Published on March 12, 2014
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRAVELING & TOURING The word travel was developed from the word „travail‟ meaning hardship, trouble and danger! A common definition of travel is 'To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey,' so it is no wonder that the origins of the word seem tough. Significantly, too, the word “tour” in tourist was derived from the Hebrew term „Torah‟ which means learning, studying, and searching. A tourist travels for enjoyment. The satisfaction, sense of excitement and adventure he derives from his trip gives him pleasure. The most common reasons to travel have always been: migration, pilgrimage and exploration. The nature of these three has been a cause for much personal and cultural sacrifice, as in the cases of Aboriginals, pilgrims to Mecca and Captain James Cook. It is only within these last few hundred years that we have begun to think of travel synonymously with the idea of vacation; in other words, an escape from our daily 'toil' and 'travails'. It is a recent phenomenon, which has had a change in outlook through the introduction of the railways and later the introduction of the jet age. India on the World Map The Indian tourism industry has not had it so good since the early 1990s. With global recession seeming to have waned decisively, Indian economy growing at around 7% per annum and rise in disposable incomes of Indians, an increasing number of people are going on holiday trips within the country and abroad resulting in spreading wings of the tourism industry. Despite the numerous problems, tourism industry was the second-largest foreign exchange earner for the country during the year ended March 2003. India's tourist industry is booming with a rush of foreign tourists and increased travel by Indians to domestic and overseas destinations. Nearly three million foreign tourists visited India in 2003, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Tourists are visiting India from all over the world: Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. The boom has come even as global tourism has dropped, due to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in East Asia, and the Iraq war. At the same time, the number of Indians traveling abroad last year increased by 30 percent, to 4.5 million. Tourism professionals cite several reasons for the buoyancy in the Indian industry. The recent surge in the Indian economy has raised middle class incomes, prompting more people to spend money on vacations abroad or at home. At the same time, India's emergence as a global information technology hub and an aggressive advertising campaign by the government are credited with changing India's image from that of a land of snake-charmers, and sparking new interest among overseas travelers. India has been extensively covered in special issues of international publications
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS such as National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, conde Nast Traveler, New York Times and Vogue. The Lonely Planet, 2003 listed India as one of the five top "must-see" destinations for global leisure travelers. Conde Nast Traveler, UK‟s Annual Reader‟s Travel Awards 2003 ranked India amongst the top 10 tourist destinations. Another award of great achievement by Conde Nast was awarded to Ananda-In the Himalayas, India‟s only lifestyle destination spa, which has been voted as the first runner up in the category for the Best Overseas Lifestyle Destination Spa. Travel enhances boundaries, opens up the mind, clears prejudices. Tourism provides employment benefits in backward areas, and helps make better roads, water, power and communication available to more people, raising standards of living. Travel helps to preserve environment and re-discover facets of an imperiled culture. Tourism enhances the benefits of recycling the past. Travel can even help to preserve history and historical sites, monuments and buildings. Tourism assists, in its wake, the handicrafts sector, transportation, adds dining facilities, promotes greater inter-cultural tolerance. All wonderful reasons to travel, whether on leisure or business. For every time you travel, you help create more economic opportunities, for tourism offers more jobs per rupee (Indian Currency) invested than even agriculture. Following pages guides you through a warren of packages, helps select destinations or activity-filled holiday choices, and even recommends business and conference travel options. We would love to have your views on what you would like to know more about in future through our regular upgradation features. TRAVEL AND TOURISM – AN INTRODUCTION Tourism which makes millions of people move from their homes in search of a holiday, began as a mere coincidence. In 1841, Thomas Cook, organised a trip by a train for 57 0 members of his society for a distance of 22 miles. He was the first agent to buy tickets in bulk to sell them to other people. The experiment was successful and everybody was pleased at the ease of travel arrangements. This trip was organized on a no profit basis, but it gave him new ideas. In 1845, Thomas Cook set up a full time excursion agency to organize excursions. The railway company gave him a 5 % commission on the sale of tickets. He also started operating package tours which included transport, hotel accommodation, sightseeing, guide services and meals at the other end of the journey. He invented the system of traveler‟s cheque and hotel vouchers which eliminated the need for payment in cash. Tourists prepaid the cost of the trip and in return got the hotel, including meals. The travelers took Cook‟s traveler‟s cheques at that time called CIRCULAR NOTES to their holiday destinations. They were honoured at many establishments e.g. hotels and transport systems and could also be encashed at various Thomas Cook offices opened up at many offices in Europe or banks in the local currency.