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Lecture #3 Selling and distributing travel and tourism.

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1 Lecture #3 Selling and distributing travel and tourism

2 Plan & objectives: explain the role of travel agents as a component of the tourism industry and their relationship with other sectors identify the functions performed by an travel agent be aware of the constraints and threats to agents’ operations and evaluate alternative solutions for their survival.

3 Definition The UNWTO has defined travel agents as retailers to leisure and business travellers, selling flights (charter or scheduled), accommodation, car hire, foreign currency, travel insurance and other travel services..


5 Definition A travel agent makes all the necessary travel arrangements on behalf of the client, using the information and facilities available to professional travel agents, locally and internationally.

6 Figure #1. The position of travel agents in the chain of distribution

7 Types of Organisation Tour operators Travel agents Business travel agents Accommodation providers Airlines and airports Regulatory bodies Public sector organisations

8 Travel Agents Travel agents provide the link between tour operators and customers Range from large national chains to small independents Leisure travel agents provide services to holiday destinations Business travel agents provide services for commercial consumers

9 Most travel principals continue to rely, to a greater or lesser extent, on travel agents as an important source of distribution and retailers continue to play a key role in the structure of the industry. Their share of business, however, is declining, even in the key area of inclusive tours, as customers turn to booking direct.

10 Historical context Agents selling travel arrangements have been in existence in the UK for well over 100 years. Indeed, the oldest – now the tour operator Cox and Kings – traces its origins back to the eighteenth century. The travel agent’s principal role in earlier times was to sell shipping and rail services, but, with the coming of air transport and the development of the package tour business after World War II, their product range expanded.

11 Historical context Before World War II, shipping companies had been able to provide a good reservations and ticketing service direct to the public, with sales outlets in their city offices and at leading ports. Railways and coach operators had similarly established city center terminals from which they could dispense tickets direct to the public.

12 Historical context When the airlines arrived on the scene, however, their airport terminals were situated well away from centers of population and, as a convenient network of travel agents was in place by that time, they did not face the same pressure to establish their own sales offices. Although most leading airlines did establish a main selling office in capital cities and many also opened offices in other leading cities, the new demand for air tickets encouraged travel agents to expand their distribution outlets further. With the deregulation of air travel and a greater willingness on the part of passengers to book direct, many airlines closed their town center sales offices. Travel agents, too, have experienced a fall in air ticket sales in the past few years.

13 The role of travel agents The travel agent’s role is dissimilar to that of most other retailers, in that agents do not purchase products for resale to their customers. Only when a customer has decided on buying a particular holiday do agents approach their principal on their customer’s behalf to make a purchase. The travel agent does not, therefore, carry stock. This has three important implications for the business of travel distribution:

14 The role of travel agents  the cost of setting up in business is relatively small compared to that of other retail businesses  agents are only able to sell products made available by the tour operators or principals, so, in times of peak demand, they may be competing with other agencies to find the products that the customers wish to purchase

15  agents are not seeking to dispose of products that they have already purchased, so may display less brand loyalty towards a particular product or company. The role of travel agents

16 Arguably, the main role of a travel agent has always been to provide a convenient location for the purchase of travel

17 A travel agent is a professional who specializes in making travel arrangements on behalf of other people. At times, the services of a travel agent can be extremely useful; travel agents often have access to cheap fares, hotel deals, and other travel perks which average consumers cannot get on their own. A travel agent may choose to work freelance, or as part of a larger travel agency. Some agents specialize in a particular field of travel like business travel, exotic travel, or honeymoon arrangements. In some cases, a travel agent also provides overseas support and referrals, which can sometimes be incredibly useful.

18 At a minimum, a travel agent can book tickets for people who wish to travel to a particular destination; most travel agents focus on air, rail, and sea travel and the myriad options available, including varying classes and routes. The agent may also arrange a rental car and accommodations, if desired, along with services like a pickup at an airport or dock, or a gourmet meal waiting on arrival. Travel agents also have a lot more to offer, however, thanks to their extensive experience in the industry and as travelers themselves.

19 For example, a travel agent can offer recommendations about vaccinations and preventative medicine regimens which may be required for foreign travel. Travel agents can also help to organize visas and passports for their clients, ensuring that they move smoothly during their trip. Some travel agents can also recommend language classes and other preparations for a trip, while others might have helpful hints and tips for their customers to ensure that the clients enjoy the trip. A specialty travel agent who focuses on something like business travel may include things in a travel package which are tailored to businesspeople, such as specially organized tours, or accommodations which include needed services like Internet access. Travel agents sell themselves on their ability to organize complex and fun trips, whether they be whirlwind tours through Europe or leisurely luxury cruises.

20 Employment in this industry is waning, because Internet sites allow consumers to access many deals directly. However, in a crisis a travel agent can be quite useful; for example, upon the death of a loved one, someone might prefer to allow someone else to organize travel arrangements. A travel agent is also experienced in all of the quirks of the travel system, and a trip can sometimes run more smoothly with a travel agent at the helm.

21 An excursion short trip somewhere, usually for one day or part of a day. A economy seat is the cheapest type of seat on a plane or train. The most expensive type of seat is called first class Between these two, there is business class. Mass tourism refers to a large number of people that travel for their vacation, usually over long distance A cruise is a journey on a ship for pleasure, especially one that involves visiting series of places. A safari is a journey taken in order to watch or take pictures of wild animals. Ecotourism is the business of creating & selling vacations that give people the chance to learn about a natural environment & which cause little damage to the environment itself.

22 Make a sentences from the given words Acclimatize Alien All-inclusive Business class Check-in Deport Emigrate Consulate Work permit

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