The purpose of the Article is to underline the role of Travel Agencies in sustaining tourism development in India. The main objective of the article is to investigate the customer market practices of travel agencies in India and to make recommendations regarding the improved application of the principles of relationship marketing to the customer market of travel agencies in the province.
Complex, dynamic and competitive environment has posed many challenges to travel agencies regarding maintaining competitive advantages and it is imperative that the Travel agencies must have the marketing dynamic capabilities to quickly respond the changes taking place in the market. Based on the theory of marketing dynamic capabilities and the problems being faced by the travel agencies. Travel agencies are expected to be able to advise travelers about their destinations, such as the weather conditions, local ordinances and customs, attractions, and exhibitions. For those traveling internationally, agents also provide information on customs regulations, required documents (passports, visas, and certificates of inoculation), travel advisories, and currency exchange rates. The travel agencies play an important role in tourism development. CRSs and the internet offer travel agents tremendous opportunities to package holidays flexibly, according to the specific needs and preferences of each customer.
Travel agencies operating both locally as well as nationally and internationally, should be encouraged to provide tourism products in the county. For travelers, the internet allows direct communication with tourism suppliers facilitating requests for information, and allowing services and products to be purchased at any time and any place. Travel agencies as the major intermediaries in tourism are faced with a significant challenge. With the social and economic development and people’s living standards, travel service become a popular leisure time has come. Travel agencies are very sensitive services company because the customer wants the high quality of services to enjoy their travel. With the social development, tourism has become one of the industries with strongest development momentum and largest scale in global economy. Industry position and economic function of tourism in urban economic development strengthened gradually and function of pulling urban economy, driving social employment and promoting the culture and environment showed gradually. Historically booking travel was largely the scope of travel agents who had specialized systems and the connections to book the travel as well as accommodations. They also made the effort to know destinations so could make recommendations for their clients. While travel agents are still active and still provide value, much of what agents have done can be done by individuals sitting at their computers, and now travel related commerce accounts for a large percentage of Ebusiness.
The development, maintenance and strengthening of a relationship with customers will depend on the customers’ perception of the importance of key relationship dimensions. These dimensions will eventually influence the relationship learning of customers towards the establishment of a long-term relationship with the business. It becomes important for travel agencies to implement customer marketing strategies based on the customers’ experience with the travel agency through their level of relationship commitment, product quality and service delivery.
Expedia, the first online service provider, was founded in the U.S. in 1996; and started to offer flight, hotel and transfer service over internet. However, the sales boom was reached upon the introduction of dynamic packaging technology. The company, today, continue its operations over 30 countries.
Dynamic packaging helps online tour operators, travel management companies and other traditional travel companies to sell online. Airlines, hotels and tour operators benefit greatly from dynamic packaging technology.
In our contemporary world, internet has been an essential part of our daily life. Internet has also proven itself within the tourism industry recently. The latest development of the internet application in the tourism industry is dynamic packaging applications. The dynamic packaging application which presents opportunity to travel agencies to supply various holiday packages to the consumers in real time provides a competitive advantage. Today, consumers’ demand have changed.
They prefer preparing their own holiday packages to purchasing predetermined holiday packages because they want more personal holidays and think that current pre-determined packages are not flexible enough .More consumers require more individualized, flexible and selectable holiday programs and discover travel products of the online world. One of the arms of the semantic web can be found in the tourism industry as dynamic packaging applications.
Dynamic packaging is one of the most important innovations of online travel agencies. The application was first started by the Expedia; and today it is adopted and applied by many online travel agencies. Dynamic packaging provides consumers to reach multiple services with a single search. Thus, consumers can get lower price than they purchase each independent component individually. At the same time dynamic packaging provides suppliers to hide their discount rates. When we look at the customization feature, there are some customization options in three web sites.
Customers can determine destination or multiple destinations, departure and return dates, departure and return times, non-stop or refundable flights, round trip or one way trip in Expedia. In Travelocity, customers can determine destination, round trip or one way trip, departure and return dates, departure and return times, class of flight and airline alternatives. Customers can also determine destination, departure and return dates, departure and return times, non-stop flights and hotel name in Orbitz.com In today’s world where consumers are far more educated than they were several years ago, the travel industry’s future lies in a customer-driven mix of packages, individual products and self-organized travel. In the last few years, the travel industry has been buzzing with a sizzling new phrase “Dynamic Packaging”. Dynamic packaging helps provide a single, fully priced travel package that hides the price of the individual travel components.
It helps airlines, online travel agencies and tour operators to tap into different supplier systems in real time and bundle travel components (air, hotel, car, entertainment) into a single reservation. This is a seamless process which allows the user to choose from a huge range of travel and associated products from multiple vendors. A rules engine is used to configure and manage the different travel products that can be bundled and priced. These technological developments and changing consumer demands have brought several innovations in the travel industry.
One of these innovations is dynamic packaging application. By means of dynamic packaging application, travel agencies can offer real-time, customized, flexible and secure travel alternatives. On the other side, consumers are able to plan their travels and to make reservation through dynamic packaging applications. Heterogonous data regarding holiday can be gathered through dynamic packaging application so the consumers’ private needs can be meet. Worldwide, it is possible to talk about existence of travel agencies which apply dynamic packaging system. In this Article, Expedia.com, Travelocity.com and Orbitz.com travel agencies’ dynamic packaging applications were investigated. In dynamic packaging applications, choice, customization, flexibility, security and real time features must be found. These characteristics are the main specifications of the dynamic packaging applications distinct from traditional travel packages. As tour operators and vacation packagers continue to understand the value of implementing dynamic packaging technology, travel consumers are reaping the benefits. Travel consumers can now opt to customize vacations rather than accepting pre-packaged alternatives. Empowered travel consumers are exercising more control over their vacations. Dynamic packaging is thus, the most cost effective way for travel distributors to package, distribute and sell vacation products today.
