HISTORY OF PACKAGE TOURS PRODUCT
Since their establishment in the 1960’s, package tours and the number of receptive tour operators have steadily grown in importance to all aspects of Indonesian tourism. It is commonly perceived as a growth opportunity for both travel volume and type of tour package offered.
A number of factors contributed to the popularity of packaged tours but the single largest factor was the airlines participation in creating packages to promote their inventory of seats. This not only widened travel options and destinations but also increased the number of travelers.
Package tours have several key advantages for the northern traveler including discounted rates for transportation and accommodation, convenience of one-time payment for all or most travel services, ease of vacation planning, and more travel opportunities.
THE PRINCIPLES OF PRODUCT PACKAGE DEVELOPMENT
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Tourists do not visit Yogyakarta just to stay at the Ambarukmo Hotel or travel to Perambanan to visit the temples. Visitors are attracted for a number of widely diverse reasons:
- Scenic Splendor (Spectacular)
- Unique and different destination
They are drawn to a destination because of what they have seen, read, or heard, about an area’s attractions. Today most people learn about a destination through the media:
Travel patterns evolve from this point and invariably centre on the individual’s interest in a particular area but seldom on one specific service element. It is here that the convenience and organized structure of a complete travel program becomes the reason for making the choice of destinations. These arrangements can come in a varied assortment of components known as
The benefits of packaging can be illustrated as follows:
5 DAY/4 NIGHT GENERAL INTEREST TOUR
Day 1 Yellowknife
- Transfer to hotel
- Balance of day at leisure, shopping
- Film presentation of North Slave Region
Day 2 Yellowknife Breakfast
- Town Tour and Visitor Center
- Boat Cruise
Day 3 Fort Smith Breakfast
- Flight to Fort Smith
- Fort Smith tour including lunch
- Late afternoon flight to Hay River
Day 4 Hay River Breakfast
- Morning community tour
- Afternoon hiking excursion
- Local traditional entertainment
- Overnight hotel
Day 5 Hay River Breakfast
- Drive/flight to Yellowknife
- Lunch in Fort Providence
- Art Tour
- Departure for Yellowknife/Drive or flight to Yellowknife and points south
A number of advantages are immediately apparent:
- Visitor length of stay
- Coordinated presentation of the area’s attraction base
- Distribution of visitors throughout the area
- Variety of facilities and services involved
- Economic impact in overall terms
Packaging pays dividends beyond the revenue it produces. By having a comprehensive inventory of services circulating in the marketplace, it presents a consistent regional identification. This is accomplished through promotional campaigns aimed at:
- Tour wholesales
- Travel agents
- Special interest groups
The possibilities are endless and should be implemented through co-operative actions by all interested parties within the community.
WHAT IS A PACKAGE
A package is a group of products and services presented as a unit and sold for one fixed price. Products and services may include accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, and meals. Some packages may even include helicopter rides, theatre tickets, picnics, community events, and hands-on learning experiences. There are no limits to what can be included.
Packages are operated for a specific duration. A tour may be packaged for one or two people travelling as individuals, or for a coach-load of people travelling as a group.
ADVANTAGES OF DEVELOPING A PACKAGE
Packaging’s intent is to create user-friendly products. It is intended to make carrying out business more convenient for both the business and the customer.
ADVANTAGES FOR THE CUSTOMER
- It increases convenience for the clients by combining services that would otherwise have to be purchased individually, often with some difficulty.
- It makes vacations more affordable and less time consuming to plan.
- It allows customers to budget and more closely predict the cost of their vacations. It can provide some security of product quality.
ADVANTAGES FOR THE BUSINESS
- It increases the number of sellable features, allowing the business to appeal to wider markets.
- It creates unique products, because elements are usually different than the packages of other tours.
- It provides newer businesses the opportunity to partner with well-established, high-quality products.
- It facilitates tourism and regional economic development by increasing demand for some components of packages.
- It encourages participation in tourism development.
- It may maximize revenue for the package partners by decreasing marketing costs.
- It increases marketing effectiveness through a well-organized effort.
- It enables operators to provide control over the visitor’s experience through the selection of appropriate partners.
DISADVANTAGES OF DEVELOPING A PACKAGE DISADVANTAGES OF A PACKAGE
- Partners have not got as much control over the quality of the total product.
- Package may increase the logistics required to handle a client.
