Tour Operations Management Assignment Sample

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Tour Operations Management

Introduction

Business of tour operation is identified as firm, company or organisation that purchases travel products that are different from suppliers that are assemble for creating tour package with own rates. The current report will aim at understanding industry of tour operator by analyzing major developments in reference to Trailfinders Ltd. The report will develop stages and timescales in context for planning holiday of London students to Belgium by further evaluating best contract methods and calculating selling price for per person. Further, study will emphasize on planning decisions for creating brochures for selling luxury holidays by assessing traditional method’s alternatives and dispensing distribution methods for brochure. Lastly, the report will compare and evaluate tactical as well as strategic decisions taken through tour operators.

Task 2

2.1 Assess the stages and timescale involved in developing holidays

The tour operators of Trailfinders aim to strategize better quality products and services to satisfy customers by fulfilling their demands and likings. The consumer satisfaction or destinations and journey should be prepared according to demand for presenting memorable experience. The Trailfinders has given opportunity to create holiday package for conducting educational tour for London students that will headed towards Belgium for Brussels and Brugge. The tour has been planned five nights for 50 students that requires to strategizing several stages for providing ideas if rates per person rates by including all services and products (Horner and Swarbrooke, 2016). The planning of tour package consists of following timescale and stages that includes:

  • Stage of Research and Planning – It is important to finalize destination first but it requires satisfying consumers by researching destination’s attributes, features or cultures. For this purpose conducting market research is necessary to provide clear clarification of destination to students.
  • Stage of Negotiation – The services required by students is mentioned in package by dispensing fair idea of prices that is written after negotiation from services providers, suppliers and service vendors that will enhance customer attraction from affordable pricing strategy.
  • Stage of Administration – The stage is aimed for facility arrangement that is given to the employees of Trailfinders for arranging all services, plans and facilities in proper manner for increasing sales through the holiday package.
  • Stage of Marketing – The pricing and destination decision brings stage of advertising holiday package within consumers by using method of social media, brochures, personal messages, and pamphlets etc that will enhance and boost sales.
  • Stage of Departure – it includes the information of time and date in which travellers has to reach location of departure for Belgium journey. It is last stage that is prepared after consumer satisfaction from luxury holiday package and pricing strategies that is created in favour of students (Mowforth and Munt, 2015).

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

The tour operators play the important role in fulfilling consumer requirements and expectations before starting journey. The tour package created with satisfactory features tailors the successful sales increase. The Trailfinders has increased its market image by arranging variety of tour types that consists of bird watching, beach trips, educational, sports trip, marine, adventurous etc. It has planned tour to Belgium for UK students by aiming to dispense quality services by agreeing on contracts that are essential to retain service providers to travellers (Shi, et.al, 2016). Following are key services that satisfy customers that requires contracting with vendors, dealers or suppliers for acquiring guarantee of services to customers at destinations or journey which are as discussed below:{{ORDER1}}

Contracts with Hotels and Guest House – In this service, bed facility is given to customers. It is available within two contracts first is fixed contract that books whole hotel for year based on its package sales and customers counting and another is identified as floating contract in which the operators mentions the need of bed through numbers that are paid by traveller according to the days stayed. Customers get satisfaction as their basic amenities is directly arranged by holiday operator.

Contract with Airways and Railways – The role in giving transportation services to consumers is very essential by tour operators that manages and arranges seat for specific a customer that has the need of transport service to be included in holiday package for making journey much easier. All the facilities regarding pricing, sudden flights and flight delays are managed by FTO in tour operator presence. Fixed contract is done for giving constant services to consumer.

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Contract with Food Providers – It is essential for operator for arranging meals and dinners for customers. It provides satisfaction to tourist and travellers and further it provides liberty to consumers to add drinks requirement in their package by paying extra charges for enjoying their journeys. The operators must utilize fixed contracts from cafes, hotels and restaurants for dispensing satisfaction to customers (Haddadi and Khodadadpoor, 2015).

2.3 Calculate the selling price of holiday from given information

The Trailfinders has planned educational trip from London to Belgium for 5 nights by taking 50 students for destination Brussels and Brugge. It is mandatory to mention information regarding destination and it’s that is planned for year 2020 for July. The Grand Casselbergh has decided the pricing strategy of various services on December 3, 2018. It has mentioned different services and its amount that prepares best holiday package for students by providing assured service that is mentioned in packages. The selling prices have been calculated for students that aids in boosting package sales that has been analyzed according to per person (Sharpley, 2015). It will help in increasing consumer attraction and students will be increased in education tour. The calculation of tour package selling price is mentioned below:

Table 1: Tour package details

Exchange Rate {{ORDER1}}

€1.14 = £1

Rate of 1 Euro

1 Euro = £0.869

Number of Hotel Rooms Needed

5 nights, 50 students shared by two people that consist of free breakfast.

