Transportation and Tours for the Traveler
This course looks at transportation and package tours. During this course, students will learn about the package tour industry today, the travel industry professionals, and the package tour customers. Students will find out who tour operators must work with to create travel products and what kinds of decisions they must make in terms of meal, lodging, attractions, and, of course, transportation. You will read about how a tour operator plans and markets a tour and discover what happens before the tour, during the tour, and after the tour. Finally, students will learn about how technology, events such as 9/11 and the global recession, and increased environmental awareness are affecting the travel industry today. By focusing on all the different components that go into creating a tour, you will be able to get a sense of what working for a tour operator entails as well as what other careers are available in the tour industry. Having this perspective will help you better understand the process you undergo as you plan your own vacations and give you the background to feel comfortable entering the tour industry.
- Who’s Who in the Tour Business: This unit begins by exploring the history of package tours and transportation as it relates to tours, what exactly a package tour is, and the profile of customers who take tours. It also introduces students to the travel industry profession, which ranges from tour operations who create travel packages to travel agents, who resell travel products and advise customers.
- Suppliers: This unit begins with discussions about supplier-tour operator dynamics and how tour operators work with attractions, dining, and accommodation suppliers. It also helps students understand the vital role of transportation, ranging from cars to trains. The unit also offers insight into yield management, load factor, and break-even points, all of which are important factors in the business of travel. Finally, the unit also introduces students to the cruise industry, including how it started, and the advantages and disadvantages for tour operators and consumers.
- Researching and Designing the Tour: This unit is all about the tour experience, including planning itineraries, pacing, and logistical issues such as moving a tour group from one point to the next. It also offers insight into negotiating with suppliers, and discusses budgets, costs, and pricing for package travel.
- Selling the Tour: Marketing is the focus in this unit. It helps students understand the role of research, the marketing plan, and marketing promotions. It also covers the primary promotional tools, which are advertising, sales promotions, and public relations. Specific kinds of marketing are also investigated, such as direct marketing, marketing to preformed groups, and the tour brochure.
- On the Tour and Beyond: This unit covers how tour operators prepare customers for the tour, and takes a detailed look at the tour director and his or her roles as well as the logistical issues the director faces daily. It also covers what happens after a tour is over, current issues in transportation and tours, and careers paths in the tour industry.