The purpose of the Article is to investigate young tourist’s behavior in planning a trip, to understand how young people make decisions when they decide to go on a trip, in their country or in a foreign country, the process of searching information and their opinions about travel agencies services and about using Internet for planning a trip.
The role of the tour operator is to essentially sell accommodation, transport, activities and transfers in a combined all-inclusive package. The travel industry is highly structured, and businesses within the industry tend to specialize in one or a small number of functions driven by their core business. Understanding the structure of the travel trade is important for a company in developing its core business strategy, making marketing decisions, and investing for growth. Travel agencies are perhaps the most visible companies in the travel trade. Their primary businesses is to resell accommodations, transportation services (including airplane and train tickets, car and bus transfers) individual services including guide and translator services, and package services such as sightseeing tours. Within each agency, there is often a focus on either inbound or outbound trade, with the outbound agencies focusing either on ticketing services and accommodation bookings, or on package holidays. Travel agencies generally serve a mix of long and short haul markets, although some specialize in long haul markets. Outbound tour operators create and market travel products to customers in their own markets that are usually long haul travelers seeking a specific experience in a foreign destination. Inbound tour operators create and market travel products and services to customers mainly in long haul markets. Customers in countries far away generally do not have in depth knowledge of a destination or the service providers in that destination, may not speak the language, and may not feel comfortable making their own arrangements. The nature of travel agency business is to provide holiday-related services such as ticket booking, transfer arrangement, hotel room booking and arrangement of ground transportation, venue selection and booking for MICE activities. The scope of business of travel agents was narrow and confined to selected services. Moreover, the business was managed with small investment. It was risky business as it was depending upon the natural and socio-political along with cultural factors. A number of restrictions were imposed by the government on travel agents and tour operators for entry into tour operation business. Tour operators had no choice, but to deal with other problems like confirmation of hotel rooms, safety in travel, quality of foods, travel documents, volatile political system, language differences, cultural differences, cumbersome and tedious travelling, long journey, etc. The history of professional travel agency business started with a day-long excursion tour for his 570 friends in the Temperance Society from Leicester to Loughborough in 1841. He took the services of the British Railway. All his friends were charged one shilling for this excursion. That excursion tour was accompanied with a band to play typical hams and a picnic lunch of hams along with the afternoon tea for refreshment. Tourism involves the movement of people. That movement might either be within their own countries – which is called “domestic tourism” – or to and from other countries – which is called “international tourism”. In recent years, rapid advancements in information technology, particularly the Internet, have created enormous opportunities for traditional travel agencies to target their tourism offerings to a wider market. In response to the increasing demand for tourism information by the travelers, many travel agencies have established websites to promote their services and products. These websites plays an important role in mediating between customers and companies as a channel for information acquisition and business transactions. Recent developments in information technologies , in particular the popularity of the Internet in the early 1990s,have changed the way that tourism businesses communicate with its customers and the way that promotion and sales of tourism products are conducted. Tourism represents a unique segment from the business environment because the services achieved cannot be tested before the purchase. Travelers have to believe the indirect or virtual experience. This is why the way you present the travel destinations is one of the most important success factor. Potential travelers can choose between contacting a travel agent or going online when planning a trip. Travel agents are having quite a success in creating professional catalogs and brochures, where consumers can find important and well selected information combined very well with nice photos, useful tips and tricks, guiding maps and so on. Travel Agents vs. Online Booking: Tackling the Shortcomings of Nowadays Online Tourism Portals represents a qualitative study that aimed to identify the reasons that lead many consumers still rely on traditional travel agencies instead of booking their trips through Internet.
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Travel agents make travel arrangements for individuals or groups. They plan itineraries, make reservations for hotels, transportation, or tours. Also, prepare tickets, suggest places to go, give brochures, and gives all the information to the person traveling. Travel Agents are obviously acting as an agent when selling or booking accommodation, travel etc for clients. The typical relationship between a customer and the Travel Agent consists of the customer being the principal and the supplier of the services, whether it be accommodation or a means of travel, as the third party.
However Travel Agents can act on behalf of the provider, making the customer the third party. In either arrangement the Agent is still responsible to their principal under the common laws which govern agency. With triumph of science, travelling has now become easy, cheap, quick and pleasant. Due to invention of steamships railways, electricity, motor cars and aero-planes, our journey from one place to and other place even in abroad has become very easy and comfortable.
Travelling is now regarded as an important part of education. Educational Tours increases our knowledge and new thoughts and ideas grow up in us. The education of man remains incomplete if he does not visit important places of the world. Reading of books only provides man with half knowledge. But travelling with eyes wide open and mind fully gives him full knowledge.
Travelling also removes his narrowness and superstitions. It makes a traveler smart and self-reliant. Owing to the fabulous progress in the field of communication, travelling today involves less hazards. Hence, students must take part in educational tours. It is both entertaining and instructing for them. From Kashmir valley to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Kalimpong, in the east, our country provides hundreds of places known for architecture, climate, scenery, environment, history, development, industry, culture, music, dance, religion a fauna. Then there are seats of learning, which one may like to visit.
Educational tours exposes your mind to the diverse cultures of India.
* Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs/ yoga/ places, are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. All image credit goes to their Photographers.