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS In 1878, Thomas Cook brought the first group of rich British tourists to India by the P&O Steamship Company. The group landed in Bombay, traveled to Agra by train to see the Taj Mahal and also visited the Kashmir Valley. While Thomas Cook was the first travel agent and tour operator in the world, several others followed him. They opened up their offices in major cities of Europe and America. Across the Atlantic, the American Express Company is perhaps the world‟s largest travel company offering diversified services in banking and travel activities to almost every part of the world. The American Express pioneered the Credit Card System. A credit card entitles the holder to buy anything (up to a given limit) against the card without having to pay cash. Credit cards are issued after scrutiny of the due worthiness of the applicant. Today, traveler‟s cheques and credit cards are used worldwide in the transaction of money International Credit Cards like American Express, Visa, Diner‟s Club, Master Card are accepted by all major banks as well as major establishments like hotels, airlines and shopping complexes. The advent of air travel changed the travel scene. In the 1930‟s, PANAM, an American Airline approached Cooks to open a travel counter in their travel office in exchange of a commission on the sale of their tickets. This is how Airlines discovered travel agents as their marketing agents. Now over 90% of international travel and 60% of domestic travel tickets are sold and issued by travel agents all over the world. World War II disrupted holiday travel and it was only after the war ended in 1945 that travel and tourism was restarted for fun and pleasure. The cost of air travel was very high in the initial stages but with the introduction of larger aircrafts and economic class in the aircraft costs have considerably come down. Travel by air became more economical and less time consuming than travel by sea. Railways and road transport networks began to spread and better services were introduced in these sectors. CASE STUDY: THOMAS COOK AND THE INVENT OF ORGANSED TRAVEL "In Our World Nothing's Foreign" "Cook has made travel simple, easy and a pleasure. He will sell you a ticket to any place on the globe. Cook is your banker everywhere. His clerks will answer all the questions you ask, and do it courteously. In 1841 Cook had the idea of arranging an eleven-mile rail excursion from Leicester to a Temperance Society meeting in Loughborough on the newly extended Midland Railway for 570 people. This turned out to be Thomas Cook's first successful excursion. Rail travel was still relatively new and Cook was the first person to organize the first group round fare. It costed one shilling. This included the cost of rail ticket and food on the journey. The venture was a great success and Cook decided to start his own business running rail excursions. Thomas Cook not only brought excursions into the real of reality, he also bought travel for common, ordinary citizens into scope. Until that first excursion in 1841, most travellers for
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS pleasure were the wealthy and the aristocracy who travelled independently: less privileged people travelled only through necessity. For a later trip he organized to Liverpool, he went there personally before the trip and checked hotel accommodation and restaurants to ensure that his 350 excursionists had the best possible service. He wrote A Handbook of the Trip to Liverpool in which he gave every detail of the excursion. It was probably the first guidebook of its kind. Many trips followed thereafter but one of his greatest achievements was to arrange a trip for over 165,000 people to attend the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Cook and his son paraded though the streets of Sheffield, Leeds, Derby and Bradford with a band, making speeches about the trip. They had also set up clubs so working men could pay in small sums a week toward the total cost which included accommodation at the Ranclagh Club- bed and a hearty Victorian breakfast- for two shillings, the fare of which was five shillings. Through their direct selling methods, he was able to take 165,000 people to the Exhibition. The Great Exhibition of 1851 brought him an excellent opportunity but he did NOT make any money. He did however make his name by persuading a great many people to visit the Exhibition with Cooks. Cook was quick to see the possibilities for travel which the newly invented railways presented, and he reacted speedily when the S S Great Britain ran aground in Dundrum Bay by organizing an excursion to view the stranded ship in 1847. Over the years he took tourists to such varied places as: the Paris Exhibition, A Grand Circular Tour of Antwerp, Brussels, Waterloo, Cologne, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Baden Baden and Paris. In 1863 he lead a tour to Paris and Switzerland, and in 1864 to Italy. In that year Cook claimed that he had one million clients and the business was stable enough for him to settle clients' bills, but he was not actually running inclusive tours yet. In 1865, Cook finally crossed the Atlantic. During the American Civil War, Cook watched the North American continent, which was then virgin territory untrampled by the feet of British tourists. That year the very first group of European tourists set foot in America. They visited among other places, New York, Washington, Niagara, Chicago, The Mammouth Caves of Kentucky and the rather gruesome deserted battlefields of Virginia. The party travelled 10,500 miles in nine weeks. By 1872 Thomas Cook & Son was able to offer a 212 day Round the World Tour for an affordable 200 guineas (a form of currency). The journey included a steamship across the Atlantic, a stagecoach from the east to the west coast of America, a paddle steamer to Japan, and an overland journey across China and India. During the early famous tours to Egypt, the Nile Tours, there were no hotels so the group travelled as a vast caravan, accompanied by 65 horses, 87 pack mules, tents, beds and field kitchens to prepare Victorian breakfasts of boiled eggs, followed by chicken and cutlets, and dinners of seven courses including wild boar and mutton. Cook's tours not only attracted the likes of the British Royal Family, The Kaiser, the Czar, European aristocrats, politicians, bishops & archibishops but were also affordable to the middle classes.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS The inclusive tour, in which everything is paid for in advance was also a creation of Cook, as well as the Circular Note, the forerunner of the traveller cheque which he created in 1873. Thomas Cook Worldwide : the whole world of travel rolled into one! Today, Thomas Cook and Son is known as the Thomas Cook AG Group. It operates under this brand in its most important markets as one of the world‟s leading travel groups with a market-oriented portfolio of tour operators, travel agencies, charter airlines, hotels and service agents. The foundation for an integrated travel group was laid in 1998 by the two shareholders Deutsche Lufthansa AG (50%) and KarstadtQuelle AG (50%). The acquisition of the French travel company Havas Voyages in July 2000 and the take over of the British travel group Thomas Cook Holdings Ltd in April 2003 has led to the creation of one of the world‟s leading travel groups. It is the second-largest leisure group in Europe and the third-largest in the world. Annual revenues of eight billion euro, in excess of 14 million customers, 30 tour operator brands, about 3,600 travel agencies selling group products worldwide, a portfolio of 73,000 controlled hotel beds, a fleet of 85 aircraft and a workforce numbering some 28,000, The company is represented in the sales markets of Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, India and Canada. SEGMENTS AND VENDORS OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY: An industry segment is made up of vendors or suppliers who offer the same type of products. The major segments, which exist within the travel industry, are given below: Sales Tour Operator Airlines Holiday Destination Agencies Hotel s
