Managing Performance & Participation|
Background to Travel Agencies1
Context – The background of Travel Agents1
Types of travel agents2
Analysis of the data collection3
This report hopes to examine the impact of online booking websites on traditional High Street travel agencies. It was decided to research this subject due to the increasing importance of these websites and that the traditional travel agency may suffer as a result.
This report will achieve:
* Describe online booking websites and their infrastructure * Describe travel agencies and their background
* Analyze material about different aspects of travel agencies * Carry out a Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat (SWOT) analysis
After conducting previous primary and secondary research on online booking, it was decided to examine travel agencies in greater detail. The research carried out was secondary data and included journals, books and websites. This was then analyzed and scrutinized. This was done as journals and websites can provide relatively recent and relevant information for the study. Where possible, recently published books were used whilst others contained information on the main concepts.
Background to Travel Agencies
A travel agent can be defined as:
“A professional who evaluates the travelers needs and then proposes, organizes and sells one or more elements for the person’s trip”. (Mancini, 2005) Context – The background of Travel Agents
The history of travel agents can be traced back to the 1880s when Thomas Cook was set up and sold holidays (Segreto, Manera, & Pohl, 2009). During the WW2, many Britons who did not travel abroad previous were able to do so, for example, through deployment overseas. Prior to this, package holidays would have included train and ferry travel to reach faraway destinations which took a lengthy amount of time and having to meet locals speaking in a different language and from a different culture. In post-war Britain, however, these packages were bundled with air flights – which brought the idea of a package holiday to many more people (Segreto et al., 2009).
In recent years, travel agents have started a decline for a variety of reasons. Despite being a major contributor towards profits for airlines, the introduction of a reduction in commission for airline ticket sales starting in 1995 has meant that many travel agents have lost a major source of income (Lawton & Weaver, 2009; Siebenaler & Groves, 2002).
However, this industry is now under threat from travelers booking their holidays online (Goodley, 2011).
Types of travel agents
1. Conventional travel agencies
These agencies are dedicated to sell all kind of travel services for all type of trips, like: cruises, tours, car rentals, train passes, lodging, air services, etc. In general, they tend to sell more to local people. These travel agencies can be divided at the same time by: * Travel agencies that are owned by a big agency chain – for example American Express. * Travel agencies can be franchises. They may be owned by families or individuals but must be associated with a brand. * Travel agencies can be associated with a consortium. They are a group of agencies that work together to get and generate marketing tools, training programs, etc. These agencies retain their local identities. * Travel agencies can be totally independent. These are the traditional mom and pop agencies. (Groves & Siebenaler, 2002).
2. Online Agencies
These agencies work absolutely through websites. The great advantage of...