Introduction to Tour Operations Management
Management of travel and tour is the imperative task under which organization prepares holiday packages with the detail information related to tour. It attracts visitors across the nation and enhances sales turnover of tour operators (Baggio and et. al., 2010). The present report is based on itinerary plan which consists of three holiday destinations that are world heritage sites such as London and Maldives as well as Africa for wild life attraction. Further, recent trends and developments in tour and travel sector have been explained. In addition to this, brochure has been prepared for the distribution purpose which aids to create awareness among visitors. Apart from this, emerging trends in UK tour operations have been explained along with describing tour operator’s responses towards the same.
1.1 Recent trends and development in tour operations sector
Currently, travel and tour industry is changing at rapid speed because of changing needs and preferences of visitors (Cao and Nguyen, 2012). These trends are directly related to food facility and planning for the trip. In this regard, some of the hotels are planning to sell to sale home cooked food in order to give local experience. Similarly, wearable technology makes it possible for visitors to plan their trip. It aids to give good experience to them and also save their time effectively. Here, Worlds Heritage Sites in London has numerous tourist destinations which contain special culture or physical significance. It includes heritage attraction such as Cutty Sark, Royal Obervatory and Tower of London as well as Westminster Abbey. Along with that, National Martitime Museum and Queen's House also contain history in itself. All these sites serve as the evidence of history and provide detail information to the number of visitors with regards to culture and heritage of London (Chen and et. al., 2009).
Wildlife attractions can be seen effective in South America because of more animal species. It has number of places where visitors can gain rich experience of wildlife. These destinations of South America include Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve, Galapagos Islands and Researva Natural Marasha. Along with that, Manu National Park and Churute Mangroves Ecological Researva are also included in the popular destinations. It aids to depict beauty of Eco-tourism that includes forests, rivers and lagoons. This in turn visitors can ensure optimum utilization of their time as well as monetary resources spent by them on tourism. The third selected tropical destination is Maldives which is an island country in the Indian Ocean (Collison and Spears, 2010). This location is surrounded by the natural beauty of beach which gives good experience to visitors. Furthermore, Maldives facilitates to attract more couples as the place is very romantic which gives good experience to newly married couple. Thus, it can be said that selected different locations are effective for providing good quality services to the visitors.
2.1 & 2.2 Preparing itinerary for heritage plus wildlife and beach holiday
The itinerary plan is made with the consultation of different tour operators and different tourist destinations. It proves to be effective to enhance sales turnover of tour operators and attracting visitors towards the same location. Under this, tour operators of London, South America and India will work with integrity (Francis and et. al., 2008). The integration of all these tour operators has main motive to provide comfort zone to their visitors. At this juncture, entire visitors approach at London, where the journey will begin. It aids to meet the requirement of visitors and enhance their level of satisfaction. Furthermore, travel agencies will be approached at the same time along with the hotels with good quality of products and services. Accordingly, services will be rendered to the customers on the basis of their expectation level. Here, plan is made with special offer of Valentine’s Day. On the basis of special occasion, prices are kept low so as to increase the attention of visitors towards the attractive location. This plan is basically made for all kinds of visitors but specially preference to adults or couples.
In addition to this, below mentioned holiday package facilitates to meet the requirement of number of tourists effectively as this consists of discounting offer (Mak, 2011). Also, hotels included in the package will also consist a bit of consultation with visitors. It can be said that plan is made by taking into account preferences of customers. For example, during journey of London, time schedule can be modified as per the need of tourists.
2.3 Carrying out components package and determining the selling price
Cost is the most imperative aspect while setting price of destination or tour package. The term cost is the basic value of service. Certain margin of profit is added to cost in order to set right price. However, the price of services is set by taking into account the special offer. It includes cost of transportation facility, hotels charges, meals and accommodation (Tripathi, Choudhary and Agrawal, 2010). All these services are based on total cost of £3000 in which margin of profit is added. However, the cost of different destination also has different tax which needs to be paid by visitors. Owing to this, it is very important for tour operators to assess cost associated with package and accordingly keep portion of profit aside. It enables tour operators to enhance sales turnover as well as profitability.