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS Tourism product: India – a tourist destination for all reasons The vast sub continent of India offers such a diversity of experiences that international travellers are drawn to it again and again. As a destination India receives perhaps amongst the highest number of repeat travellers in the world. We are offering some useful tips regarding travel to India India is probably the only country that offers various categories of tourism. These include history tourism, adventure tourism, medical tourism (ayurveda and other forms of Indian medications), spiritual tourism, beach tourism (India has the longest coastline in the East) etc. Explore India - choose the locales of your choice, and see what each state has to offer. Lose yourself in the wonder that is India. Meander through lands steeped in chivalry and pageantry that begin before recorded history. Explore modern cities that have grown organically from the roots of a multi-hued past. Make a pilgrimage to holy shrines that echo with tales of antiquity. Frolic on a vast array of golden beaches that dot an enviable coastline, washed by two seas and an ocean. Sport with adventure in style. Let the jungle lure you to a fascinating world at a diverse array of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks....... this is the wonder that is India. INDIA'S ANCIENT AND DIVERSE CULTURE, sweeping back at least 5000 years, with successive waves of migration absorbed into the fabric of Indian life, has enriched it time and again to make a multi-cultural nation with a rich diversity of languages, customs, cuisines, religions, literature and arts. Within this kaleidoscope of immense variety there is a thread of continuity that has determined Indian civilisation and social structure. India. The very word conjures up images of saints, kamasutra, women wearing bright clothes, and ostentatious jewellery, perhaps a lot of poverty, some jungles, some wildlife and lots of spirituality. Of course there is so much more to India than just this. There has to be, for it attracts people from all walks of life and different parts of the world to come and savour its charms. Every nation has a history unique to itself and the history of India is truly unique. Two hundred years of slavery have left an indelible impact on the socio-economic and cultural character of the country. As much as the original inhabitants of the subcontinent were diverse in their way of life, the foreigners contributed no less in this diversity. The historical character is therefore a myriad of civilizations that came to India, settled, ruled a few years and then went back, ranging from Portuguese and British to the Afghans closer home. The remnants of all these cultures is still alive and kicking in India
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS India can be a favourite tourist destination with the entire historical and natural extravaganza it has to offer. The world famous Taj Mahal tops the list. In fact there are several monuments that are mute testimony of their glorious past. While most monuments in the north are reminiscent of the Mughal and British architectures apart from those built by the indigenous rulers, the architecture in a few western coasts has also the Portuguese effect. The gardens and palaces in the southern part of the subcontinent are contributions of the nawabs and other dynasties like the cholas and chalukyas. Some of the monuments have turned to ruins while others have been revamped and given a new lease on life in the form of luxury hotels, while some others are preserved and maintained for their architectural, cultural and historical values. Nature has given India mixed blessings. It has absolutely pristine mountains you can visit. The superb Himalayas provide you with trekking, climbing, and camping pleasures. Beautiful valleys, gushing glaciers, snow capped peaks, clear and serene rivers to raging torrents, forests of oak, pines and conifers, orchards and religious places these entirely dot the various trekking routes. Just be sure to check out the routes with the appropriate authorities in advance for a safe journey. These mountains are supposed to be the abode of gods and they are the places where, since times immemorial, saints and sages have gone in search of nirvana. They have an alluring quality and a beauty so emphatic it fails to leave you untouched. But these towering mountains are not the only attractions. In fact there are several beaches, backwaters, rivers, forests, reserved wildlife sanctuaries, and islands which are worth visiting. The place most famous for its beaches is Goa and truly some of its beaches are spectacular. The usual souvenirs available in beach towns are available aplenty here also. In fact, the whole of southern part of India has a coast along the Arabian sea, Indian ocean and bay of Bengal and thus beaches abound here. Some of the finer beaches are in Kerela. The islands off the southern coast like Lakshdweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also a tourists paradise but a visit to these places requires advance planning. In fact, during the holiday season bookings including air or ship and hotel reservations have to be made six to seven months in advance. The geographical diversity of India is the reason why there is a rich spread of varied flora or fauna all over the subcontinent. While some of the species of these are commonly seen all over but there are others that are characteristic to a particular region. India is home to several exotic animals ranging from the Asiatic lion to the one-horned rhinos. Similarly beautiful orchids abound in the Himalyan region and the northeastern part of country where orchid fairs are also held. Then there is the Indian spirituality that brings people from all over the world in search of mental peace and God. There are many gods and goddesses that are worshipped in India and there are countless religious festivals that are an intrinsic part of Indian culture. All these are not necessarily Hindu. In fact, a host of religions thrive in India ranging from Hinduism to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and several others. Over the past few years India has also been taken over by the acquisitive culture and westernisation. But the traditional values still remain. There are several things that are difficult to change. These include the dress and food of the common man. The sari, which
