compare to competitors.
Fuel Price: It is related to price of fuel and oil that can be increase at any time which affect the fare of transportation facilitates in respective way. Increase in fuel price will increase cost of travel which will impact on business cost. If price arise Thomas Cook has to manage their cost of packages which include travel services, but if needed to increase the package price it will impact on business expenses of respective company.
Consolidations:It refers to identify facilities like accommodation, transportation, meals, amusements, etc. which are going to consider in package that design according to requirement of customers. Before taking decision these are consider because it is beneficial for both customers and tour operators. Like if Thomas Cook offers bed services in hotel it is consider as accommodation services of consolidation. It require to maker contract of specific number of beds where tour operator can stay their clients but according to time they increase or decrease the contracted number of beds.
You may also like to read: Importance of Different Types of Visitors Attraction
From the above report it has been concluded that tour operations industry is the fastest growing industry in present era. This sector helps in the economic upliftment of country as well as increasing employment opportunities for people. Thomas cook is operating under a highly competitive environment has to undertake various decisions related to tour packages which satisfies needs of tourist. Selling price of the holiday package is also calculated for the customer to choose packages accordingly. Recent trends in the tourism industry enables customer to plan their holidays
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