50 students = 25 rooms.

One Room Rate

89 Euros

Rate of Luxury coach 54-seater

£6949

Rate of Tour Guide

€896

Rate of Visitor Attraction

€45.60

Mark Up by Trailfinders

28%

Table 2: Tour package selling price calculation

Rate of 5 nights that includes 25 rooms

50*5*89*.869 = £19335.25

Rate of Luxury Coach

£6949

Rate of Tour Guide

€896*0.869 = £778.62

Rate of Visitor Attraction

€45.60*0.869 = £1981.32

Total Expenses Incurred

£19335.32 + £6949 + £778.62 + £1981.32 = £29044.26

28% Mark Up

£29044.26*28% = £8132.39

Rate of Selling Price (per person)

(29044.26+8132.39) = 37176.65/50 = £743.53 per person

According to calculation of selling price for Belgium trip for each student will be £743.53 that is to be collected by Trailfinders for increasing sales through consumer.

Task 3

Executive Summary

In the following section, the planning decisions made for the design of the brochure had been discussed. The factors considered for the designing purpose had been elaborated and their importance was discussed. In addition to this, the section covered the alternatives of the travel brochure, such as travel agents, direct mail, etc., had also be elucidated and their downsides were also mentioned. The last part of this section covered the suitability of different ways used to sell the travel package by the company.

3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for design of a selected brochure

The strategy of marketing refers to action, process or plan that is initiated for advertising, selling and promoting tour service or goods. The documentation is done for mentioning promotional plans and strategies of holiday packages that aids in boosting organisational sales. Trailfinders is one of best tour operators that has provided affordable and quality tour and holiday packages by aiming to utilize best means of promoting packages. Development and distribution of brochures has boosted sales and interest of customers across world. The brochures refers to document that is digitalized with creative and innovative thoughts that provides destination information that becomes source of attracting consumers with attractive prices and packages (Lee and Andereck, 2016). It is essential for publish brochures for attracting numerous customers by aiming to plan certain decision regarding brochure designing for selling luxury holidays that includes the following:

Figure 1: Brochure of Great Rail Journeys

(Source: Amy Harrison, 2013)

Brochure Appearance – The brochure attracts reader that influences by adorable features and its content language. Creation of brochure should include better quality of paper, relevant content, font size, structured innovation, paper size, colour choice etc. Researches related to destination and attractions must be properly done for setting budgets of customers for attracting and increasing sales.

Convincing Messages – Trailfinders must select better markets for distributing brochures by mentioning right destination’s information regarding culture, features or political conditions. The services in tour package must be written in brochures such as attractions, cost, destinations, time, schedule, accommodation services etc. The pricing or product and services should be printed in fair manner that should not include hidden charges as customers feel being cheated.

Figure 2: Brochure from Iceland ProTravel

(Source: Iceland Brochures, 2018)

Captivating and Quirky Impression – Attractive brochure display helps in grabbing attention of customers. Destination’s information and colour combination selection should be properly done by including variety of colours and marketing research (Scarles, 2016). Brand image can be advertised by creativity and innovative ideas in printing textures and content for better consumer understanding related to destination or attraction.

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

Earlier, traditional brochures are utilized by tour operators that were printed document that was identified as string marketing tool that helps consumer for reading destination information for aiming to purchase the holiday package. But recently they are replaced from modern brochures that consist of virtual tour destination, online brochures and websites that helps the potential consumers for assessing budgets and destination planning. The Trailfinders has planned for creating brochures for selling out luxury holidays that should follow methods that are identified as alternatives to traditional modes for selling brochures which are as follows:

Promotional Brochure – It helps in promoting services related to offers and discounts from tour operators regarding holiday packages and destinations (Brito and Pratas, 2015). It is beneficial for ground and outbound tour operators that targets specific audience group by bringing destination awareness. This type of brochure does not dispense benefits to Trailfinders as it will not appropriate and effective for high budget destinations.

Travel Agents – The brochures are provided to travel agencies that are provided higher salaries for attracting customers through promotional techniques. Issuing CD brochure and television will provide paths to reach potential customers by giving necessary information regarding budget and destination included in holiday package.