- Packages may increase the potential for things to go wrong, as more players are involved in the package.
- Packages may create client volume that a partner does not have the capacity to handle.
- Package may create the feeling of inflexibility among customers, since most packages have predetermined components and often have pre-determined dates.
A pre-planned, organized travel experience consisting of several and separate elements operated over a fixed itinerary and time frame. These programs may encompass a wide spectrum of interests, events and activities but must, by regulatory requirement, contain at least one night’s confirmed accommodation any two of the following components:
- Air transportation
- Surface transportation
- Local transfers
- Car or recreation vehicle rental
- Sightseeing or guide services
- Meals and/or entertainment Realistically, from an external sales and marketing point of view, the basic requirements for qualifications are:
These are accepted by regulatory authorities to constitute a packaged offering and qualify for a variety of promotional air fares and tariffs which provide competitive pricing of the product.
Packaged tour sales are especially attractive to travel agents as they derive increased commission rates on the air transportation segments of the program.
Packages take many forms. For example:
- A local canoe-guiding business and the hotel down the road get together to market a day long canoe trip with overnight accommodations to residents of a nearby city.
- A bus-tour company buys accommodation and meals at a community lodge to include in the bus-tour company’s own package.
- A guest farm and a foreign-language school organize a farm stay for the language school’s students.
- European travel wholesaler combines air travel, bus transport, hotel accommodation, meal vouchers, city tours, and outdoor activities, such as rafting and horseback riding, for Europeans who want to come to Canada.
TYPES OF PACKAGES
The greatest distinction in types of packages is between packages for groups and packages for individual travelers. Purchasers of both types of packages seek as complete an experience as possible, at a reasonable price.
In addition, these packages are then categorized according to whether they are touring/trip-oriented or destination-oriented.
PACKAGES FOR GROUPS
Group Inclusive Tour (GIT) is a prepaid tour for a specified minimum number of people, travelling as a unit. Most group tours in the N.W.T. are comprised of 10 to 35 people (standard coach size is 47 passengers),
GIT’s are usually travel-escorted on chartered transportation and generally include all baggage handling, entrance fees, taxes, and some meals. As the title indicated, an operation specifically tailored to accommodate a number of participants with similar interests. This type of tour product is often used to service lengthy itineraries utilizing a mixture of services, transportation, accommodations and attractions.
Based on their duration and areas of operation, they fall into three distinct categories which are:
PACKAGES FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAVELLERS
A Fully Inclusive Tour (FIT) is a prearranged and prepaid tour, for one to ten people travelling without an escort or tour guide. Most typically, an air carrier originates the booking. The customers usually travel by public transportation or U-drive.
FIT generally includes accommodation, transportation, and sightseeing. The traveler is issued a “voucher” for each component of the package. Taxes and baggage-handling are usually the responsibility of the individual traveler.
S.I.T: SPECIAL INTEREST TOUR
A rapidly expanding segment of the tourist market is being serviced by this category of tour designations. Its composition and operation is very similar to that of the G.I.T. but it is almost always applied to small dedicated groups. Principal areas of application refer to established outdoor activities which emphasize client participation such as:
- Trail Riding
- Canoeing and River Rafting
In addition, the greatest increase in market growth has been recorded in nonconsumptive pursuits, notably:
- Environmental study groups
- Wildlife observation
- Historic and cultural programs
- Photographic Safaris There has been a growing clamour among sophisticated Canadian travelers to experience, and to add to their travels, unpredictable and sometimes strenuous, vacations.
WHO DEVELOPS PACKAGES?
Small tourism businesses often partner with other local services to create a more complete product. An example of this would be the canoe-guiding business that combines its service with a hotel to form a package. The same tourism business may instead sell its service to a tour operator, thus becoming a supplier to, and part of, the tour operator’s package.
For example, a sea-kayaking business could be approached by a van-tour company that wants to include sea-kayaking in its brochure. The sea-kayaking company agrees and becomes part of the van-tour company’s package. Independent business operators from around the Northwest Territory may offer one component or service for sale to tour operators, thereby becoming a “supplier” to a tour operator, For example, an amateur live-stage theatre in Yellowknife may sell evening show tickets to a tour operator (FIT) selling Art Tours.
A professional tour operator offers a variety of tours (comprised of many products and services) to more than one market. Tour operators are always seeking new products and services to include in their packages. The innovative features of their tour components gives them “unique selling points” over their competition.