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The Characteristics of Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Tour Operators
Tour Operators is a person or company that organizes and sells package tours or holidays. A tour operator typically combines tour and travel components to create a holiday. 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 original reason for existence of tour operating was the difficulty of making arrangements in far-flung places, with problems of language, currency and communication. The advent of the internet has led to a rapid increase in self-packaging of holidays. 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. The top major tour operators association in the Philippines is the, Blue Horizons Travel and Tours, Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) and Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) etc.

Characteristics of the Tour Operators

Two major trends that characterise the tour operating industry:

• Concentration and integration: The package holiday market is dominated by a very small number of internationally operating tour operators. The main trends in the industry are economies of scale, horizontal and vertical integration. Through these strategies, tour-operators can achieve considerable buying power and control over their suppliers, as well as the distribution of their products. Horizontal integration refers to a situation when companies join

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