Travel Agency

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  • Topic: Travel agency, Tour operator, Computer reservations system
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  • Published : December 10, 2012
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3.1 Describe the different types of business that operate within the tourism industry

Travel agencies can be categorized briefly into three different types, they are include: 1. In bound Tour Operators
2. Outbound Tour Operators
3. Corporate Travel Service Agencies
4. Land operators – Cooperation among travel agencies.

For inbound tour operators, the customers are mainly tourists and visitors from foreign countries such as USA, England and Japan.

About the tour operations, mainly local sightseeing tours such as the “Hong Kong Island Tour”, where tourists learn about the culture and history of Hong Kong as well as enjoy shopping and seafood.

An inbound tour operator is those adept in offering travel arrangements. The services of these travel agents not just helps plan the itinerary, but also takes care of all the travel worries. Thus starting from the flight bookings to airports transfers to hotel reservations and entire sightseeing tour, all is managed by them providing the travelling experience.

The service coverage are included sightseeing tours, air ticketing, visa arrangements, hotel reservations, transfers, business meetings conferences arrangements and travel consultations.

The economic benefits from the inbound tour operations in Hong Kong are an asset to its economy. For example: Last year, over 28Million tourists visited Hong Kong. This large number of tourists spent a lot of money in Hong Kong. The expenditure from these tourists created many employment opportunities, directly and indirectly, making tourism one of the largest industries of Hong Kong.

For outbound tour operators, the customers are mainly local Hong Kong people who travel to other countries such as Japan, Thailand, Australia and Europe for business, leisure tours, or to visit friends and family.

About the tour operators, sightseeing tours to other countries, and arrangement of business trips as well. The outbound tour operators will prepare itinerary, the most common example of a tour operator’s product would be a flight on a charter airline plus a transfer from the airport to a hotel and the services of a local representative, all for one price. The outbound operators may specialize in destinations, e.g. Italy, the activities and experiences, e.g. skiing. The original raison d’etre of tour operating was the difficulty of making arrangements in far-flung places, with problems of language, currency and communication. However, tour operators still have their competence in arranging tours for those who do not have time to do DIY holidays, and specialize in large group events and meetings such as conferences or seminars.

Also, tour operators still exercise contracting power with suppliers (airlines, hotels, other land arrangements, cruises, etc.) and influence over other entities (tourism boards and other government authorities) in order to create packages and special departures for destinations otherwise difficult and expensive to visit.

For corporate travel service agencies, the customers are usually business people from commercial companies or business travelers from overseas collaborating with Hong Kong companies. For the operation, normally do not operate sightseeing tours, but would sell tours to inbound or outbound tour operators when customers require tour services. Tour programming and travel consultation are the main services. Air ticketing reservations, visa arrangements, hotel reservations, airport and hotel transfers, business conferences and tour arrangements are the supporting services provided. The economic benefits, contributions of economic benefit depend on whether these travel agencies are serving as an inbound or outbound agency. For the ticketing and reservations, which is including air ticketing, hotel reservation, tour programming and itinerary planning are fundamental to this type of travel agency. The executives from this type of travel agency should be well qualified in Information...
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