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05/08/2012

Passenger Transport Operations


Passenger Transport Operations

 

Introduction

In tourism industry, it is expected that the contribution of hospitality organizations can affect the flow or trend of the economy. The increase number of business under the umbrella of a certain industry is an indication that the organizations believes in the power to create changes that can affect the future of the industry. Since the tourism is recognized as one of the propellers of an economy in both developed and developing economy, there is no stopping in creating new ventures in making their business more exciting. In United Kingdom (UK), the competition between the tour operators intensified which is a sign of the enthusiasm of the business operators. Apparently, this sign is slowly vanishing because of the growth of threats and economic uncertainties. Added to that, the global economic recession that devastated various economies stirred the competition in hospitality industry. After all the development in the business framework, various customer offers and great deals, the competition between the transport or tour operators meant to start again. And this time, the future of the businesses depends on how good the strategies are and the impact of the businesses can leave in entire hospitality industry. 

So, Who Got the Best Offer?

Due to the economic recession which led in collapsing economies in and around the world, the great wave of threat never left the hospitality industry. The reluctance and resistance of the people in trying the offers of the businesses and focusing on savings than spending added a great threat in the stability of the business. However, because of the economic policies and encouragement of the government in bringing the trust of the public in the economy, the hospitality industry once again gained its strength. There are many participating tour operators in UK and two of the major tour operators namely, Monarch Holidays and Leger Holidays both promises to deliver the holiday ambience unto their clients without spending much.   

A: Monarch Holidays – Packages and Operation

Monarch Holidays offer cheap flights and Hotel accommodation which is a great for their clients and depends on the country that they are planning to visit. For the firm, booking for cheap flights and hotel occupancy via online reduces goofing and even save money. The organization promises to deliver the value on their customers’ money through their 40 years of experience in the travel industry. Monarch Holidays knows better in making the connection between the client and organization based on the entire package holiday (monarch.co.uk). It is an advantage for the organization to rely on the use of the online services or website for it continuously promotes the organization as well as helping the customers in navigating on the various sites and booking procedures.

Monarch Holidays which is previously named as Cosmos was claimed to be the UK’s largest independent tour operator. With the aid of the technological innovation, there is a global search strategy imposed in their system that can deliver the tough sales and targets that are bound to pay the level of investment. The organization offer holiday packages to just a few Mediterranean destinations and recorded as the tour operators that has acquired over half a million people to over 35 destinations around the world (iCrossing, 2009).

SWOT Analysis

Strengths - The innovative deployment of the organization incredibly serves the immediate clients and creates a great impact on the business. With the support of the technological innovation in the industry, Monarch Holidays can utter the confidence in the middle of the competition (Google, Inc. 2008). Aside from the bulk marketing concepts, the more advanced and intuitive interactive facility remains at the heart of the organization’s strategy. In addition, the continuous seasonal campaigns of the organization are another recognized Monarch brand in terms of holidays and hotels. 

Weakness – The introduction of the on-line services might tight the customer queries and creates a great congestion. In this reason, the enquiries from the passengers might not be properly prioritized. In addition, the trained personnel might be low which might create an impact in efficiently service and customer interaction (Google, Inc. 2008).

Opportunities - In terms of marketing and advertising, Monarch Holidays can achieve the opportunity in acquiring over the half a million in population in one country. Because of the electronic marketing, e-commerce, and other web-based marketing, the strategy spreads throughout the wire. Because Monarch Holidays is a very well known organization, there is also sought after opportunity to promote the trade brand through managing and/or assisting the key retail clients.

Threats - As every industry will know, the impact of recession creates a great hindrance for the success of a firm. Due to the effects of the global economic recession, there are identified reluctance among the key clients and potential clients. In addition, the uncertainties that may arise in one of the participating countries such as the terrorism and crimes may serve as hiatus in their success.

Impact of Tourism Trends

The trends in tourism industry are valued in all types of business for the organization can start crafting their strategies whenever they can calculate the risk that might appear. Monarch Holidays offered in the year of 2009 the package which encloses the low deposits which is very good in targeting the family because of their cheaper offer. The flexibility with the destinations and dates might be the problem that is why the families are encouraged to book their reservations and other holiday destination early to avoid disappointment when it comes to the availability and cost. The essence of early booking is based on giving their prioritized customers the strong position in adding the value onto what is their going to pay (Frieze, 2009).

Brochures and Distribution Channels

The organization is paying attention on the packages that will add value such as all-inclusive holidays, self-catering holidays, and villa holidays. The combination of the traditional and newer holiday destination added color to their brochures. The brochures play as a discount coupons which proves that the organization is true to their commitment in featuring the great-money saving deals. Enclosed in the brochure is the continuous promotion of the organization about the reliability and value services in giving the holiday experience to everyone (UK Home Shopping).