Furthermore, there are several kinds of prices that are charged for products and services. These pricing strategies can be one of competitive, special offer and seasonal as well as skimming pricing. However, tour operators generally use special offers and seasonal prices. Reason behind selecting such kind of price is to create psychological effect among visitors. It enables corporation to increase customer’s base and create competitive edge of tour operator in the marketplace (Tsiotsou and Ratten, 2010). For example, South America can offer low price during winter because of off season. It is because South America is a bit cold place during the winter season. On the other hand, during special occasions, London and other areas offer services or package at very low prices. It enables visitors to take quick purchase decision. Thus, cost component is the main priority while setting price of services and then accordingly other factors are considered.
3.1 & 3.2 Designing and planning brochure and suggestion of alternative methods
Brochure refers to effective tool for the promotion of travel services. It assists management of Thomas cook to present its services in front of large number of visitors. Further, this tool helps in capturing the attention of potential customers (Vance and et.al., 2011). Brochures are cost effective method of marketing but it creates a long lasting impact in the minds of consumer. Moreover, this tool is prepared in an attractive manner which influences the existing as well as potential customers. Brochures helped the Thomas Cook to market its brand in order to attract the customers in the most effective manner.
This Brochure describes that Thomas Cook has proposed a trip on the occasion of Valentine. This trip is especially targeted for couples. It consists of 15 days trip which includes three destinations that is London, South America and Maldives. Further, this package includes all the amenities and type of holiday trip. Cultural tour, leisure tour and wildlife trip is included (Bhatia, 2012). Moreover, this package includes three time meal, luxury hotel accommodation, air trip, transportation facility, etc. This package has been designed in order to provide a hassle free trip to the couple.
As it is known that brochure is an effective way to communicate visitor about the trip and packages. However, this medium of communication has become traditional and there is an evolution of more effective methods which can also assist company in attracting potential or existing customers (Black and Crabtree, 2007). Alternative mediums are social networking sites because there is an extensive use of such sites. Hence, Thomas Cook can create their page on Facebook and Twitter and offer such trips along with the vouchers and referral amount. This will attract the customer in a more effective manner. Moreover, mobile application of Thomas Cook can also be created and provided on the Android or IOS phones. Thus, that app can help in promotion by using websites and brochures on social media which will help in creating awareness about the upcoming trip packages, customized trips, etc. These non-traditional methods of marketing can enhance the promotion of proposed packages which is targeted to the couple (Evans and et. al., 2012). Further, these designed brochures can be promoted on the website of Thomas Cook, other tourism website, on social networking page, etc.
Traditional method of communication can be promoted in a non-traditional method so that effectiveness can be increased and these way customers will get attracted more. It means that these designed brochures can be promoted on social networking sites and websites along with that a hard copy should also be distributed in an outlet of Thomas Cook in various countries.
3.3 Evaluating and discussing non-traditional methods of distribution
There are several non-traditional methods of distribution through which holiday package can be sold out in the marketplace.
These methods are explained as follows-
Direct mail- It is another method of distribution under which company directly sends mail to list of visitors. It facilitates to provide direct information to end users of services so that they can effectively make purchase decision (Hudson, 2008). Furthermore, direct mail is also an effective to way to let visitors know regarding special offer, discount and other important details related to specific tour packages. Furthermore, copy of brochure is sent to prospective buyers by direct mail so as to enhance sales turnover and increase customer base.
Social sites- This is most popular non traditional method to communicate with large number of prospective buyers. Here, social sites like Facebook, Twitter can be used to approach buyers (Lockyer, 2013). By using any of the social sites, tour operators impart information about their holiday packages. It enables them to access services offered by firm. Not only this, but with the help of social sites company get feedback of tourists and makes it possible for them to access right kind of services on right time. The main advantage of this site is to inform number of prospective visitors at the same time. It also helps visitors to influence and plan for purchasing holiday package (Robinson, 2009).
