The travel and tourism industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries in United Kingdom, having an significant impact on the economy of the country each year. The present report will help to understand the tour operator's working in United Kingdom. The report deals with the scenario of the Trailfinders ltd which is a tour operator company and offers different holiday tour and packages. The report presents the effect of recent trends and development on tour operator industry. The report also highlight the planning of the packages and the stages involves in developing the holiday. The report shows the important and designing of brochure with its purpose. The report presents different methods of distribution of packages. It also presents different type of tour operators and their strategic and tactical decision making.
1.1 Effect of current and recent trends and development on the tour operator industry
Enclosed in leaflet.
2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays.
The Trailfinders is planning a luxury coach and educational tour for 42 students in London. The company has to plan all the stages and timescales which is involved in planning a and developing a holiday. Developing and designing tours includes marketing plans, managing a tour, dealing with travel documents and legal formalities. Thus the process involves various stages to develop pan planned a tour packages which can attract the students. The stages and timescales involves in planning a holiday are:
- Market Research: for planning a tour packages, it’s important to search various elements including in holiday like, the coach trip and the market to attract the students or young travelers, the suitable price of the package (Mehmetoglu, M, and Norman, 2013). The basic demands of the holidays like accommodation, catering facilities, safety and security measures etc should be planned and proper research should be on the following basis.
- Planning and scheduling: Trailfinders ltd should plan he destinations and accommodations ,the capacity and rooms available during the dates in hotels, budget hotels. The planning is important to avoid last minute problems.
- Contracting: Many tour and travels company is in contract with the tour operators with hotels, hostel for student accommodation in the destination, catering etc. which operates in students tours. So the company can negotiate with this operators in advance with the booking of the students at a quoted price.
- Costing the holiday: estimating the holiday cost involves the transportation cost ,hotel or hostel cost, tour guide services and insurance cost. The company should estimate the holiday cost as after all the expenses the company can get any profit.
- Financial Evaluation and Pricing: cost plus pricing is used as pricing method by tour operators, in this the currency exchange to be considered when the pricing up,mark up is added to the total cost which is the expected return to the tour operator.
- Creating the Brochure: the brochures are the promotional tour activity, it contain comprehensive information about the tour. It is distributed in school or colleges or in the platform where students get to know about the tour.
- Advertising: For such students and school tour the big advertising should be avoided for safety and security reasons.
- Operation and Execution: there usually a person from tour organizer who deals with the tour operator (Sikdar and Vel, 2010). For any problem in the execution of the tour, the responsible person will communicate to the tour operator.
- Post tour Management: it involves the success of the tour, the tour planner will do a comprehensive analysis about the tour,financial profit and the tour packages. All the students in the tour will give their feedback about the tour and on the basis of that any improvement if necessary will be done.
2.2 The suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday.
The contracting is entering into an agreement for the agreed value of product and services. There are different components in holiday and contract is important for the success of tour and plan facilities. The Trailfinders ltd in context of the planned tour the following method should be adopted for contracting for different components of the holiday:
- Ø Fixed Contract: In this contract the fixed package is being provided on the fixed price in a package. It is more effective in the bulk consumption by large number of people. As the large number of people are consuming this packages the discount can be offered (Assaker, Vinzi and O'Connor, 2011). In fixed contract the tour operator fix the amount of booking on the basis of capacity of the booking.
- Ø Ad hoc contract: it is easiest and flexible way of making required planning and arrangements of the proposed plan and services prior to the tour. The cost of agreement is mainly based on the activities to be conducted in a hour or daily throughout the tour. The Trailfinders ltd should be agreed with the discounting rates with the hotel and airlines and had reserved the tickets.
2.3 Computation of total cost
Selling price = total cost + mark-up
Total costs = Accommodation + Transport + Visitor attraction + Tour guide
Selling price = Total cost + Mark up % x Total Cost
= 18835 + 25% x 18835 = £23,543.00
Total cost for accommodation = 5 x 21 x 92 = 9660 euros / 1.12 = £8625
Transport = £7350
Extras = 52 x 42 + 1020 = 3204 Euros / 1.12 = £2860
Total cost = £18835
3.1Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure.
