Recent Trends and Development and it's Effect on Operations of Thomas Cook

University: University of Chester

  • Unit No: 14
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 15 / Words 3829
  • Paper Type: Assignment
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Organization Selected : Thomas Cook


Tour operations industry is analysed as one of the most important sectors in economy of UK because it has achieved a phenomenal growth in last several years. Management of tour operations is mainly associated with planning, organising and controlling of activities of tourism service providers to attract customers and providing them leisure to travel in their favourite tourist destinations. Present report is based on analysing recent trends and development in travel and tourism sector as well as their effect on tour operations industry of UK. For this assessment, Thomas Cook is taken into consideration which is an international tour operator that deals in providing different types of travel and tourism services to people. At last, different aspects related to development of holiday packages have been discussed in this report.


1.1 Effects of current trends and development on tour operations industry

Tour industry is continuously changing while following the current trends and development. It is analysed that destinations around the UK have welcomed over 956 million international visitors in between the year 2016 (Kang and Schuett, 2013). Moreover, the emergence of new markets, different niche groups, digital trends and new ways of travel, types of accommodation as well as types of travellers are main reasons behind change in this industry. Further, there are various recent trends and developments occurred which affect the performance of tour operations industry. Changes in industry have also affected the decision of Thomas Cook relating to development of new services and tour packages for customers. Some major trends are mentioned as below:

  • Advancements of technology: Continuous development of new software and other technology services have enabled tour operators to satisfy the requirements of customers. They have provided customers with the facilities like online booking, development of mobile applications, etc. that clearly provide information about tourism services of UK.
  • Rise and fall in inflation: In relation to tour industry, increase in VAT due to rise inflation from 17.5% to 20% has affected the prices of accommodation, tourist attractions and other rental service. This will tend to raise the expenditure of tourists and decrease the demand for tourism (Hudson and Thal, 2013). In this context, decision of Thomas Cook PLC related todevelopment of holidays is affected due to rise in inflation because it has increased the prices of their different services which they offer to customers in tour packages.
  • Brexit: It is considered as the major term used to determine decision of Britain to exit from European Union. After Brexit decision, there are various trade barriers that have been faced by travel and tourism companies. Restrictions on getting Visas for visitors from EU countries have decreased the revenues and profitability of tour operators in industry. Decisions of Thomas Cook related to tourism services are also affected due to Brexit and company has made changes in their tour operations.
  • Low cost carriers: Increase in low cost transportation service like Air flights, Cabs and other travel facilities have also decreased the cost of travelling in the UK. This has influenced the decision of international visitors to explore different tourist destinations of UK.
  • Increased environmental awareness:Mainly, visitors aim to travel in those countries where will get an appropriate and clean environmental conditions so that it will not affect their health and safety (Tsiotsou and Goldsmith, 2012). There are various measures that have been taken by UK government and tour operators to provide pollution free environment for visitors. These measures have provided them support in increasing the number of visitors.
  • Responsible tourism: It implies responsibilities which are taken by the operators, hoteliers, government and local people for making tourism more sustainable. By minimizing the negative economic, environment and social impacts, they have increased the growth and development of tour operations industry in UK.

Further, there are various types of tour operators in industry such as:

  • Inbound tour operators: It implies to tour operators which provides tour services to people or visitors arriving in UK from other overseas nations. They mainly operate within a chain of franchises and agents in order to attract more customers in different countries. For example: A&T Travel and Active England tours are categorized in the form of inbound tour operators.
  • Domestic tour operators:They usually provide trips to the residents of a country with the boundaries of UK and also called as residents operators. They can also repeat trips, sense the demand of local market
  • UK outbound:These tour operators usually provide multinational tourism. They take residents of their own country to visit another country or continent. They sell their tour products or packages to customers in their own country who wish to travel to another country.
  • Specialist tour operators: They design their services for niche market which have interest in particular geographical area or a special kind of activity. Based on geographical areas and visitors, they handle their operations in the UK.