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS is the quintessence of feminism, continues to enthral and mystify even as the western gear is finding base. The culture vibrant in its various hues includes dances in colourful dresses. While most classical dances have a religious orientation, the folk dances are earthier with their lilting tunes and local charm. The same applies to music both vocal and instrumental. The handicrafts of India are world famous and there is a wide assortment available. Every state, every tribe, every village has something unique and beautiful to offer. Of course with all its magic a visit to India can still be an infuriating experience especially if you expect everything to happen in clockwork precision. Keeping an open mind and a flexible attitude will help you go a long way in exploring the magic of India TRAVEL RELATED SERVICES: Various other businesses, though not part of the tourism industry directly, have close ties to the travel industry. The most important of them are food and beverage outlets, travel insurance, adventure and sports operators and other miscellaneous industries. FOOD & BEVERAGE OUTLETS: Millions of people are served each year by family restaurants, fast food outlets etc. Many food and beverage outlets depend on tourism, especially in major tourist destinations. Travel agents are often asked to recommend restaurants in the area, but they would get commissions only in the case of recommending food joints as part of package. TRAVEL INSURANCE: TRAVEL RELATED SERVICES FOOD & BEVERAGE OUTLETS E.G. CLASSICAL RESTUARANTS, SPECIALITY RESTUARANTS, FAST FOOD OUTLETS ETC TRAVEL INSURANCE: PERSONAL INSURANCE, PERSONAL ACCIDENT POLICIES, MEDICAL INSURANCE, PROPERTY AND LUGGAGE INSURANCE SPORTS & ADVENTURE ORGANISERS: BOAT CHARTERS, RIVER CRUISES, SCUBA DIVING, RIVER RAFTING OPERATORS MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES: GIFT & BARBER SHOPS, FLIGHT CATERERS, BANKING SERVICES, RECREATIONAL SERVICES E.G. GOLF COURSES, HANDICRAFTS AND SOUVENIERS
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS Travel Insurance is basically to protect travelers against monitory losses resulting from a wide range of travel related problems. SPORTS AND ADVENTURE OPERATORS: These providers may sell their services directly to the public or they may pay commission to tour operators for recommending their facilities to tourists. These recreation service providers give full advise on the use and provide equipment for the same. MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES: These providers offer such services, which the tourist may need when he is at the destination. These include the groceries, photography, and souvenirs and handicrafts that would sell when the tourist comes to the destination. TRAVEL AGENT A travel agency is a store where individuals or families go to buy travel packages. Travel agencies have been organized basically since the start of commercial aviation. Some travel agency companies operate with a chain of stores, such as Carlton Wagonlit; others are one store operations. Travel agencies do not sell airline tickets only; their services vary, and many of them sell more cruise ship packages than airline tickets. Most travel agencies also arrange car rental deals for their customers, and many concentrate on arranging charter or group trips to different destinations. For this, they deal with regular airlines, but many times, they also hire charter airlines. Many travel agencies work exclusively for a small group of airlines, cruise and car hire companies, and often, the logos of the companies they work with are displayed on the windows of the agency's office. Furthermore, in the early era of model airplanes, airlines would have large plane models of their companies made and shipped to the travel agencies; these plane models are also available to the general public, but they are among the highest prized airline collectibles. Travel agencies also deal with train and hotel companies, this to try to fit an ideal schedule onto the requirements of each specific customer. http://wiki.tatet.com/Travel_agency.html Thanks to the information revolution, two things are likely to happen to those who use the services of travel agents. Their numbers are increasing rapidly and so will their expectations. The flood of information pouring in through the electric media and internet has shrunk the world and opened it up. People are being exposed to more and more destinations, more and more frequently. This coupled with easier access and more disposable income, is rapidly dispelling thr fear of travel, moving travel away from a once-insecure and occasional activity and into a familiar and virtually yearly event. But while increasing numbers of people are being motivated to travel, they sit across a table from someone who can advise them.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS The role of the travel agent is vital to the success of the tourism industry as it is the travel agent who is responsible for identifying the traveller‟s expectations and ensuring that the destination visited will have the services required at the standard desired by the traveler. With ever increasing frequency in trips being taken and the options available for a holiday, a traveler depends on travel agents for advise on how to spend his money. Clients often have a precise idea of the places they want to visit, but are generally unaware of all the existing possibilities regarding means of transport, type of accommodation, climatic conditions, distances involved, time factors, local security standards and the necessary formalities for travel to a destination. A travel agent has to “ Sell Destinations” and it is therefore necessary for them to have a thorough knowledge of geography & a general awareness about the destinations. TYPES OF TRAVEL AGENCIES Travel agents can be divided under two major categories: 1 (a) WHOLESALERS (b) RETAILERS Wholesalers develop package tours and sell them directly to the traveler or through retail travel agents. Retailers get a percentage commission for every package sold from the Wholesaler. The retailers do not need to make any ground arrangements for the customers since that is the responsibility of the wholesaler who is in direct contact with the service providers. 2 (a) SPECIALIZED TRAVEL AGENTS (b) GENERAL TRAVEL AGENTS A general travel agent deals with almost all types of travel and offers a variety of travel services. A specialized travel agency deals specifically in one form of travel service e.g. providing services only to business travelers or organizing trips only for conferences, meetings, etc, cruise travel, or handling incentive travel market. ADVANTAGES OF USING A TRAVEL AGENT’S SERVICES Customers buying from a travel agency would normally pay the same price as they would to the direct supplier e.g. the same air fare, tariff in the hotel or for a sightseeing tour. However, he does benefit by using these services since he can: Save time and effort Can get more personalized services as well as individual advice relating to the specific needs of his holiday. Can be offered a variety of payment schemes Can choose from a wide range of suppliers of services since a travel agent generally has a stock of many products of a service.