However, based on the marketing and distribution of information of Monarch Holidays, the performance of the organization was optimized. The channels created by their vast technological information place targets through the numbers of the visitors that are coming in their site. The on-line channel was commented as the strongest partner of the organization that became not only their supplier but also as an effective way in establishing relationships. The marketing materials, advertisings, television promotion acted as the secondary channel because of the focus of Monarch Holidays on the on-line travel agent and contributes a lot in the future of the business (iCrossing, 2009).

B: Leger Holidays – Packages and Operations

Leger Holidays is a team of tour operators that can arrange the choice of destination, date of departure, and accommodation that will suits best on the holiday demand of the customer. Organizing the best trip of the family, friends, and other circle of organization breathes within the organization. One way of maintaining their position in UK is through the certain elements such as the maximizing the flexibility fits on the clients. The organization offers the Free Places which means that if a group (minimum of 11) made a contract in the firm, then there will be additional places that the group can experience for free. In addition, the low deposits which tend to encourage the clients are also part of their offers (leger.co.uk). The services and benefits offered by the firm are made based on the tour individual needs of their clients.

For over 25 years, Leger Holidays broadly offers to their customers the 423 destinations in 25 countries across the globe and specializes in short vacations, Europe cruises, and themed holidays. The marketing operation of the firms can be direct mail, direct customers, travel agents, and advertising to accept new customers (QAS Limited, 2008).

SWOT Analysis

Strengths – Because Leger Holidays promote themselves as a group of organizers, it is an advantage on the organization to acquire the abilities of their experts. There are advisors that can assess the customer’s queries, personalized itineraries that are used to assist the visitors depending on their admired departure date, destination, activities, and others (leger.co.uk). 

Weaknesses – The combination of the direct customer strategy and databases in the software of the organization was prone to problems. The operators frequently mistyped the information of the customers’ information and the processing is time consuming in the operation. This type of weakness provokes to the inability of the organization to satisfy the demand of their clients and wasting their reservation and other company offerings. The consequences are more likely results to late arrival of the tickets and incorrect details (QAS Limited, 2008). 

Opportunities – Because of the globalization, the business is bound to develop their internal system in improving the data accuracy. In this way, the negative effects are minimized. At present, the utilization of the equipments such as telephone, mailing, or fax are still part of the agenda of the organization and spreading the information for both existing and potential customers. This massive promotion entails to deliver great market share in tourism industry as well as addressing the future plans of the organization because of the agitate trend in tourism.

Threats – The continuous campaign of the organization approximately reached to 1.5 million subscribers from the mailing packs. As a result, the information is improperly validated because of their focus on the campaigns and leads to misalignment of the customers’ destinations. In addition, the IT adoption of the organization is recognized as extremely time consuming. Because there is no set of informational structure and the reliability of the operation in manual work, the data are not appropriately assured to be correctly formatted and forwarded (QAS Limited, 2008).

Impact of Tourism Trends

Because of the unstable position of tour operators in tourism industry, it is too often to use the cheap package holidays and offers to beat the financial crunches. In addition, the pressure in the competition often leads to the difficulty of the tour operators in formulating their strategic approach as to what package would be applicable. By offering the bargain package and cheap or the budgeted holidays, the firm wants to keep the advantage in the industry. The use of the service can still answer the clientele’s demands such as in the great range of hotel accommodations. In terms of the marketing strategy, the leaflets and posters still play an important part in spreading the associated information, holiday packages, and other great deal offerings (The People, 2009).

Brochures and Distribution Channels

In 2006, Leger Holidays offered a bumper 10-year anniversary brochure that breaks to the Disneyland Resort Paris. The holiday packages included in the brochure is fit for the family of four and offers various activities such as Channel crossings, accommodation, and Disney Hopper passes. In addition, the company also offers the Single Parent Super Deal wherein the lone parents, grandparents, or guardians can acquire discount privileges (MickeyXtreme, 2006). The main distribution channels used by the business are through the travel agents. Through them, the operation are utilized in different forms such as in newspapers, direct mailing, even in post offices, websites, and local agents or retailers. The distribution channel in most of the regions is assisted by the local newspapers. For travel agents, it is reported that there are three out of the five travel agents merged to focus in delivering the information while sharing the different touring operators and suppliers that will both reach their end customers (OFT, 2005).

Discussion

Tourism was created through the use of the for core concepts which are also reflected as the meaning of tourism in every country. Tourism is the use of leisure time, the act of traveling; a temporary way to stay in a nice place, and take other activities that is new to the customers but is popular to the destination (LT Scotland, 2005). The two major tour operators in UK that are presented earlier show the developmental stages in developing their appropriate holiday packages. In holistic point of view, the two tour operators utilized the same elements but differ in terms of their attack because of their tactical and strategic decision making. Based on the key developmental issues for both holiday packages offers and distribution channels, there are other types of holiday substitutes that triggers to the operators to intensify their approach in packages and other offers. In addition, the coaching in touring holidays to the UK as substitutes and the packaged are ineffective as well as the existing channel of distribution (OFT, 2005).

