Tour operators are a key factor in the success of the tourism industry. Tourists count on tour operators to turn their dream vacations into realities. Booking a tour is an easy way for a traveler to experience a foreign land and make sure they hit the best spots. In this article we are going to talk about the roles and functions of tour operators that are aiming to provide the ultimate travel experience.
What are the roles of a tour operator?
The main goal or function of a tour operator is to organize the services being provided to the customer, such as transportation and accommodations. The tour operator is the brains behind the beauty of vacation and they leverage their expertise and resources (provider databases or technology like tour operator software).
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Creating Tour Packages
The tour operator is responsible for creating and maintaining tour packages for customers. Management of tour packages includes preparing activities that appeal to the specific travelers embarking on the trip. The tour operator business plan should cover when and how to modify a tour package to best adhere to the priorities of the group.
Prepare Travel Arrangements
In most cases, tour operators are expected to make travel arrangements for the group of people on the tour. This includes transportation from one activity to another to ensure that all the group members make it to the next destination. Tour operators often assist with flight tickets and work closely with hotels to provide suggestions to the group members.
Budgeting the Tour Operations
Tour operators work diligently to create tour packages that offer high-quality service to customers for a cheaper price than if the customer was to book each commodity on their own, while also creating a profitable business. Tourists purposely seek out help from a travel agent or tour operator because it provides more bang for their buck. It is important that tour operators spend time on evaluation of pricing before finalizing a tour package.
Providing a safe and enjoyable tour
A tour should be everything a traveler wants, and more. A tour operator should be very well versed in putting together an experience that will create memories to last a lifetime.
As important as it is to deliver a meaningful, positive experience, it is also vital to keep your travelers safe throughout the trip. Some tour activities may pose a potential risk to travelers, which poses a liability to your company.
As a tour operator, it is wise to encourage your traveler to invest in travel insurance, for example, ABTA Travel Sure travelers insurance. Insurance will provide comfort to both you and your client as they embark on adventures of a lifetime.
What is the importance of travel and tourism?
The importance of travel for the economy
Tourism can spark economic growth in an area of high demand. Countries that are more prone to tourism get an influx of wealth from visitors coming in and spending money on hotels, food, souvenirs, and activities. Last year the tourism sector raised global GDP by $2,892 billion.
Tourism supports communities that otherwise may not many other sources of income. Travel serves as a reliable and steady source of income to remote areas with limited access to resources.
Online booking platforms and online travel agencies boost the economy significantly, reaching a sales revenue of 99 billion dollars in 2018. Overall, travel and tourism play a key role in keeping money flowing across the globe.
Gaining a new perspective
Travel allows people to break free of their everyday lives and expose themselves to various cultures, languages, customs, and ways of life.
Venturing to a new landscape with new people can teach someone more than any picture book or movie could teach. To engage in a different atmosphere can change your whole perspective of the world and open your eyes to how different life is in places far from your hometown.
This integration of lifestyles can lead to a more understanding world, where people accept one another and embrace differences. Travel helps eliminate the fear of the unknown and encourages kindness worldwide.
Travel can protect the environment
In the last few years, extreme efforts have been taken to make travel environmentally friendly. Sustainable tourism promotes the protection of tour destinations. If done properly, travel will leave a location unharmed, and maybe even better if the tour includes activities such as clean-ups or planting trees.
Tour operators have a corporate social responsibility to provide sustainable tour packages. Sustainability does not have to come at the expense of an amazing trip, a tour operator can plan in the customer’s and the world’s best interests.
For more information on sustainable tourism, please refer to our blog post about the Role of Tour Operators in Sustainable Tourism.
How tour operators work with other sectors of the travel industry
Supply chain management
Understanding supply chain management (SCM) is vital in understanding how tour operators work with other sectors of the travel industry. SCM is the flow of goods and services from their raw, original materials to the final product in the hands of the customers.
SCM is significant in the hospitality industry. Customer satisfaction is reliant on the services presented to them while they are traveling. The food, housekeeping, and even the compliance at the front desk are all factors that can make or break a visitor’s stay in a hotel. A hotel’s good providers play an important role in a tourist’s overall experience.
The Chain of Distribution
The chain of distribution is a term that describes the interconnectedness of principals, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. The inner workings of these elements are all dependent on each other to run smoothly, and they all play a key role in the tourism industry.
You also need to consider different tourism distribution channels to reach different types of travellers.
The principals are the basic elements being sold to the consumer. In the tourism industry, this includes hotel rooms, transportation, activities, etc.
Wholesalers are the ones who gather the resources for the product to be sold. Understanding how to become a travel wholesaler is essential for success. Tour operators fall into this category, for they are the sector who organizes the principals into a package for a consumer.
Retailers directly sell products to consumers. Travel agents serve as retailers because they sell tour guide’s services, and many other services, directly to their clients.
Consumers are the people who obtain the final product. In the travel industry, this is tourists. The chain of distribution is complete once the consumer purchases the services.
You can also check out the list of tourism industry registration/association to help you tap into the industry as a new player.
Tour Operators Are Essential to the Travel Industry
Tour operators contribute to the positive experiences that travelers across the globe endure. They allow people to travel stress-free and for a relatively cheap price.
Here at Hotelmize, we are committed to helping tour operators prosper. Our innovative technology is designed to maximize profit for your company. You make travelers’ lives easier, let us help make your life easier.
Marc, who graduated from Balearic Is. University of Tourism, is an experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry. His skills in Negotiation, Hospitality Management, Customer Service, Sales, and Hotel Management, make him a strong business development professional in the Travel Industry.