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS Can compare prices of all products in the market to ensure better value for his money. All travel arrangements can be made and completed under one roof. TOUR OPERATOR Thomas Cook has been considered as the father of Tour operations. With the growth of mass tourism in the past 25 years, there is an increased need for the development and purchase of an Inclusive Tour. The idea of buying a complete package of travel facilities, accommodation as well as some auxiliary services e.g. entertainment, sightseeing etc has led to the ease of travel. A tour operator designs and organises, handles and sells tours. He puts together the different tourist products demanded by the expected tourist and gives a sells it as a single finished product to the consumer. The consumer gets all the facilities at one cost without having to pay for the individual items of the package to the different suppliers. A tour operator may be a specialized dealer in tours or exist as a department in a travel agency. Some large tour operators include COX & KINGS, THOMAS COOK & CO., KUONI TRAVELS, RAJ TRAVELS etc. A tour operator may also design a package to fit a specific group of travelers or a group of travelers requiring a Special Interest Tours e.g. Mountain Tours, Adventure Tours, Cultural Tours etc. COMPONENTS OF A PACKAGE TOUR What is to be included in a package tour largely depends upon various factors: from generating country, target Market, destination, and from the various service providers. However, some of the services are always a part of the package tour. A standard package tour has two major components: Travel arrangements: Travel to the destination, at the destination and back would include arrangements by air, road and rail or by sea (cruises). At the destination, would be provided through car hire services, boat services and local transport / taxi services are arranged. Ground Arrangements: At the destination, the tourist would require accommodation & meal arrangements, excursions and sightseeing trips, tour guides, and escorts. Travel agents at the destination sometimes make ground arrangements on behalf of the arranging tour operator. They are called Ground Operators. These travel agencies arrange the accommodation, transfers, and sightseeing and excursions for the tourists being referred to them by the tour operator. The advantage of taking up the services of a ground operator are:
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS The ground operator is well aware of the ground realities of the destination, and incase of unexpected conditions in the itinerary, it is easier to mould and modify the package arrangements. The local resident operators give a better and more hospitable service to the guests. A tour operator may not be able to get as much discount from the service providers in the area as compared to the ground operator. Payments and credit dealing are better handled from the destination. TYPES OF PACKAGE TOURS: A tour operator deals with a variety of tour packages catering to the diverse needs of tourists such as holiday package tours, adventure, architecture, cultural, business and conference, incentive tours, health and ayurvedic packages religious packages, adventure, cruise, special interest and education tours. The types of package tours may be prepared before hand (pre-prepared tours) OR may be adjusted to the requirements of the tourist (Tailor Made). INDEPENDENT TOURS: Independent tours are prepared / formulated for those tourists who wish to travel independently. The components may be altered according to the requirements of the tourist and give the freedom to plan the activities according to their own choice. ESCORTED TOURS: An escorted tour includes the services of a well educated and trained tour manager . Basically, these tours are recommended to those tourists visiting a destination for the first time and wish to be guided through the trip OR a group of tourists traveling together. The escort‟s duties are to provide comprehensive information and assistance to the tourists at the origin, enroute and the destination place. In case of services of a ground operator handling the tour, the escort joins the tourist as soon as they reach the destination. INCENTIVE TOURS: This is a motivational programme or a fully paid holiday which is given to the employees by their employers as a reward. These tours are given to those employees to increase output, improve image of the company and earn a long term loyalty of the employees. These tours are arranged according to the budget allowance given to the employee. SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS: These tours are arranged keeping in mind the special requirements of the tourist group wishing to travel. Educational tours, Business and conference tours, adventure and wildlife safaris etc are specially organized for the tourists traveling. The different types of Special Interest Packages are:
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS ARRANGING A TOUR The process of arranging a tour is divided into three parts: Tour planning : Market research and understanding the needs of the target market Research of the tour destination(s), survey the facilities available and select the best to be included in the package. Designing the itinerary for the packages keeping in mind the destinations and excursions to be visited, travel and visiting time, suitability to the tourist, and target market etc. Costing the package: Negotiations are held with the tourist producers e.g. hotels, transport services, excursion arrangements and guides to get the best prices for the package. Appoint a handling agency (ground tour operator) for the package handling. Launch and sale of the package: This includes the way in which the final product is marketed and delivered to the final tourist. This may be through designing and distribution of brochures, creating reservation systems e.g. through the internet, GSA‟s and retail travel agencies, and delivery of the product. Tour arrangements Offer the options of the available itineraries and packages according to his sphere of interest, time duration available, mode of transport, accommodation and meal service preferred. Finalise the package according to the options given by the tourist. In case of tailor made packages, flexibility of the itinerary allows moulding according to the tourist, but in case of pre-designed packages the tourist has to settle for the next back option to his requirements. This package should suit the tourist in terms of budget as well. After the confirmation of package, a down payment of 10% approximately is made so that the tour operator can start the formal booking and confirmation process. Send a requirement to the service providers i.e. airlines, hotels, car rentals, sightseeing attractions for tickets and confirmed reservations. This may also be done through the ground operators at the destination. On payment of the package cost, the tourist is given vouchers of his confirmed booking as well as itinerary for the trip. He is also given a detail about the destination, cultural, climate and time differences and his documentation e.g. visa, foreign exchange endorsements, insurance documents. Before the trip commences, the fares and tariffs due are to be paid to the different service providers. This ensures the final confirmation of the itinerary. Send a copy of the itinerary to the ground operator, tour guide/escort and the accommodation sector if they provide any kind of extra services e.g. in resorts.