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Unit 14 Tour Operations Management

Unit 14 Tour Operations Management

Module Booklet


BTEC HND in Travel and Tourism management



Unit 14

Tour Operations Management

QCF level


Unit code


Block Start Date

05 June 2017

Issue date

05 June 2017

Assignment submission date

13 August 2017

Lecture and formative assessment

10 Weeks

Guided Learning Hours


Module Leader

Mr Ablie Joseph


Learners will investigate the tour operators industry of the travel and tourism sector, including the different types of operators, their products and services, the scale of the industry and how it has been affected by trends and developments. Management issues will be covered by examining strategic and tactical decision making in order to develop learners’ decision-making skills.

Learners will explore the stages involved in creating a holiday and develop skills associated with determining a selling price for a holiday from given information.

The role of the brochure will be reviewed against the introduction of new methods of promoting holidays. Learners will also review distribution methods used by tour operators to sell holidays, including the traditional use of travel agencies and the emergence of methods such as the internet and television.

Aim of the unit

This unit enables learners to gain understanding of the tour operators industry, the stages involved in creating holidays, brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays, strategic and tactical decision making.

Learning Outcomes and assessment criteria:

LO1 Understand the tour operators industry within the travel and tourism sector

P 1.1 Analyse the effects of current and recent trends and developments on the tour operators industry.

LO2 Understand stages involved in creating holidays:

P 2.1 Assess the stages and timescales involved in developing holidays

P 2.2 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of contracting for different components of the holiday and different types of tour operator

P 2.3 Calculate the selling price of a holiday from given information.

LO3 Be able to review brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays

P 3.1 Evaluate the planning decisions taken for the design of a selected brochure

P 3.2 Assess the suitability of alternatives to a traditional brochure for different types of tour operator 

P 3.3 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of distribution used to sell a holiday for different types of tour operator

LO4 Understand strategic and tactical decision making for tour operators

P 4.1 evaluate the strategic decisions made by different types of tour operator

P 4.2 Compare the tactical decisions that could be taken by a selected tour operator in different situations

Unit content:

LO 1 Understand the tour operators industry within the travel and tourism sector

Tour operators: as defined by EU Package Travel Directive; different types of tour operators including outbound operators, domestic operators, incoming operators, specialist operators, direct sell operators

Industry: identification of major tour operators including their origins, ownership, market segments, competition, identification of specific operators within each category; scale e.g. number of passengers carried, market share, turnover; products and services to meet different markets; vertical and horizontal integration in leading operators; impact of integration; European and global links; trends to include changing trends in holidays (e.g. mass market tourism to customisation, product range, all-inclusive holidays), expansion of the cruise market; environmental awareness of tour operators, responsible tourism; effect of economy and other external factors e.g. discounting, emergence of e-commerce, budget airlines;

The role of trade bodies including The Travel Association (ABTA), Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), Federation of Tour Operators (FTO), UK inbound, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

LO2 Understand stages involved in creating holidays

Stages: steps e.g. market research; planning and scheduling; forecasting; contracting e.g. allocation, commitment, ad hoc, time series charters, split charters, ad hoc chartering, scheduled services, using air brokers; costing the holiday (fixed and variable costs, direct and indirect costs, load factors, mark-up, profit margins, seasonal flexing, competitive pricing, skimming, special offers, discounting strategies, currency exchange e.g. forward buying of currency, interest earning, cash flow); timescales.

LO3 Be able to review brochures and methods of distribution used to sell holidays

Brochures: recognition of the planning issues including deciding the format (content, structure, style, paper quality, size), based on product, target market and budget, determining print specifications, print run, multiple editions; timescales and stages of production including creative brief, copywriting, proofing, colour proof, printing; brochure launch; recognition of legal implications; other formats e.g. CD, video, internet, intranet, television; examination of distribution channels e.g. direct mail, specialist carriers, haulier, consolidated delivery companies, travel agencies, intensive/selective distribution systems; racking agreements

Methods of distribution: methods e.g. direct sell, agencies, call centres, internet, teletext, telephone.

LO4 Understand the strategic and tactical decision making for tour operators

Strategic: examination of strategic decisions e.g. volume, pricing strategies, surcharge policy, positioning and image/branding, choice of product in relation to customer portfolio, distribution decisions; investment funded by capitalisation e.g. cruise ships and aircraft



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