Tour operators are businesses that combine various travel services such as transport, accommodation, meals, entertainment and sightseeing, and then sell them through travel agencies or to consumers directly as a single product.
Mass - Market
A mass market tour operator is someone who organises tours for groups of people at a time.They arrange things like transport accommodation, activities and any extra services that might be needed. They also have to understand the tourism industry really well, and know which are the most affordable routes and modes of transport. Where tourists get will get most of the adventure and what services can be offered to them for free.
A specialist tour operator is a tour operator that puts specific tour packages together, which means that they cater for the tourists interest. For example somebody might want to go on a ski holiday. They will also organise things like accommodation, travel and sometimes airport transfers.
The role of a tour operator is to put together all of the different components that make a holiday and sell them as a whole package to the consumer. They make deals with airlines and different transport companies to put the packages together, then all of the holiday details are put into a brochure, which are then either distributed through various travel agencies, or directly to customers. Thomas Cook is the worlds best-known name in travel, and was created in 1841 by a man called Thomas Cook, which means that it is a private sector, as his intentions were to build on this company further to make a lot of profit.Thomas Cook today is the owner of a variety of the worlds favourite travel brands, including Manos, Neilson, Direct Holidays and many more, It is vertically intergrated which means that it is the owner of many companies under the Thomas Cook umberella, this is because they are aiming for greater success with there business. Vertical intergration is when two companies at different levels in the chain of distribution, either merge together or are bought, in
this case many different companies are bought by Thomas Cook. Each Tour Operator must be a member of ATOL (air transport organisers license) which will protect you from losing your money or being stranded abroad, it does this by carrying out checks on the licenses of Tour Operators and other Travel Organisers.
Thomas Cook strive to help their customers have the perfect travel experience, whilst managing activities in a sustainable way. They believe that when we travel to another country we should always respect local cultures, and natural environment, which means that we should abide by their rules and traditions, and not take away their origionallity as it is part of their country is all about. Buying local, and giving fair economic returns to local families, meaning that we should try to buy from local places, so that our money goes to all the people who made our products, the people who deserve the money, rather than the government. We should also try to recognise that water and energy are precious resources that we need to se carefully. So when we go to hot, deserty places such as Dubai, we should use water supplies reasonably, as it is such a dry country, that it is treasured to local people, therefore we should not take advantage. Helping to protect endangered wildlife, they want us to respect the wildlife, as they need privacy, which means that we should take less pictures,
less often and not steal animals. Finally they believe that we should take full responsibility for our actions, and protect and enhance our favourite destinations for future enjoyment of further visitors and for people who live there.
Thomas Cook has a negative effect on the economy because of outbound tourism. They encourage people to take holidays in other countries, this means that they are taking money out of the UK and spending it on goods and services that are provided by overseas destinations. They types of things that people would spend there money on are; food and drink, entertainment and accommodation, as well as ancillary services like car hire, to help people get around. However the Thomas Cook provider also have some positive effects on tourism, for example, they provide employment within the UK. Over 18,000 people are employed in the UK and in oversea resorts, whether they are cabin crew, pilots, representatives or other. The multiplier effect is when money is spent and re-spent in the economy. This also has a positive effect on tourism, because it means that everyone is spending there money in the same place. For example, if you went on holiday to somewhere like America, you would have to pay for your accommodation, for example a big posh hotel. The hotel has lots of staff that need paying there wages, which means that the money you have spent, goes towards paying those people. Then they might go and spend that money on things like, rent, clothes, transport and food, then all that money will get passed along and so on.
Gross domestic product is the measure of a country's economic growth, that is calculated by adding the value if imports and deducting the value of exports. Incoming tourism is an export, and has a positive effect. This is because people are coming into a country and have chosen to spend there money, this will expand the wealth of that place. Furthermore outgoing tourism is an import, which means that it has a negative effect on the economy, because people are going to spend there money elsewhere. Countries with a developed economy such as China have a high Gross Domestic Product. Less Economically Developed Countries like Greece could really benefit from Tourism, as it would help to raise there GDP.
Horizontal intergration is where two companies which are at the same level in the chain of distribution are either bought out or merge together. They are the same types of businesses, so for example travel agencies buying eachother out or a tour operator buying another one. In most of these cases, the original brand name is retained so that the public are unaware of the takeover. First Choice and Tui are an example of two tour operators that have merged together, however they both have seperate identities so that the public think they are seperate organisations.
Vertical intergration is when two companies at different levels in the chain of distribution merge together or are bought. For example Tui owns a 50% share in the Sol Y Mar hotel chain, as well as the Thomson Travel Agency chain. One example of two companies merging together would be Co-operative Travel and Thomas Cook. This means that there will be fewer jobs in the 2 companies causing efficiency savings to be made, the companies will become more profitable and costs will be saved.
Links and working together
Thomas Cook work with other transport companies, such as car hires or airport transferes. This means that they are earning a bigger profit as they are dealing with more business, Therefore the business that they are in a partnership with, are getting more business taking people to and from airports, and taking them to their accommodation in other destinations. They also have tour reps which are there to sell and promote things such as, day trips out, on a boat, or to a waterpark, visits to hisoric buildings or shopping centres, and also to promote other local businesses, This is because they will get good business back in return.
Thomas Cook Airlines are able to offer assistance at the airport for those passengers who need it due to disability or a medical condition. If customers have a disability it is important to make the appropriate enquiries about any special requirements before you confirm your booking. If special arrangements need to be made for you, an extra charge may have to be levied in some circumstances.
Thomas Cook Retail Ltd is a member of ABTA, which help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and are there to assist them when things do not go according to plan.