Links and relationships within the travel industry

Topics: Travel agency, Dynamic packaging, Tour operator Pages: 3 (979 words) Published: January 23, 2014
Tour operations is a dynamic and complex business environment, where companies must work with many different travel and tourism component industries, comply with laws and regulations, and deal with a variety of external influences and challenges. Unlike travel agents, who sell holidays and a range of other travel products, tour operators actually assemble the different parts of a holiday, i.e. the type of travel, accommodation, facilities, transfers, excursions and other services. If we consider that travel agents are the retail arm of the travel business, then tour operators are the wholesalers, since they buy in bulk from the providers of travel services, such as the hoteliers and airlines, break the bulk into manageable packages and offer the finished product – the package holiday (or inclusive tour) – for sale via a travel agent or direct to the public. The package is sold for an all-inclusive price, which is generally lower than if the different parts of the holiday had been booked individually by the holidaymaker. In working with other travel and tourism industries, tour operators develop links with a wide range of organisations, including: • Travel agents – using agents as a sales outlet for the tour operator’s holidays and agreeing commission payments and booking procedures; • Transport providers – negotiating and agreeing contracts with airlines (charter and scheduled), rail operators, coach companies, taxi operators, etc. to supply transport services for holidaymakers; • Hotels and other accommodation providers – negotiating allocations of bed spaces that form the accommodation element of the package holiday; • Ancillary service providers – contracting with companies to supply representative services, transfers, ‘meet and greet’ arrangements, insurance, car hire, activities, excursions, etc. Even the large, vertically-integrated travel groups have to liaise on different functions within their own organisations, since individual parts of the group are...
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