A brochure is an document of the which contain the information about the company and product services provided. It is often used for advertisement of the company. It is a guide book which gives the information about the company in more prospective way. A travel operator includes the information related to selected destination, with the places to stay, prices, places to visit with plenty of images. If the travel brochure makes the good image at first glance, than customer will convert into traveler with your travel company. The main purpose of the brochure is to attract more customer and give them information about the company's services in a paper format. Therefore the planning for designing a brochure for Trailfinders ltd is very important, it includes various steps and decisions for making a brochure. The decision of designing a proper brochure should be taken by considered the following determinants:
- Cost: Determining the cost of producing a brochure is the basic decision to take. The cost of producing a brochure is included in the operating cost of the company. It could be 50% of total operating profit of the Trailfinders.
- Deciding the format: The brochure has to be attractive to seek the attention of the customer, format of the brochure is the most important and crucial determinants to decide like In the front cover the company name with a tagline, attractive photo and logo will look attractive to look . Content of the brochure should be small and easy to understand. Use of color will highlight the brochure (Evans, Stonehouse and Campbell, 2012). We can match the feel of the brochure to the destination you're promoting. Designing a travel brochure includes the photograph of destinations ,it will give a life to the brochure.
- Target Market : Distributing the brochures in the target market is very important. The aim is to distribute in the target market that is in travel operator's office, local shopping center, hotels ,airports or on online websites also. The design of brochures should be according to the target people. For the luxury holiday brochures should include the photograph of luxurious destination of the world, the five star resorts photographs.
- Determining Print Specification: For printing specification ,the paper you chose for your brochure can subliminally impact your brand image. Paper density refers to the thickness of paper, thicker the paper will give a more professional look to your brochure, but it wont be suitable for every task. And if the paper is too thin they may be flimsy and may give the wrong impression. After choosing the paper the finishing of the paper will be chosen, Coated paper will look more expensive weather matte or glossy.
3.2 Access the suitability of alternatives to a traditional printed brochures.
A brochure is used to market and advertise a tour operator company. With the advancement of the website technologies, The Trailfinders ltd also focuses on changing their medium from using traditional printed brochures to E-brochure to keep up with the modern online customers. the advantage of switching to E-brochure are:
- It is more flexible in term of marketing, Different templates for the e-brochure designs are available which are more adaptable than printed brochures.
- You can approach a lot of potential customers online by sending as many e-brochure as you can. You will also get quick response and feedback through e-brochure.
- E-brochure reduce printing cost to a great extent and cur marketing expenses. And e-brochure are very much cost effective (Moutinho, 2011).
- Best thing about e-brochures designs is that it can be easily updated, and if any need to make any changes or edit something it can be easily done.
- The new technology in graphics makes E-brochure looks great and attractive. Graphics designing gives the high quality look to the e-brochure.
- E-brochure can be easily viewed and downloaded from the websites.
Therefore, e-brochures can turn out to be very beneficial for the Trailfinders ltd to sell luxury holiday plans since they are easily accessible and for everyone.
3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday.
Depending on the target market, There is a mass tour operator company and specialized tour operator company in tourism industry, mass tour operators are the one who buys services in volume from the supplier and afford to sell them to the customer inexpensively. Specialized tour operator are specialized in particular destination and product,on the basis of this they made packages suitable for the customers (Ashworth and Page, 2011). The Trailfinders ltd is a specialized tour operator and can use different type of distribution method to sell its luxury holiday packages. It can be done either by traditional brochures or e-brochures, telephonic sales, e-marketing, call-center, direct sales and through booking agents also. There are two ways for the Trailfinders ltd to reach the target customer sell its holiday package:
- Directly: In direct distribution the Trailfinders can target directly through different different methods of advertising like :
Brochure is a paper document or guide book which gives a prospective information about the tour operator and the packages it offers (How to Make a Tourist Brochure, 2018). Nowadays e-brochures with graphic technology is much in trend which is a good way of distribution of traveling packages.
Websites is most important channel of distribution for any tour and travel company for modern tour company. The Trailfinders can advertise it luxury holiday package on its website so that the customer get a direct insight of the package, Trailfinders can use other websites also to advertise its new package.
Social media is an effective and free way of reaching new customers, and can be considered as one of the best distribution method, the strategy on social media always be adjustable. On the platform like Facebook and Instagram, advertising is very easy to reach almost all the users of the social media.