There are travel patterns that had been developed and plays as the key information to create both tactical and strategic decision making of the tour operators. The continuous development in promotion and competition, new travel offers in intra-regions, impact of international or global tourism, distinct difference between the countries, amount of international tourists, dependency on islands and small states to promote the summer/winter get-away packages, and the accessibility in generating markets via infrastructure or information (Meyer, 2003).

Due to the seven appearances of the tourism pattern or trend, the tour operators create an alternative distribution channel such as delete that greatly influence the market because of the availability and presence that increases the package tour purchases. It particularly influences the late deals, last minute-offers and bargaining of packages. Another channel is the Digital TV that is very popular in UK for it provides a good opportunity for travel sales and promises to deliver the potential customers. However, the tour operators are not likely using this kind of approach and instead, rely on the web for their channel of distribution that are effective in the future (iCrossing, 2009). And lastly, the use of the wireless application protocol (WAP) mobile phones provides imagery for the consumers.

In the development of the packages, it is natural dot the tour operators to make an obvious target and thus providing the clients the value for transportation, accommodation, catering and entertainment. Through the strategic decisions, the tour operators can achieve the buying power and control over the supply and distribution of their products or packages. Strategies in creating the packages are based through the examination of the elements involved. First is the revenue generation or the maximization of profit that requires the tour operators to maximize the revenues over the costs that can be incurred. It is suggested that the firm should be price-sensitive and keeping the costs as low as possible. Second is to create sound and sensible pricing strategies. Often, the packages are cheaper based on the demand of the clients and most common type of pricing is the use of discounting. However, the mainstream package holidays that a tour operator can offer remain sold according to its original price, which is accepted in UK. And third is the image creation and product distribution. The imagery, marketing and distribution channels aim to bring clients on the offered package holidays and the major type of bringing the image to the market is through the use of the brochure. Brochures can be expensive but it is selling the product through the image and provided information regarding on the holiday packages being offered. And the use of the travel agents as one of the distribution channel can be the key in making the holiday packages available to the customer and can be effective through the use of the provided brochures. In addition, the use of the specialist operators in direct sales, and telephone and internet is another alternative channel if the tour operator is lacking in accessibility in travel agents (Meyer, 2003).

Conclusion

Both tour operators played enthusiastically in UK competition. On the supply side, it is determined that even the smallest tour operator can use the packages and most of the distribution channels. While on the demand side, if the major tour operators manage to offer effective package and distribution channel, the customers are free to switch between the various distribution channels and enjoy their offers.

References:

Frieze, A., (2009) “Does It Pay to Book Early? It’s the Busiest Month to Book a Holiday… But We Examine Whether It’s Best to Buy Now or Wait for a Last-Minute Bargain”, Later Consumer Special Homes & Holidays, Sunday Mirror January 4, p. 16. Gale, Cengage Learning.

Google, Inc., (2008) “Google Site Search – Monarch Airlines, Custom Search Business Edition”, Google Site Search Case Study, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.fvc.com/FVC/FVCWEB/files/GSA%20-%20Monarch%20Airlines.pdf

iCrossing, (2009) “4 Times the Revenue for Monarch Holidays”, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.icrossing.co.uk/fileadmin/uploads/Case_studies/Monarch_UK_iCrossing_Case_Study.pdf

Leger Holidays “Group Booking”, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.leger.co.uk/Groups

LT Scotland, (2005) “Travel and Tourism Introduction”, Learning Teaching Scotland, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/NQ/images/TravelTourismIntroint2V2_tcm4-221265.pdf

Meyer, D., (2003) “The UK Outbound Tour Operating Industry and Implications for Pro-Poor Tourism”, PPT Working Paper No. 17, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.propoortourism.org.uk/17_industry.pdf

MIckeyXtreme, (2006) “What’s the Buzz”, MickeyXtreme’s News Archive, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.mickeyxtreme.com/ArchiveJan08142006.htm

Monarch Holidays “Cheap Flights, Holidays and Hotels from Monarch”, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.monarch.co.uk/

OFT, (2005) “Anticipated Acquisition by 3i Group Plc of Shearings Group Holdings Ltd”, Office of Fair Trading, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/mergers_ea02/shearings.pdf

QAS Limited, (2008) “Case Study: Leger Holidays, UK Tour Operator Increases the Efficiency of Business Processes with QAS Pro and QS Batch”, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.qas.co.uk/resources/downloads/pdf/case-studies/en/130/Leger-Holidays-case-study.pdf

The People (2009) “LEGER Holidays Are Offering Great Value; Holiday Hotspots”, The People, June 28, p. 40. Gale, Cengage Learning

UK Home Shopping “Monarch Holidays – Great Value Beach and Sunshine Package Holidays to the Mediterranean and Worldwide”, Accessed 20 May 2010, from http://www.uk-home-shopping.net/stores/monarch_holidays.shtml

 

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