The paper “ The Current Market Trends in the Tourism and Tour Operating Sectors" is a pathetic variant of case study on marketing. Globally, tourism has become one of the most important industries with international arrivals expected to reach 1.6 billion by the year 2020 and the expenditure on tourism is expected to hit US$ 2 trillion marks. (WTO 1998) International tourism is concentrated mostly within the developed countries of the world. And most of the travel is generally intra-regional. In fact, in the year 2000, seven out of the top ten tourism spending countries were also part of the top ten tourist destinations in the world.
This phenomenon was called the distance decay factor (Mill and Morrison, 1992) and this is a normal happening as people are restricted by financial and temporal reasons to travel to the closest destinations. It has also been seen that the destinations which are the most popular usually have better accessibility and infrastructure arrangements. UK TOURISMThe UK is in the fourth spot after the US, Germany, and Japan in the list of the most important tourist markets in the world.
As per the Mintel report (2001c), the UK travel market has grown substantially more than the other developed countries in terms of the numbers of travelers as well as the expenditure. The Britons travel mostly to and within the European region. But now the long haul travel has also become popular due to more information available for other countries and a decrease in the cost of air travel. In fact, the percentage of holidays taken to long-haul destinations has risen from 15% in 1995 to 20% in 2000.
(Mintel, 2001c). And with this, the British tourists are using the services of tour operators more when traveling to long haul destinations. Another important feature of UK tourism is the rise of ethical considerations by people when choosing their holiday destinations and tour operators. According to one of the studies, 27% of respondents gave high importance to the ethical standing of a tourism company and said that they would pay 5% more for a holiday that fulfills ethical criteria (Tearfund 2000). But Mintel's research has shown that though the travelers are aware of this, they are more concerned about the budget in general (Mintel 2001b).
And this is evident from the response of tour operators who view the ethical considerations as a luxury and cost, rather than long term investment (Krippendorf 1991). Moreover, they also felt that consumers were not willing to pay for the cost of ethical issues or responsible tourism (Weeden, 2001) TOUR OPERATORS IN UKThe tour operators can be defined as the people who combine two or more travel services such as accommodation, transport, catering, sightseeing, etc. , in their businesses and provide a combined package to the consumers.
This is what is known as the Package tour. Burns and Holden (1995) and Cooper et al. (1998) described a tour operator as an intermediary between the customers and providers of services. As per them, this provides them the power to influence both the demand and the supply side of the travel as per their interests. Generally, a tour operator offers a package to the customer which includes transport, accommodation, and other services. And this is offered at a lower price than the price which the customer has to pay when buying the services individually.
Thus the main role or work of tour operators is to package, price, market and sell the holiday products to customers. Customers buy this “ product” from the operators because they are able to get a convenient, secure and somewhat cheaper holiday product.