The advantage and disadvantage of of direct method of distribution are:
Direct channels are owned by company itself, it has an advantage of complete control over its distribution methods. using direct method will reduce the cost of intermediary,there will no commission or service charge to be paid to the intermediary like booking agents. Direct selling method offers more distribution channels and it is very convenient to reach the target customer .
Direct method on the other hand can increases the expenses to deliver a product to customers. It also increases the workload as the company itself has to control the advertising methods.
- Indirectly: It is a way of promoting tourism packages indirectly. The through third party that is intermediary like retail travel agents or booking agents who sells travels directly to the customer on behalf of the company to book and purchase holiday packages. They are more like a travel shop as they can assist several travel queries, tour wholesalers and inbound tour operators (Conrady and Buck, 2011). Tour wholesalers is similar as other wholesalers in other industries, as instead of tangible products they supply touring options touring, accommodation. The tour wholesalers supplies to retail travel agents and do not sell directly to customer.
The advantage and disadvantage of indirect method of distribution are:
Indirect distribution has an advantage of gain to increased consumer based without the challenge of getting customer through the door. It will increase the range of their target customer. For luxury packages the customer generally requires more interactive experience which is less possible in online method. It is more about brand awareness and long term stability
In Indirect method the range of distribution channel is lower than in direct distribution. Indirect marketing keeps in contact with those customer who are already engaged with your brand (Anderson, 2011). The outside cost like commission, broker fees and allowance can effect the cost of the package. Direct distribution like online shopping gives transparency,which is a huge factor for customer to compare the package price with other packages.
4.1 Evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator.
Successful marketing in travel and tourism needs a proper strategic decisions. Strategic decisions defines the long term direction and scope of an organization to achieve the long term goals of the company. The strategic decisions of any company includes the planning to reduce the operating cost and gaining the profit, making more customer and good brand image.
The strategic decisions will vary for each tour operators. The tour operator will make strategic decisions according to their level of operations. The strategic decisions by different tour operators are:
- Mass market operators: this is the tour operators who deals with just about any type of holiday. they put together everyone's needs from a holiday packages. They cater everything in packages which customers demands like accommodations, transfer, transport, and extra services.
The strategic decisions of mass tour includes the decisions of margins based on season by giving discounts on low season, giving special offer pricing to the customer who are the part of the company, giving discount on the basis of group size.
- Specialist tour operators: Specialist tour operators cater for niche market holidays, they specialize in particular destinations and/or in a particular product. They provide a wide variety of different types of holidays for a wide range of different markets. They puts together packages with a combination of accommodation, travel and sometimes transfers. a specialist operator is more flexible for the customer to be able to do what they want to do, they specialize and cater to the tourists interests (Ashworth and Page, 2011). They also have few clients than mass operators and due to catering and tailor making the holiday, they can charge higher prices.
The strategic strategy of specialized tour operator includes determining the size of the package, the number of tourists, number of days. To fulfill the needs and demand is very important in smaller tour. Because of the unpredictable nature of business environment there always a risk for the operator =. But the better operators knowledge can help in reducing the risk.
4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by Trailfinders in different situations.
Tactical decision making is the establishment of key initiatives to achieve the overall strategy. It usually determine the day to day implementations of the company's activities that will help to realize the ultimate goal. Tactical decisions are medium term decisions that support the strategic decisions (Crysta, 2011). Tactical decisions are focusing on short-term problems and solutions, such as reducing the price of a holiday to maintain sales.
The tactical decisions could be taken by Trailfinders in different situations are:
- Discounting: Trailfinders ltd is an specialized tour operator company in U.K and targeting mass audience for sales. To make tactical decision for discounting organization can compare the currency rate and own economic condition and evaluate the own profit share to provide discounting offers to attract customer.
- External Factor: there are some external factor which can have direct impact on the business. In order to overcome the impact of political, technological, environment changes, top management make tactical changes.
By summing up the above report it has been concluded the importance of tour and travel industry in United Kingdom. In the context of the Trailfinders ltd which is a tour operator company, the different effect of recent trends and development on tour operator industry. The report also stated the stages and planning for the development of holiday and packages. The suitability of different methods of contracting of the holiday and different types of tour operator are present in the report. The report also mentioned the importance of brochures and designing of brochures. Different distribution method for holiday packages and different type of tour operator are discussed in this report.