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS Tour Handling: This includes passenger handling from the time that the journey starts to the time that they come back to the origin. In case of escorted tours, the escort meets the guests at the destination before which the tour operator handles the guest departure. When the guests reach the destination, the ground operator must be there to receive them. He would handle the tour according to the itinerary given to him by the tour operator. In escorted tours, the escort accompanies guests on all excursions, for shopping, sightseeing, imparting information, giving advice and ready for all unexpected situations but still giving enough time to the guests for their enjoyment. At the end of the trip, the escort drops the guests at the airport/ railway station. A letter is generally sent to the guests to get a feed back of the trip. Photographs may also be exchanged. This gesture creates better and longer relations with the guests. COSTING A TOUR Once a tour is designed and the itinerary finalized, quotations from the service providers are taken and put together with handling charges. This is the complete cost of the tour package. In case of tailor made packages the costing of the package is done according to the services demanded by the tourist. For this, the individual cost of the services is taken, the discounts available to the tour operator on each service are applied and the final cost is taken. Costing of a package is done on a COST SHEET. POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE COMPLETING A COST SHEET ACCOMODATION: Room type: In a group of tourists, the rooms are distributed according to the preferences given; twin sharing, double bed room or single bedroom or an additional bed allowance on an extra charge. Meal Plan: Along with the accommodation, meals are to be provided. This would be priced according to the number of meals included in the tariff. All additional meals would be on the guest. All other services e.g. laundry, gym & beauty care are to be paid by the guest. TRANSPORT / TRANSFER: Mode of transport : Cost of the transport preference e.g. air travel, rail, coach or car hire for personal use. Classes in the mode of transport : There are different fares for different classes in the mode of transport e.g. First class, Economy class, A.C. or Non A. C. etc. Number of trips: In case of return journey the fare varies from the single trip fare or circular trip fares. Transfers: A transfer is a trip within the destination especially from the airport to the hotel/ attraction and back. A transfer is costed in terms of distance travelled within the destination, or fixed trip transfers where the cost is calculated in terms of the excursion trips made to various destinations.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS ATTRACTIONS: The entry fee to an attraction is generally included as part of the cost of the package. In case of museums, theaters, adventure sports and matches, safaris, cruise trips, river cruises, which are an important part of the itinerary, these bookings and reservations, may be made before hand. In all other cases, the tourist would be paying for the entry fees to these attractions personally. Some attractions may even require special equipment e.g adventure sports like scuba diving, mountaineering, paragliding and parasailing etc. The tour operator arranges the required equipment and the cost incurred is included in the tour cost. In case the services of a guide are taken, these are also added to the total cost. PERMITS & ENTRY FEES: The permits to enter restricted / protected areas and tickets to enter various attractions must be arranged and confirmed for the trip. TOUR OPERATOR SERVICES & HANDLING SERVICES: To complete the cost sheet, the tour operator should include the cost of his services. This would include the expenses of the tour operator in the correspondence with the tourist, service providers, and the time spent in arranging the tourist, the expense of the tour manager / escort while on the trip, and the additional expenses of unexpected conditions and maintenance of security conditions. The cost of the package is finally stated keeping an allowance of rise in tariff, fares, etc that would affect the tour cost. E.g. In India, tariffs are revised every October so a package booked in the earlier part of the year for the end of the year, is costed on an additional 10%. ITINERARY DESIGNING An itinerary is a written plan describing the plan of the trip day wise or on an hourly basis. It is designed to identify the origin, destination and all the en-route stopping points along with the transportation, accommodation and other services on the trip. The trips organized are of different types; One Way Trip – Is a journey to a destination without return to the boarding point. Round / Return Trip – Journey to a destination and back to the boarding point. Round the World Trips – Journey including more than one major stop between the start and end of journey. Tour companies generally prepare multiple itineraries for the same trip to cater to the needs of tour planners, tour managers, tour escorts etc. TOURIST ITINERARY: A tourist‟s itinerary is a basic outline of the trip that a tourist is planning. A tourist itinerary is the starting point of the itinerary designing process. While planning an itinerary, the purpose of travel, choice of destination, budget, accommodation, transportation and legal requirements etc have to be kept in mind. The emphasis is basically on the requirements and arrangements of the tourist in terms of his
