Investigating the Travel and Tourism Sector
There are three different types of tourism – domestic, inbound and outbound. Domestic tourism is all about traveling within the same country you live, for example, UK citizen traveling around London. Inbound tourism is when overseas tourists come to visit the UK. And an outbound tourism happens when UK residents going abroad and taking their holidays outside the UK. For example, a family living in Portsmouth is traveling to Madrid for a week. Accommodation
Nowadays we have a wide range of accommodation to choose from depending on our needs and budget limits. Accommodation can be serviced and non-serviced. Serviced accommodation always provides meals. Hotels and B&B’s offer a range of facilities and services this is the reason why they match a serviced accommodation type. Non-serviced accommodation doesn’t provide meals. It is usually self-catering. For example, youth hostels, villas, cottages, holiday parks, campsites and tents. The accommodation is standardly rated in two types – stars and diamonds. Hotels, self-catering and holiday parks are rated by stars – 1 to 5 stars (five star being luxury). Claridge’s is one of the most expensive hotels in the UK. All rooms are beautifully designed and very elegant. Guest accommodation is graded by diamonds (1 diamond being low and 5 diamonds being high). There also is a type of hotels called budget hotels which provide basic facilities and rooms to people who are on a budget. More interesting fact – there’s a hotel sometimes called ‘the world’s only 7-Star hotel’ Burj Al Arab situated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Road. There are many ways traveling around the UK and abroad. As the UK has a very good road network (motorways) people are mainly using their car to
travel around. It is more suitable for families and bigger groups because they can stop whenever they want and bring as much as they like luggage with them. Also, car hire is very popular. Europcar, Avis and Hertz are the most popular companies for hiring a car. Rail. Another very popular transport option in the UK is train. There are few main train-operating companies such as Direct line, Northern line, East Coast, Cross-Country, Virgin Rail. Moreover, London has an incredible underground system to travel all over the capital. Also, the UK has developed a Channel Tunnel between Folkestone (UK) and Calais (France) operating by high-speed Eurostar trains and it provides not only passenger but also vehicle transport services. Air. British Airports Authority (BAA) is the main owner of UK airports. The top 5 UK’s busiest airports are London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, London Stansted and London Luton (according to world-airport-guides website research in 2012). There are several types of airlines – scheduled, charter and low-cost. Scheduled airlines operate according to a certain timetable and planes will fly no matter how many passengers are on the plane. Air France, British Airways, American Airways are the examples of scheduled airlines. Charter airlines are usually linked to package holidays and tend to operate weekly or when there are enough passengers on the plane. Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airways, Virgin Holidays, Monarch Airlines are part of charter airlines. And finally there’s a cheaper option to travel called budget airlines like Ryanair, Wizzair, JET2 and easyjet. Sea. The UK has so many ports and very good shipping links with other countries (e.g. France, Belgium, Holland, Ireland and Northern Ireland and Spain) as it is an island. Main ports are Dover, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Hull, Folkestone, Harwich, Southampton, Liverpool, Ipswich and Newcastle. Major ferry operators are P&O ferries, Brittany Ferries, LD Lines and Irish Ferries.
There are several types of attractions. They are natural, heritage, purpose-built and events. A natural attraction is one that has been made by nature. England’s countryside has been always attracting visitors for years and years. The Lochness Lake located in Scotland is best known for its monster ‘Nessie’. The lake attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The Peak District is the biggest pride of the Yorkshire. Those
beautiful scenic landscapes are covering Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and both South and West Yorkshire. It is the first national park in the United Kingdom. Easy access to roads and rail has brought more than 20 million visitors per year and also it is the second world’s most-visited national park. Also the Jurassic coast in East Devon and white cliffs in Dover are one of the country’s greatest and most iconic landmarks. A heritage attraction is an attraction orientated towards history and culture. For example, London offers many places to visit and see. The St Paul’s cathedral is one of the most recognisable sights of London as well as The Buckingham Palace. The royal family is attracting tourists from everywhere. Also, Changing the Guard ceremony is very famous as people want to see English guards in an incredible red uniform. Purpose-built attractions are those which were built for a certain purpose and to attract different types of customers. There are many theme parks in the United Kingdom. For example, Alton Towers attracts families with kids and young generation for its variety of activities and entertainment. In 2012 it was the most visited theme park in the United Kingdom. The London Eye located in London South Bank, since its opening became the major tourist attraction visited by over 3.5 million people every year. Events are the type of visitor attraction organised to attract more customers. It can be concerts, festivals, ceremonies, competitions, parties or conventions. For example, the 2012 London Olympic Games have not only brought people from all over the world but also it has contributed a lot to the UK’s economy. The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which takes place on the streets of Notting Hill in London. The carnival has attracted around one million people in the past years and it is one of the largest street festivals in the world.
There are two types of tour operations – mass market and specialist. Mass Market Operators are the ones which offer a wide range of facilities to their customers like accommodation, ancillary services, flights, and package holidays to suit different customer needs and exceed them. Mass Market Operators have their own airlines, travel agencies and many different brands. For example, Thomas Cook is the second largest UK operator providing different types of financial services, accommodation and even Thomas Cook
airlines. Specialist Tour Operations are specialising in quality holidays and unique destinations. Specialist tour operators are helping customers with special requirements by giving an expert advice wherever and whenever their customer wants to go. AITO – The Association of Independent Tour Operators represents more than 120 of best independent tour operators which offer only uniquely placed destinations from all over the world which means they specialise in particular holiday types.
