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Introduction When ever we plan to go for holidays either within the country or outside the country, we want to enjoy

holidays without any hassle so first thing we do before planning the holidays most of us Google and try to get the information about the tour operators and then book the holidays according to the tour operators packages according to our budget and spend our holidays. But from tour operators point of view the process behind the booking of holidays and enjoying holidays there are lot of activities or process gone thru so that we enjoy our holidays and what are the activities and process those I am going to analyse thru this assignment in Tour operation Management.

What is Operation Management Operations management can make or break any business (Slack et al, 2007). Operations management is about carrying out those activities which ensure products and services go through the transformation process from design, through production to delivery (Max, 2003). According to above definitions the I will analyse the operation management activities in tour operation industry of the travel and tourism sector.

1.0 Tour operation Industry within the Travel and Tourism Sector: In tour operation industry it process the Products i.e. Holiday Packages from the manufacturing to the consumer in this process there are lot of activities are involved and there are different types of functions or tour operators are there.

We can divide the Activities of the Tour operators in the marketing mix in which it include the Four P i.e Place, Product, Price and Promotion. So the role of the Tour operator revolve around the these four Ps. Product: The tour operator are responsible for providing the right product according to market segment to local travel agents and consumers at right time because time is very important factor in tourism industry. Place: Place is also important tour operator are responsible to provide right place which is good for consumers and save their cost. Price: Tour operator have to tailor the tour and holiday packages that they dont pinch to the customer in the time of recession it plays more important role. Promotion: Promotion of the products involve right marketing approach through suitable media so that mass coverage can be done with less expenses.

According to Activities the Tour operator can be classified into different types of categories: Domestic operators Outbound operators Specialist operators Direct sell operators Inbound operators

In different countries the tour operators are

governed and regulated by

different organisations in United Kingdom only there are Four major associations are: Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) British Incoming Tour Operators Association (BITOA) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sufficient

1.1 Effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operation industry In the current situation the tour operation industry is also badly affected by the economic down turn in the world if I was not wrong the most effected sector due to recession is tourism sector. Due to recession and high costs people are not going for holidays as they use to go before recession and due to these situations the tour operation industry also change its trend and make some developments in its operation. It can be classified into different sections: Time: It plays major role in tour operation because in tourism there are very limited period of year when the tourist session is at its peek so like in summers from July to August and in winters near Christmas and new year but summer time is the peek time for tourism. Destinations: It involves choosing the best destinations within the budget of consumers like in summer time people like to go on beach sites for enjoyment being a tour operator responsibility the customers

security is also a major factor so choosing the destinations is a critical part in holiday package. Age Group: In age group it can be classified into further segments like Group, Students, Couples, Family and Individual etc so tour operator makes the packages according to suitability of group. Modes of Transportation: Modes of transport plays major role in tourism sector the major is Air rout the by sea and Road. Use of Technology: Use of internet brings every thing into one click with the help of internet it is very easy to get all the information regarding bookings, destinations weather reports it is really change the way of doing the business. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : Now a days this a demanding issue so being the tour operator its the responsibility to maintain the environment clean. Corporate responsibility to promote sustainable tourism extends into all areas of business for a tour operator, from the way it manages and equips its main offices, to the types of holidays sold and its selection of suppliers. Sustainability should also be a big part of a companys marketing strategies and relations with its customers, as well as its partnerships and presence in destinations. These responsibilities are now being acknowledged by pioneering tour operators, and welcomed by their markets, shareholders, staff and other stakeholders. (United Nations Environment Programme,2005)

2.0 Stages Involved in Creating Holidays Time scale in product development in Tour operation product development is a critical path in tour operation it needs to combine number of process at different stages like. 2.1 Selection of sustainable destination: Holidays main concern is destination with the destination means where customer wants to go and where tour operator can take him. In selection of destination involves factors like social security, natural and cultural attraction, health and safety and better exchange rates. Other issue to select destination are: Fresh water availability, infrastructure and consumption. Energy availability, infrastructure and consumption. Transport infrastructure. Wastewater treatment systems. Hazardous and solid waste disposal systems. Air and water quality. Land-use and biodiversity conservation strategies. Marine and terrestrial protected areas systems. Listed wetlands and World Heritage Sites. Local environmental management structures. Compliance (or non-compliance) with relevant international

declarations, conventions, and treaties. National, sub-national, regional and local environmental regulations.

Activities to conserve and/or restore the habitats of endangered species, and to prevent, reduce or control factors endangering these species.

Measures to limit the risks and impacts of alien species that are traded or unintentionally transported.

Ecosystems that have been positively or negatively affected by tourism and other activities.

2.2 Design a Sustainable Holiday Package: The design and management of sustainable holiday packages involves assessing the various components of a tour, from accommodation to transport services to excursions, in order to determine their potential environmental, social and economic impacts both positive and negative. For each destination, the tour operator should first assess the impacts of the different elements of each holiday package, to understand how to design tours to minimise negative impacts and maximise positive benefits to the environment, local communities and the destination economy. Product characteristics to consider in a holiday assessment include: The type of accommodation (hotel, guesthouse, all inclusive, etc.), taking into account characteristics such as the grade and size of the establishment, its facilities, and whether it is locally owned, employs local staff and serves local produce. The method of transport (plane, train, bus, private car, etc.) both to the destination and at the destination. Depending on the location and

the services available, it may be possible to make choices according to the level of pollution caused by different types of transport. The type of excursions and activities at the destination, including attractions visited and souvenir shop stops. Again, according to the type of holiday and the options available, choices can be made on the size of group, the timing of visits (for instance to avoid cultural events at which tourists are not welcome), and the type of information provided. The inclusion or selection of food and beverage, since these can form key economic benefits for the destination. For instance, if all meals are included in the package price, customers will have little opportunity to frequent local restaurants. Choices can also be made on the type of food served, with an emphasis given to local produce. 2.3 How to Determine the selling price for Holiday Package Costing of the tour package is most difficult task in all operation process it is based on number of factors like demand and supply, time like peek season and quit season then profit margins also depend on daily exchange rates of the countries. Moreover due to competition in the market customers are

asking more and more discounts also. Factor taken care for making selling price are : Accommodation Include Hotels, bed & breakfasts, self-catering,