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS accommodation, sightseeing, and other services provided during the tour along with relevant information regarding departure and arrival times and points, check in and check out times and duration of stay at various destinations. TOUR MANAGER’S ITINERARY: The tour manager is responsible for the designing of the itinerary and in some cases even conducting it. He therefore has a comprehensive itinerary having the minutest details relating to the tour. The tour arrangements, tour formalities and contact persons at the destinations and attractions are included in the itinerary. A larger column is generally kept for the suggestions and remarks regarding the trip. TOUR ESCORT’S ITINERARY: A tour escort is an important person in a tour company. He is not only a sightseeing guide but his expertise and knowledge, skill and judgment determine the final outcome of the tour.. He is generally a local expert who is fully aware of the culture, history, language and attractions at a destination. A tour guide has a detailed itinerary showing the step by step progress of the tour which includes time, location, accommodation, sightseeing at the destination. This encourages the tour guide to prepare himself better for the trip providing the best of knowledge and facilities to the tourist. Other than these itineraries, a copy of the itinerary may be given to specific service providers e.g. the coach providing transport, hotels organizing sightseeing, etc. ITINERARY PLANNING Itinerary planning is a creative exercise and is tailored entirely to meet the needs of groups of individuals. Each set of travelers have their own specific requirements and care must to ensure the following: (i) Adequate time should be allowed for sightseeing / excursions at each attraction and destination. Always ensure that the time taken while traveling does not exceed the time spent at a destination. This can be done by reducing the number of destinations to be visited if the time available is less or an optional mode of transport can be chosen which would save upon time. (ii) Other than the time allocated to the attractions at a destination, some time should also be given to the client for his own recreation and exploration unless the services of the guide are requested at all times. (iii) The choice of hotels, meal plan and transport would depend on the paying capacity, interests and the number of clients in the group. (iv) Back tracking should be avoided. The itinerary program should also not be over structured. (v) Optional excursions should be offered during the period of the tour programme as well as pre and post tour to increase the earnings and enhance the value of the tour for the group members. (vi) Since check-in and check-out timings in all hotels in India is generally 12:00 noon, hotel accommodation should be booked keeping in time the arrival and departure timings of the clients especially in those cases where the timing of the transport means is fixed and cannot be altered. E.g arrival by train at 0630 hours, a room will have to be booked on the previous date as well to ensure vacancy of room at the time the guests arrive at the destination.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS (vii) In case of groups visiting a restricted area, prior permissions are to be obtained from the Ministry of Home affairs or the concerned Government Department to ensure ease of travel at the time of tour. (viii) Ensure that airline and train reservations are re-confirmed well in time. (ix) Since all flight and train timings are subject to change without prior notice, re- check the new timings and ensure that the revised timings do not affect the sightseeing and schedule at the destination. (x) While planning a tour programme, include any festivals or cultural events taking place during this period. These attractions would add to the attraction of the tour package. (xi) Also bear in mind cultural, political, economic & social environmental factors such as: a. In case of a trip to New Delhi on 26 January, it may not be possible to include an excursion of the Red Fort or India Gate in the morning. b. Generally museums are closed on Mondays in India. c. A trip to wildlife sanctuaries is only possible during a particular season. To include this excursion in the tour, check out the appropriate times and dates. d. Including a trip to a specific attraction at the time when the best view and climatic conditions e.g sunset at the beach, trekking in the non-monsoon months of summer season (xii) Whenever a flight, hotel or resort is waitlisted due to prior booking, ensure alternate reservation that would be similar or equivalent to the one originally requested. (xiii) Meal plan may or may not be included in the room tariff. This would depend on the schedule of the client. The different meal plans are: a. EP – EUROPEAN PLAN – Tarriff includes only room and services. All meals taken are considered as an additional cost. b. CP – CONTINENATAL PLAN – This tariff plan includes Room, Service and Breakfast. c. AP - AMERICAN PLAN - This tariff plan includes Room, Service and all three meals. d. MAP– MODIFIED AMERICAN PLAN - This tariff plan includes Room, Service and two meals: Breakfast and an optional lunch or dinner. (xiv) In case of a group traveling together i.e GIT, obtain a complete list of group members and the preference for room allocation e.g. single, twin sharing or double room accommodation. For domestic travel, the carrier requires the list of the group members at least 30 days in advance. (xv) Specify clearly the services included in the final cost of the tour and those which are not included. (xvi) Hotel room tariffs are generally revised with effect from 1st October every year and are valid upto 30th September of the following year. For tour groups operating beyond these dates, a margin of 15-20% is kept. (xvii) In case of requirement of foreign language speaking local guides, advance notice should be taken to ensure their services on time. (xviii) Along with the itinerary, communication on the climate, rate of exchange of currency, suitable clothing, cultural and ritual expectations of the destination, necessities and required items to carry, health and environmental warnings should be given to the tourists specifically in case of foreign tourists.