In Travel and Tourism industry there are four types of travel agents: Retail Travel Agent is a travel agent who sells holidays and gives advices to its customers. Retain Travel Agency is usually based on the high street. It helps tourists to help choosing their destination, accommodation type and other services. Thomas Cook, Thomson and First Choice are Retail Travel Agents. Business Travel Agents plan all travel arrangements for large companies and organisations. It is normally located within another business. The leading business travel agency is Traveleads based in Leeds. The company tries to ensure that business people are traveling in comfort and they are able to work efficiently. Traveleads are providing many services like accommodation and flight bookings as well as UK rail, Eurostar and ferry bookings. They also offer car hire, passport and visa services and a 24/7 emergency support centre. This is a really efficient for a busy company to have their own business travel agent to help with sorting out all travel costs and planning journeys. Call Centre travel agents are based in an office and are cheaper to operate. You can book everything over the phone that you can in a branch – discuss the needs and requirements, ask for advice and book the whole package. A call centre can be owned by the tour operator or travel agent. Thomson, Thomas Cook and First Choice have their own call centres. Web-based travel agents are the type of agents who have their own operating website. It is really essential for every travel agency to have a website as nowadays people book their holidays online. The most popular ones are: www.onthebeach.co.uk, www.expedia.co.uk, www.globalholidays.co.uk, www.lastminute.com
Tourism development and promotion
Tourism promotion is concerned with publicising the destination to tourists by providing all information related to it like accommodation services, activities to do and many travel tips. Tourist boards and Tourism Information centres are always encouraging people to travel and explore new things. There are some examples like Visit Britain website and national tourism organisations in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England are working with many partners (accommodation providers, attractions and entertainment services, transport companies) to integrate a sustainable and effective tourism in the UK. The main aim is to attract not only domestic but also outbound visitors from all over the world. The ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ website based tourism agency is promoting tourism both nationally and internationally. It has been awarded as one of the world’s leading tourist board. Both ‘Visit Britain’ and ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ not only provide jobs across the UK and overseas but also they contribute a lot to country’s income and its growth.
Trade associations and regulatory bodies
A trade association is an organisation whose members are involved in a particular business such as retail, transport or factory. A regulatory body is an independent organisation, usually established by the government, which regulates the particular industry.
ABTA is a trade association which represents over 5,500 travel agencies and 900 tour operations. The main aim is to maintain high standards of trading for the travel industry and its customers. www.abta.com
AITO is an Association of Independent Tour Operators. The organisation represents UK’s tour operators specialising in a particular type and unique of destinations. www.aito.co.uk
CAA is The Civil Aviation Authority which regulates the airline industry. It is an independent regulatory body. It doesn’t receive any government funding but it charges for its services e.g. financial protection in event of the tour operator failure. www.caa.co.uk
Ancillary services are the services which are offered by the tour operator to its customers to provide less hassle during holiday and add any extras. There are many ancillary services such as insurance, car hire and parking, foreign money exchange, luggage, tour guide etc. which are very important to make your holiday secure and easier. For example, travel insurance is very important in event of theft or loss. Car park, car hire or car insurance is very useful if a customer needs to travel long distances abroad.
1.Chains of distribution
As it is showed above, producers (or suppliers) are industries which provide different travel and tourism components e.g. transport providers (coach companies, airlines) or accommodation providers (hotels, apartments, B&B’s). Wholesalers (Tour operators – ‘First Choice’) work with suppliers (hotels, taxis, airlines) and put together package holidays for retailers. Then retailers sell holiday packages to its customers. Retailers are travel agents, call centres, web-based or business. Customers are the ones buying the package and going to their chosen destination.
Also, there is a direct booking available in this chain. Customer buying from the wholesaler can find better and cheaper deals. Companies providing direct booking are Direct Holidays and Portland Holidays.
Nowadays businesses in travel and tourism sector decide to work together as the competition between them is too high. This is a better option for joined companies to increase their market share and make more profit. VERTICAL INTEGRATION
AIRLINE (e.g. Thomas Cook Airlines)
TOUR OPERATOR (e.g. Thomas Cook)
TRAVEL AGENT (e.g. Thomas Cook)
Vertical Integration occurs when two companies at different levels in the chain merge or are bought e.g. a tour operator buys a travel agency and an airline. For example, Thomas Cook has its own airline and a travel agency chain.
THOMSON FIRST CHOICE
Horizontal Integration occurs when companies are bought or merged at the same level in the chain. For example First Choice and TUI merged together, and Thomson own both of them. It’s usually happening when companies want to save costs and make more profit out of business.
The component industries always interrelate between each other. Travel agents work together with tour operators to sell their holidays. Also, there are other component industries which supply by offering their services such as accommodation providers – hotels, campsites, B&B’s; transport providers – coach companies, airlines, ferry companies; ancillary services – car hire companies, insurance companies, foreign exchange companies. All mentioned businesses together make up the travel and tourism sector and also help travel agents to create a perfect holiday package for its customers.