Direct Mail Brochure – This brochure benefits inbound tour operator that helps in sending mails to customers regarding goods or service to targeted potential customers. The additional news and information related to destination should be given to customers by providing discounted rates to people. It also plays part of e-brochures that gives success by presenting brochures in various situations.

Websites – The tour operator can initiate brochure selling from website by adjusting column for customer assessing. The method is easier and liked by most customers by saving their time and money of going to travel operator. It promotes better technical modes of advertising brochures for attracting customers (Selwyn, 2018).

The methods that should be beneficial for Trailfinders will be direct mail and websites for promoting destinations by brochures.

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

According to current scenario, the tour operators should aim at distribution methods and tools of selling brochures to potential customers. By initiating different brochure distribution methods the Trailfinders will be able to advertise package offerings related to adventurous holiday for the customers that have been targeted. The management of tour operators does not use single method to advertise and promote their packages instead they focus on using variety of methods for reaching to global customers. These methods provide information and awareness for tourism product that satisfies client from brochures and prepares individual to take decisions regarding tour by selecting best method (Chang, et.al, 2017). In reference to Trailfinders following are key points that must be focused for brochure distribution which are as follows:

Telephone – It is best method to inform about holiday package to targeted customers by keeping their contact details. It helps in identifying those clients and customers that shows interest for package details and information. The old clients are targeted under telephonic conversation about holiday packages that are sold in low rates.

Direct Selling – The selling of luxury holidays can be sold by using direct selling approach that aids in saving investment cost. It is identified as traditional idea of selling brochures by using best method of promoting products and services within targeted consumers by exhibiting and interacting face to face that specifies consumer interest. It may receive setback as clients do not like to waste time on listening whole information.  

Internet – This is determined as global platform for promoting brochures mentioning holiday plans that makes consumer approach much easier. It can use website, email, applications of cell phone etc and social sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Face book etc that will helps in saving cost and time of tour operators.  

From above methods, internet and telephonic conversation should be used by Trailfinders to promote luxury holiday package (Wehrli, et.al, 2017).

Task 4

Executive Summary

This part of the report talked about various strategic decisions made by tour operators in the business. This comprise the pricing decisions, positioning, targeting, and targeting, and other important decisions. This helped in building an understanding of different approach taken up by different tour operators in making decisions. The next part of this section talked about the comparison of the tactical decisions made by the tour operators regarding the services.

4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator

The tour operators aims at taking various decisions for maintaining operational flow by crafting changes in methods of obtaining business results. The strategic decisions in firm are taken for achieving business and standard targets. For crafting important decisions, it is essential for firm’s management for considering ethical policy, trade union framework and legislation by influencing to all for complying with it. Strategic decisions in tour industries are beneficial as it dispenses functional as well as operational activities for positioning and retaining customers (Buckley and Mossaz, 2016). In UK, the leading tour operators include Thomas Cook and TUI that offers services that are similar based on consumer expectations. Following are determined as strategic decisions for evaluating current economic situations in both organisations which are as follows;

Pricing Decisions – It is essential factor for taking necessary decisions. Based on survey, the pricing strategies of Thomas cook is based on actual cost, focus groups and rival organisation’s prices. It is best approach for attracting numerous customers and enhances ethical methods of pricing. On contrary, the management of TUI created it pricing decisions based on income of the customers and objectives of earning profits. It provides benefits as customer income decides the budget of holiday package.

Positioning, Segmentation and Targeting – The marketing techniques is important to develop in tourism packages. Both organisations aims to strategise decisions related to demand, economic conditions and product quality. Thomas Cook aims to segment destination information by focusing on recent trends of marketing for promoting packages. Effective strategy for promotion is used for targeting specific group of customers that helps in increasing sales of Thomas Cook. On contrary, TUI prepares strategic decisions related to market positioning and segmentation by identifying consumer needs and preparing back up plan (Kazeminia, et.al, 2015). It focuses on using online services for targeting its customers by innovative approach that enhances its sales from potential consumers.