2.1 Stages and timescales involved in developing holidays

There are various important stages that have been involved in the development of holidays which are considered by Thomas Cook PLC while creating its services for customers. These important stages are discussed as below:

  • Conducting Market Survey: At this stage, organisation will carry out an analysis of market in which they operate in the UK. This aids them in understanding demand of customers to travel to other countries and their capabilities to pay the prices. Thomas Cook PLC also needs to analyse the inflation and tax rate for making plan and setting prices of services.
  • Planning and Scheduling: After this, company will make plan to include different destinations and services in holidays like travelling, wildlife centuries, beach trips, food and room division service, etc. Proper budget schedules for travelling will be made on the basis of market research(Morgan, Pritchard and Pride, 2011).
  • Cost Evaluation: In this, company distributes the prices required to accomplish different activities and services for visitors to evaluate difference between actual cost and estimated budget. It helps Thomas Cook in setting selling prices of their products or packages.
  • Market Reservation: After getting approval from customers, company will move towards reservation of hotel and accommodation service for customers. Booking for accommodation and travel services in hotels have been made to attract visitors from different countries.
  • Designing brochures: After setting prices and evaluation cost, brochure must be designed by Thomas Cook to attract people or visitors from different in UK to travel in another countries.
  • Implementation of Plan: Company will implement their tour plan by taking money from the visitors who will visit the place. So that company can make an advance payment to its suppliers like transportation and hotels

Activities in Days











Conducting market survey




Planning and scheduling





Making reservations






Evaluating the cost










Implementing the plan



Table 1: Timescale for developing holidays

2.2 Suitability of different methods of contracting for different components

Different method for contracting are discussed as below:

Fixed Contract- In this type of contract the hotel charges the amount for customer in advance as all the rooms are provided to get booked in advance. It is known to be advantageous as hotel gets paid even if room is not occupied.

Allocation- This type of contract is done between tour agencies and hotel as they used to contract for booking certain amount of room at a price for particular time period whereas hotel can provide other rooms at competitive price

Ad-hoc- These contract deals with the scenario of overbooking as it helps the company for arranging extra accommodation for customers (Robinson and et. al., 2016). This particular contract facilitate management of a hotel to fulfil it whenever the firm needs it

Following are the different types of tour operators :

Outbound- These types of tour operators provides luxurious kind of services to potential customers. They have special packages which re not afforded by every buyer. They tends to from a contract with inbound operator of another country and provides travelling services to travel the world.

Inbound- These operators provide services such as entertainment, activities involved in providing local tours, exchange of currency etc. They tends to serve all customers in a direct manner and focuses on fulfilling the aim of local travellers.

Domestic- These operators only serve travellers of a particular nation. And their services is available to limited customers only.

Ground- These kind of operators potentially handles customers who belongs to various organisations and leads them to provide facilities such as rental cars, accommodation , sightseeing, information, travel to several locations.

2.3 Selling price of holiday package

For the calculation of selling cost, one has to calculate the cost for 5 days as the time duration of tour will be 5 days. Rooms will be shared for two people therefore, only 8 rooms will be required. The whole framework of selling cot is provided below:


Per head amount (£)

For 15 persons for 5 days (£)

Cost required for hotel



Cost of supplement



Cost for coach



Charges related to local guide



Total cost



Profit margin (10%)



Actual selling price



Fixed Cost for packages will be £ 3688.5

Profit margin will be 10 percent of total cost of sales £ 369

Actual Selling price will be £ 4057.5

Package cost for individual : 4057.5/15= £270.5


3.1 Planning decisions taken for designing of a selected brochure.

Brochure is considered as the most important element for mechanising in business related to tourism. Its role is to enhance every aspect of business. It enlightens the customer with features, packages, selection of new markets and special offers of a company (Leslie, 2016). Following are the aspects of XL Leisure Group.

Factors affecting decision planning- There are major factors which are considered for planning the design structure of a brochure that are format, aim for providing various kind of information and the preparation time.

Brochure Format- Some of the points which should be taken in consideration while preparing the format is name of organisation, tour timings, information for destination and all the types of cost involved.

Images and Maps- A brochure shall have attractive and authentic image of destination and the correct mp showing several routes which are going towards the company.

Usage of pictures, Colours and fonts- The presentation should be effective as it provides customer proper information of a company therefore appropriate colours , mages and fonts should be used so that they can correlate easily.

3.2 Suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different kinds of tour operators.

Traditional brochures are now ineffective as promotional activities of all the companies now focuses on digital concept. They had certain disadvantages as it leads to provide reach to less customers whereas nowadays promotions are done through internet with the use of social media platforms which are very important to get adopted in order to reach a larger audience instantly. Apart from these, television advertisements are also effective as it leads to provide a creative approach to customers within short interval of time (Haavik, 2017). This method of mass communication is one of the strong strategies for implications. Various kinds of videos are uploaded on social media platforms which provide a short exposure to the audiences regarding the company which may lead to create an impact. Also, e- brochures can be provided on the sites of company so that customers can easily download it which provide every kind of information to them.