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY In the field of travel and tourism, communication plays a very vital role. Travel and tourism being part of the service industry, the need for accurate and rapid information about a destination is of paramount importance for the satisfaction of the consumer. In tourism, especially in the fields of travel trade and hotel industry across the world, what is being sold is primarily information about various destination and facilities required by the tourist prior to departure, during his stay at the destination and his journey back to the origin. Printed material – books, newspapers, and magazines was considered the cheapest, and best form of communication. But electronics has now given us tools that can perform a wide array of functions and reach many people in all parts of the world; literate and illiterate. Computers have revolutionized communications. This is a managerial tool capable of processing large volumes of data rapidly. It is also capable of repeated programmed instructions endlessly without an error and maintaining a vast database of stored information for future use. Although computers were in use in some way or another since the early sixties, they are today being extensively used in all branches of the tourism industry. The invention of Internet has added new dimensions to the utility of the computer in marketing, selling and giving information about a product. Internet is the largest and fastest growing network in the world and represents a new challenge to CRS. It offers a faster source of information to those who may be unable to operate the CRS‟s. Websites on the Internet offer a wide variety of airline tickets and packaged holidays at competitive prices for reference and sale through Credit Card payments. sThis has forced the CRS companies to launch their own websites on the internet e.g Sabre‟s Travelocity, Microsoft Expedia etc. The principle use of computers in the travel industry are : Airlines Hotels Cargo Travel Retailing Railways COMPUTERS IN AIRLINES: Increase in number of travelers put a great pressure on air traffic handling and thus the need for computerized passenger records was felt. IBM developed a CRS known as Programmed Airline Reservation System (PARS). However, PARS was not developed for one particular airline. American based Continental Airlines first used this programme in 1967. It later expanded and catered to the needs of many airlines domestically and internationally. Outside USA, it was called International Programmed Airlines Reservation System (IPARS). As time passed, more functions were incorporated into the system to handle more transactions and instructions. Computers were initially used to keep track of number of seats available on a flight. However, since each airline had its own system it was not possible to make itineraries of multiple airlines on the same computer therefore requiring the use of tele-fax or telephone.
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS Till the seventies, airlines had to call the airline mother systems to confirm reservations of their clients. To cater to this need the Centralised Reservation Systems (CRS) was designed . This software shows availability of all or most of the airlines and handles the control of space of tickets particularly when multiple classes and sectors are involved. Today almost all airlines use computers for their entire reservation work and their dependability is based on the coverage and networking of the system. Some of the major advantages of the use of computers are passenger reservations, handling departure procedures and cargo processes, fare quotations and constructions, ticket printing, crew scheduling and management and yield optimization. COMPUTERS IN AIR CARGO Most of the airlines now use computers for cargo handling. Earlier 50% of the total freighting costs reflected the cost of manual information processing. Computers have helped to reduce overheads as they speed up the transmission of information relating to consignments and also reduce the time the cargo spends on the ground. The pioneer in Computerised Cargo is Alitalia, which introduced the PO-4 cargo System. Now almost every airline has adopted a computerized reservation system for cargo handling. SITA : “SOCIETE INTERNATIONAL DE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AERONAUTIQUES” Automation is the key to achieving a higher level of productivity in any industry. SITA, set up in 1949, is responsible for automations in airlines. It provides data Processing Services and information-handling services for the airline industry. It ensures efficient telecommunications, data processing and transmission to many terminals. It handles passenger reservations, departure controls, baggage tracing, flight planning, baggage handling and management services, fuel management, airline schedules and flight availability databases. COMPUTERS IN HOTELS: A hotel‟s most crucial internal resource is information and with the use of computers, information is more readily available in a more organised manner saving labour, and ensuring overall profits. Although computers were introduced very late in the hotel industry, the compactness, versatility and reliability of information has led to the fast acceptance of computers in the industry. CRS in hotels was first used by Sheraton Group in USA. Now every chain has its own reservation system. Hotel computer systems achieve better internal and external control and manage reservations with more accuracy and speed. Hotel systems have been divided into two major areas: Front Office Applications: Include reservations, registration, guest accounting, communication operations etc. Back Office Applications: Financial management, inventory control systems accounts, profit and loss accounts, credit card verifications, etc. The hotel industry is today making extensive use of GDS (Global Distribution Systems). This is a CRS, which enables a person to make bookings of a hotel room before he starts
ITFT-CHANDIGARH TRAVEL AGENCY & TOUR OPERATIONS his journey. Instant reservations, bookings and payments are beneficial to the guest as well as the hotel. The Property Management System (PMS) is used in the hotel for functions like occupancy of hotel rooms, confirmation of guest booking & computerized check in, display history of guest, likes and dislikes, automatic wake-up calls, electronic locks, fire and security protection systems, teleconferencing, etc. The T.V. in the room can be used to place order for meals for room service, preview bill before check out, and provide internet services to clients. It assists in house keeping and room service as well. On an overall, these systems help to ensure a delightful stay with little inconvenience for the guest. COMPUTERS IN TRAVEL RETAILING: Profound changes over the years in travel services have made the use of computer technology in retail travel a necessity. Airlines have developed and adopted sophisticated computer systems. To provide more efficient services, the sales agents i.e. travel agents and GSA‟s have also been equipped with terminals to receive necessary information and complete procedures. Travel agents find schedules, make bookings for several hundreds of airlines, determine fares, make reservations and get appropriate information on holiday packages. The advantage of information on the computer is that this information is automatically updated. COMPUTERS IN RAILWAYS: The railway system in Europe and some other countries like Germany, Belgium, Switzerland has been used for reservations. The informaiton regarding availability of seats is now given instantly. Railway systems now use computers for route planning, accounting, inventory planning and control and a host of other functions.
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