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Tourism Distribution Channel

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MEANING OF TOURISM DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL
-is an operating structure, system, or linkage of various combinations of organizations through which a producer of travel products describes, sells, or con firms travel arrangements to the buyer. 1.2 Channels of Distribution

-are similar to those of other basic industries such as agriculture or manufacturing. Their products flow to the ultimate consumer through wholesalers, distributors, and middlemen. While there are similarities with other industries, the tourism distribution system is unique. The Internet is a new force in the sale of travel today. Tourism produces mainly services that are intangible. There is no physical product that can be held in inventory and flows from one sales intermediary to another. Instead, the “product”, for example, is a hotel room that is available on a certain day, which is very temporal. If the room is not sold, the revenue is lost forever.

1.3 Types of travel intermediaries
A. Travel agencies
-is a middleman—a business or person selling the travel industry’s individual parts or a combination of the parts or a combination of the parts to the consumer. – Functions:  -as a broker (bringing buyer and seller together) for the other suppliers, such as hotels, car rentals, ground operators and tour companies. They basically will be the one that will take care in preparing and reserving ticket to airlines for the customer. – History:

Basically it is known that the British company is one of the oldest agencies in the world. It is said that the travel agencies rooted its beginning in the year 1758 and it usually have rich customers. Before they said that the company is a first class bank but they ventured to other business like planning and preparing travels for their customers. It is known that agencies gave it way only in the 19th century. A famous many like Mr. Cook developed a travel package for customers that love to travel and then it then from then on it made a great mark to many travel agencies in the market. In the 19th century many travel agencies are already present since that first travel agency became very famous especially to rich people that want a hassle free vacation. They realize that it is convenient and practical to have a package holiday tour rather than doing thing by themselves with all the preparations and planning. Many tourist love the idea of package holiday tour since they need to do is wait for the time of their vacation. Before the very first famous way to travel is through trains and cars or cruises that is why many rich people decided to have this type of vacation preparations that is why until in the present time. This type of vacation planning is still famous for many people that love to travel. – Types:

a. General Sales Agents for Foreign Travel Companies
b. Business and Commercial Travel Agencies
c. By Class
d. Cargo Travel Agencies
e. Online Travel Agencies
f. Multi-Destination and Niche Agencies

– Kinds of travelers served by travel agencies:
a. Single Travelers – just because you’re traveling alone, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the peace of mind that travel insurance offers b. Family Travelers – protect your most important companions with travel insurance for the whole family c. Group Travelers – designed for groups of 10 or more, a group travel insurance policy allows you to easily coordinate insurance protection for everyone in your party d. Student Travelers – whether spring break or travel abroad, students (and their parents!) can rest easy with comprehensive travel insurance coverage e. Business Travelers – business travelers can get insurance that provides coverage specific to their needs f. Senior Travelers – for those ages 65 and over, seniors are enjoying worry-free retirement travel with the protection of travel insurance g. Backpack Travelers – backpackers, especially those traveling abroad, can benefit from a comprehensive travel insurance plan h. Expatriates – travel insurance coverage for U.S. citizens traveling or living outside the U.S. for a minimum of 3 months – Travel agency operations: as a legally appointed agent, representing the principal in a certain geographic area

B. Tour operators
– Functions:
* Designs, develops, markets and operates packaged travel and tourism products and tours. * Provides a guided visit to a particular place to participate in particular experiences. * Sells through travel agents and/or directly to consumers. – Types:

* extended tours
* charters
* escorted luxury tours
* camel trekking
* fishing tours / sports tours
* historical / art tours
* four wheel drive tours
* adventure
* yachting
* day tours
* group tours
* horse trekking
* wine tours

* cultural tours e.g. cooking
* guided walking tours
* tag-a-long tours
* nature-based and eco tours
– Major tour operator groups:
* Kuoni
* Thomson Holidays
* Virgin Holidays
* My Travel
* Cosmos
* First Choice

* Travel Sphere
* Titan Travel
* Direct Holidays
* Page and Moy
* Simply Travel
* Canadian Affair

1.4 Disintermediarization
– refers to the process whereby marketers bypass traditional intermediaries, such as retailers, to sell directly to the final customer /purchaser. The process has been stimulated by the development of the Internet whereby the reach of, for example, producers could be extended into people’s homes. The Internet also gave rise to changes in some people’s buying behavior, with the greater availability of information it provided on marketers and rival products, and the enhanced awareness of possible price advantages and greater convenience of direct purchasing. However, there is still a significant role for intermediaries since they undertake responsibilities that enable producers to focus on activities where they can add the most value. In addition, many traditional retailers have established major Internet presences as a means of augmenting their traditional formats.

1.5 Tour Guides
– provides assistance, information and cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation to people on organized tours, individual clients, educational establishments, at religious and historical sites, museums, and at venues of other significant interest. They (normally) have a recognized national or regional tourist guide qualification.

References:

Internet:
www.hotelmule.com www.travel-insurance-info.us
www.ezinearticles.com www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au
www.4u2travel.co.ukwww.blackwellreference.com
Book/s:
Principles, Practices, Philosophies Tourism Ninth Edition by Charles R. Goeldner and J.R Brent Rithchie

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