A Tour operator is one who is responsible for putting the tour ingredients together, marketing, making reservations, handling all financial, accounting aspects, and selecting as well as managing tour managers.
Responsibilities of a Tour Operator
The following are the responsibilities of tour operators:
- To provide information on the tourist destination, different kinds of accommodation available, transport facilities, any entertainment, etc.
- To plan the tour effectively.
- Also to coordinate and liaison with the service providers or principal suppliers.
- To monitor the entire operation of the tour. In case of any problem. Providing some alternative arrangements with the least inconvenience to the tourists.
What are the types of Tour Operators?
A tour operator specializes in the planning and organizing of prepaid, pre-planned tours and sells these directly either to the tourist or to the retail travel agency. The tour operators may target market specific areas to sell the tours.
The tour operator may be international, domestic, or specialized in a region or continent. Some tour operators cater to international as well as domestic markets. The tour operators can be individual/independent tour operators or a travel agency functioning as both.
Tour operators are broadly classified into the following as per the functions performed:
Inbound Tour Operators:
Inbound tour operators operate and handle the inbound tourists coming into the country from overseas. The tourists are provided various services right from their arrivals such as airport transfers, accommodation, car/coach for sightseeing, entertainment, etc. till their departure.
The inbound tour operators get their business either directly from individual inbound tourists or through foreign tour operators. The inbound tour operator helps in boosting the economy by contributing to valuable foreign earnings.
Outbound Tour Operators:
Outbound tour operators operate tours to foreign countries, which can be either to a single country or for more than one country. The tour operators design and market package tours for outbound tourists for a specific predefined period.
All the necessary arrangements for documentation such as passport, visa, insurance, etc. are also taken care of by the outbound tour operators. These operators work in coordination with the foreign tour operators for the accommodation, transfer, ground arrangements, sightseeing, etc.
Domestic tour operator:
Domestic tour operator operates within the country and also caters to the needs of individual and group travelers. The domestic tour segment has witnessed phenomenal growth in recent years as many tour companies have entered the market. For example, Thomas Cook, Cox & King, Kesari Tours, etc.
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