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

Thomas Cook brings and initiates changes in the strategies and tactics in different situations that are based on market requirements and conditions. It is essential to change strategic decisions in organisations as moving in same manner might impact the outcomes. The top management of tour operator industry should prepare variety of tactics for dealing with different situations of market that affects the positioning and results of sales and profits (Nagle and Müller, 2017). For grabbing success in aims and business functioning, following are the tactical decisions that are essential for Thomas Cook to practise which are discussed below:

External Aspects – Cox and King and Thomas Cook are specifically impacted by external factors that fluctuates the results and market positioning. The tactical decisions are taken by tour operator’s top management for dealing with political, environmental and technological factors. Green policy have been adopted by Thomas Cook that effectively follows rules and regulations for grabbing competitive edge through tactical planning that overtakes the business of Cox and King that is identified as local tour operator. Further, Thomas Cook has various benefits as top management allows initiating technical changes according to consumer demands by managing it with financial decisions.

Discounting – The decisions of Cox and King and Thomas Cook are differently evaluated based on factor of functionality. The organisation of Thomas Cook is known as inbound tour operator that dispenses and promotes its products and services to various countries for boosting sales with targeting mass people and customers. For making tactical planning related to discounting factor, Thomas Cook compares own economic situation and currency exchange rate. On contrary, the tour operator Cox and King focuses on organisation’s profits share for giving offers and discount to customers that plays essential part for retaining and gaining higher profits and market share as local tour operator (Long and Shi, 2017).

Conclusion

With above study, it concludes that different changes and developments have been noticed in tour operator industry that boosted the tourism sector of UK in reference to Trailfinders. The study has assessed different stages and provided timescales for completing stages by determining best and suitable methods of contracting with service providers by also identifying selling prices of tour package planned for Belgium for London students. Further luxury holidays have planned that need brochure selling by identifying different methods of reaching customers that eliminates traditional methods of brochure creation. At last, study has emphasized on tactical and strategic decisions that are done by tour operators in various circumstances.

References

Books and Journals

  • Brito, P.Q. and Pratas, J., 2015. Tourism brochures: Linking message strategies, tactics and brand destination attributes.  Tourism Management,  48, pp.123-138.
  • Buckley, R. and Mossaz, A.C., 2016. Decision making by specialist luxury travel agents. Tourism Management, 55, pp.133-138.
  • Chang, J., Wang, Y.C. and Lin, T.L., 2017. The Impact of Travel Brochures on Perceptions of Authenticity at Aboriginal Tourist Sites.  Tourism Analysis,  22(4), pp.551-562.
  • Haddadi, M. and Khodadadpoor, M., 2015. The Role of Public Private Partnership Contracts in Tourism Industry Development.  Tehran: Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences,  4(1).
  • Horner, S. and Swarbrooke, J., 2016.  Consumer behaviour in tourism. Routledge.
  • Kazeminia, A., Del Chiappa, G. and Jafari, J., 2015. Seniors’ travel constraints and their coping strategies.  Journal of Travel Research,  54(1), pp.80-93.
  • Lee, W. and Andereck, K., 2016. The Effect of Travel Magazine Features and Photos on Tourist Decision Making.
  • Long, Y. and Shi, P., 2017. Pricing strategies of tour operator and online travel agency based on cooperation to achieve O2O model.  Tourism Management,  62, pp.302-311.
  • Mowforth, M. and Munt, I., 2015.  Tourism and sustainability: Development, globalisation and new tourism in the third world. Routledge.
  • Nagle, T.T. and Müller, G., 2017. The strategy and tactics of pricing: A guide to growing more profitably. Routledge.
  • Scarles, C., 2016. Mediating the tourist experience: From brochures to virtual encounters. Routledge.
  • Selwyn, T., 2018. Peter Pan in South-East Asia: views from the brochures. In  Tourism in South-East Asia(pp. 135-155). Routledge.
  • Sharpley, R., 2015. Tourism and development. Sage Publications.
  • Shi, Y., Ji, J.N., Zhang, Z.Y. and Yang, L., 2016. Tourism supply chain coordination with price discount and quantity flexibility contracts. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management 2015 (pp. 229-240). Atlantis Press, Paris.
  • Wehrli, R., Priskin, J., Demarmels, S., Schaffner, D., Schwarz, J., Truniger, F. and Stettler, J., 2017. How to communicate sustainable tourism products to customers: Results from a choice experiment.  Current Issues in Tourism,  20(13), pp.1375-1394.

Online References

  • Amy Harrison, 2013 [Online] [Accessed Through] <http://harrisonamy.com/copywriting-lessons-2-luxury-travel-adverts-wins/> [Accessed On: 1st February, 2019]
  • Iceland Brochures, 2018 [Online] [Accessed Through] <https://www.icelandprotravel.co.uk/brochures-iceland-holidays/> [Accessed On: 1st February, 2019]
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