Travel agencies- This is the most effective method under which tour operator remain in contact with travel agencies through phone or using internet (Stabler and et. al., 2009). This is because travel agencies can promote services and can distribute brochure in plane when passenger travel. Furthermore, travel agent works on the basis of commission so as to get mutual benefits.
4.1 Evaluating and analyzing emerging trends in UK tour operation and their responses
According to the first assignment, it has been found that visitors are shifting towards tourist attractions like Eco-tourism and natural adventure. It facilitates them to increase sales turnover of tour operations in order to create competitive edge in the marketplace. Furthermore, visitors tend to focus on location which aid to satisfy their need in cost effective manner (GRAGG, 2009). Owing to this, tourists are provided with special offers and discount on the price of services. However, it is very important for tour operators to assess the demand and preferences of visitors by conducting proper research activities. By doing this, tour operator come to know about kind of modifications that are required in the current product and services. On the other hand, some uncontrollable issues like political and legal factors reduced the purchasing power of buyers. At this juncture, tour operator like Thomas cook faces issues in increasing sales turnover. On the other hand, increasing competition and changing technological pace are also the major issues.
In order to resolve aforementioned challenges and emerging trends, Thomas Cook shifted its target to make more effective holiday packages by focusing on younger population. Similarly, families were targeted by offering more additional services (The UK tour operator market, 2014). This aspects lead to increase the attention of buyers towards holiday packages offer by firm. Furthermore, management of tour operator decided to promote services by using updated technologies such as internet and social media. Accordingly, brochure are planned and distributed in the target market so as to attract number of visitors across the world. Apart from this, upgraded technologies increase the attention of buyers due to having looked on special offers and attractive services in affordable price. Likewise, up gradation in the technology made it effective for the company to take feedback of visitors. This in turn supports the tour operator to give response to emerging change in right manner and create competitive edge in the marketplace (Mak, 2011).
4.2 Examining difference between tactical and strategic decision
Both tactical and strategic decisions are important for ascertaining future growth of corporation in the marketplace. Here, tactical decision is made to implement strategy whereas strategic decision is taken to give upward move to company (Sigala, 2010). Similarly, management of Thomas cook takes tactical decision by arranging necessary resources in order to implement plan of attracting large number of buyers. Furthermore, strategies are made to expand business, setting prices of products and services and selecting alternative ways to increase customer base. For example, when basic aim of tour operator is to increase visitors' base then focus will be laid on adopting effective marketing strategies. In this regard, company will prepare traditional and non-traditional sort of communication modes to create awareness among public related to holiday package. Here, the attraction of buyers can be gained by offering low prices or giving special offer or offering for additional facilities along with packages. Tactical decision for them is taken by appointing right kind of person for implementation of right strategy and allocating financial as well as non-financial resources for the strategy (Chen and et. al., 2009). In the above mentioned plan, tactical decision is made by making plan and setting special offer on the package. However, this strategy is followed by the aim of attracting large number of visitors. In addition to this, Thomas cook and other tour operations of UK adopted social media marketing and other related strategies just to stay in touch with consumers. This step proves to be effective because of change in the current services in accordance with feedback of visitors (Vance and et.al., 2011). It shows that above mentioned plan could have tactical decision strategy related to distribution or promotion of itinerary plan. Similarly, research could be done to assess the exact requirement of buyers. Apart from this, plan could have been focused on specific segments like couples, families and others.
The aforementioned report concludes that management of travel and tourism need active integration of different parties like hotels, tour operators and travel agencies. It facilitates to prepare effective tour package and provide detail information to visitors accordingly. It can also be said that social media marketing and other attractive ways of non-traditional methods facilitate to enhance sales turnover of the company to a great extent. This is because of visitors who can easily book their trip. In addition to this, tactical decisions play imperative role in formulating effective strategies and executing the same in order to carry out organization objectives in an effectual manner.
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