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

There can be various ways to sell their holiday packages to customers through direct sell which includes appointing sales person to communicate with potential customers in a market. This lead to create an impactful relationship that leads to develop a good image of company. Apart from it several agencies can be appointed that can attract customers and create several contract with other tour operator for in order to provide them accommodation effectively. Also, official website an mobile based applications can be used for providing them services instantly without any delay (Chang, Yeh and Liu, 2015). This will lead to create customers who are technologically advanced and wants to save time. Social Media platform can be the best option for creating sales as it has a reach to larger audience and provide instant promotions and sales. It will help the company to formulate customers from different countries to avail their services. Telephonic calls can be adopted to provide them verbal idea of the several kind of information.


4.1 Strategic decisions made by different kinds of tour operators.

Strategic decisions are very important for a company in order to gain profit and to sustain in a market. Some of the strategic decisions of Thomas Cook are discussed as below:

Pricing Strategy- It is very important to provide packages to customers at a decided rate which leads to provide profit to company as well as attract customers. The pricing strategy which is followed by this company premium pricing strategy or skimming pricing strategy as it leads to target only cream layer of the customers in a market as it tends to provide them a great profitability and leads to attract high economical segment of customers which values the service more as compared to prices. They are only attracted to the firm that they are ready to pay an amount of price for the services.

Marketing strategy- It includes various strategies which are followed for marketing the product and services which are provided by the Thomas cook. It leads to include the marketing mi of the company that includes formulation of the structure of product, price , place and promotion (Hoarau and Kline, 2014). It leads to decide which product to sell at places on which price by describing the promotional strategies for it.

4.2 Comparison of tactical decisions taken by selected tour operator in different situations.

Relationship maintenance with stake holders- It is very important to develop a good relationship with he stake holders as they invest in the company which provides them a chance for implementing various provisions for achievement of their goals (Tour operations, 2018). There are many chances of disputes with the stakeholders for decision a particular decision therefore it is very necessary to maintain the relation by implementing negotiations.

Evaluation of Customer Experience- It is very important to acknowledge the experience of a customer because several feedbacks must be taken in order to provide them a chance for advising, suggesting or complaining regarding any service or product. It leads to identify all gaps which occurs between the expectations of customers and the service provides and facilitate them to build up a strong strategy for improving the experience of a customer.


It has been concluded that there are various strategies which has to be formed by tour operator in order to provide an effective service in the market. There are various external factors that have influenced the strategies of Thomas Cook. Apart fro these it has been noticed that brochure plays an important element for providing basic information of the company to the customers therefore it is very necessary to implement the all the factors related to it in a creative way. Also, there re several tactical decisions which are taken by company in order to survive I a market effectively.

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Books and journals

  • Kang, M. and Schuett, M.A., 2013. Determinants of sharing travel experiences in social media. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. 30(1-2). pp.93-107.
  • Hudson, S. and Thal, K., 2013. The impact of social media on the consumer decision process: Implications for tourism marketing. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. 30(1-2). pp.156-160.
  • Tsiotsou, R.H. and Goldsmith, R.E., 2012. Strategic marketing in tourism services. Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Kunczik, M., 2016. Images of nations and international public relations. Routledge.
  • Morgan, N., Pritchard, A. and Pride, R., 2011. Destination brands: Managing place reputation. Routledge.
  • Robinson, P. and et. al., 2016. Operations management in the travel industry. CABI.
  • Leslie, D., 2016. Corporate Social Responsibility in the Tour Operating Industry. In Tourism Enterprises and the Sustainability Agenda across Europe (pp. 88-110). Routledge.
  • Haavik, T. K., 2017. New tools, old tasks: Safety implications of new technologies and work processes for integrated operations in the petroleum industry. CRC Press.
  • Chang, D. S., Yeh, L. T. and Liu, W., 2015. Incorporating the carbon footprint to measure industry context and energy consumption effect on environmental performance of business operations. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. 17(2). pp.359-371.
  • Hoarau, H. and Kline, C., 2014. Science and industry: Sharing knowledge for innovation. Annals of Tourism Research. 46. pp.44-61.

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