(serviced) apartments, campsites, cruise ships, caravan parks

Transport to and from destinations Includes Public transport (e.g. trains), coaches, taxis, airports, scheduled air carriers, air charters, scheduled sea passages, chartered sea passages, cruises

Catering and food and beverage includes Restaurants and bars, grocery stores.

Ground transport includes Car rentals, boat rentals, fuel providers, gas stations, coach rentals.

Ground services Agents, handlers or inbound operators in the destination

Cultural and social events Excursion and tour providers, sports and recreation facilities, shops and factories

Environmental, cultural and heritage resources of destinations Public authorities, protected site managers, private concessionaires and owners, excursion and tour providers

With keeping in mind all above factors we can workout the selling price of each and every tour. 3.0 Brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays. Due to recession it is very hard for the tour operators to sell the holidays to consumers so they have to adopt new strategies to sell and distribute the holidays. "Overseas travel has been much harder hit by the recession (and has been slower to recover) than other (lower, more everyday spend) retail and leisure sectors. As incomes are squeezed the independent market is unlikely to see a return to pre-recessionary levels of demand before 2015 at

the earliest. In terms of consumer appeal, packages are in long-term decline but retain core strengths." (Tom Rees-2011) 3.1 Planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure. Holiday brochure are the main promotion tools for the holidays packages because it contain all important information about the different types of holidays packages and about the destinations and terms and condition also. Some key points for designing the brochure are: Design plays important role it should be according to destination and season for example if the season is winter and destination is Canada the pictures and design should cover snow and people doing ice skating etc. Use of language is plays important role though the English is a global language but according to destination local language is also taken care. Quality of paper show the image of the company so the paper quality should be very good. All details about the tour and terms and condition should be mention in the brochure so that there should be no confusion between consumer and company. 3.2 Different modes of Product Promotion for different types of tour operator. Paper format is the traditional method of the using to promote the product among the consumers but due to its limitations the other means of promotion 9

is now a days taking up momentum with all types of tour operators the other means of promotion are: Internet: This is growing fast among all the other promotion tools we can see whenever we open our mail or open some sites pop ups are coming on our screen regarding the advertisements related to holidays. Compact Disc: This can replace the papers with more information and videos about the destinations and also videos with the customer reviews. Media: Now a days media plays important role in advertisement of the products such as T.V. and Radio to promote the holiday packages. Other print media: Such as big posters on major areas like Airports, Train Stations and Bus Stations even we can see on Buses and Trains advertisements regarding the holiday packages. 3.3 Different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator. Advertisements in Magazines, News Papers and Leaflets. Putting CDs in Magazines and News papers. Using the services of online advertisement agencies like Groupon.
Your Daily Groupon Getaways Groupon | Online version | Add "info@news.groupon.co.uk" to address book. Today in Groupon Getaways

Dubrovnik: Three Night 5* Stay For Two With Breakfast, Spa Treatments and Wine for 199

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(Source: http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/groupon-getaways?nlp=&) Use of TV and Radio to reach wide coverage.

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Now a days another way of promoting products are Cell phone Through the markets like Android, Blackberry and Microsoft platforms.

4.0 Strategic and tactical decision making for tour operators. During the recession period the more strategic and tactical decision are required to impress the customer and survival in business. 4.1 Strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator: There are few things to keep in mind before taking any strategic decisions like Market Segmentation: Before taking any decision or making holiday package we needs to segment the market according to demand and supply and requirement of customers. Promotion of the Product: After market segmentation next level is to promote the product for example target the customer according to his demand and budget like some like luxury holidays so provide them only that kind of product some like budgeted holidays so provide them product which they want. Discount policy: Due to large numbers of players in the industry discount plays very important role in holiday packages like some provide meals free, some provide free pickup. Club Cards points: Now a days companies are start giving club cards points for regular customers this builds trust among the tour operator and customer and this help in retaining the customer also. 4.2 Tactical decisions situations. taken by a selected tour operator in different

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Tourism market keep changing like the customers keep changing its taste and to remain in the market tour operators needs to give its customers new products with more affordability. Club Cards points: This is to retain the customer. Discounts to customers some time it includes free travel insurance. After sale service: Better and efficient service to customer while on holidays. After Holidays Customer Feedback: After feedback builds trust between the tour operator and customer also tells us your week points to focus on more. 5.0 Conclusion: It is true fact that the Tourism industry is hit hard by the recession and customers are either opting for no holidays or they are going within the country for holidays. But still the industry has a great future because people love to spend holidays without any hassle and peaceful way thats why they prefer to book holidays from the tour operator rather then going them self, for better service and affordability. So what ever the situation is the tourism industry has a very good scope among other industries. 6.0 Reference: Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers and Robert Johnston (2007) Operations Management, 5th Edition London. Published by: Prentice Hall.

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Max Muller (2003), Essentials of Inventory Management, Published by Amacom, USA.

Tom Rees (2011), The Package vs Independent Holiday Market. Published in U.K.

United

Nations

Environment

Programme,

UNEP

(2005)

The

Management Guide for Responsible Tour operations Groupon : http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/groupon-getaways?nlp=&

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