Concept and components of tour rating
"Travel rating" as a term appeared in the lexicon of Russians quite recently - in 2001, after the publication of the book "Travel rating: organization of activities" by E. N. Ilyina. Therefore, it is still difficult to talk about its viability. We should also expect clarification of the definition of this term. But its presence as the basis for the activities of tour operators cannot be denied.
The emergence of the business of tour operators was the result of the formation of massive tourist flows and the complication of tourist services. In the above publication, this is explained as follows: "The involvement of organizations, enterprises and firms providing services in the sphere of tourist services, as well as the assembly of various thematic tours from these services - all this required the development of a specific business - tour rating (development of tourist programs)" 1. The tour operator is engaged in the packaging of the tour on the basis of contractual relationships with service providers and in accordance with the existing tourist demand. He develops tourist routes, draws up a tourist service program, organizes a set of activities for the promotion and sale of tours. In most cases, a tour operator acts as a wholesale buyer of accommodation services, transport services, catering, recreational activities, etc. As a result, he has group rates for these services, which are much lower than individual, retail rates. Thus, tourists can get significant benefits by purchasing a tour from a tour operator, rather than engaging in amateur touring. The tour operator can sell services separately. This is done in cases where it is necessary to ensure the full marketability of services, since, unlike goods, services cannot be stored. Therefore, for example, by the time the plane departs, the tour operator must sell tickets for all seats purchased from the carrier. Tour operators are categorized by activity into mass market operators who sell tours that include charter flights to the most visited destinations; specialized operators working in a specific geographic area, or in one market segment. Specialized tour operators can be:
- by tour operators by type of tourism (for example, ski or water, etc.); - tour operators in the direction (for example, in Switzerland or Austria, etc.); - tour operators by market segment (for example, students or married couples with children, etc.); - tour operators for special accommodation facilities (for example, in hostels and hostels or mountain shelters and huts, etc.); - tour operators for transport (for example, cruises or tourist trains, etc.).
According to the place of activity, tour operators are divided into:
- local (domestic) tour operators who develop tours in their country, region for selling them on the domestic market; - outbound tour operators who organize trips abroad for tourists from their own country; - tour operators at the reception serving the arriving foreign tourists.
In addition, it is customary to subdivide tour operators into proactive and receptive.
Proactive tour operators are operators that send tourists abroad or to other regions by agreement with the receiving (receptive) tour operator or accommodation facility. What makes them different from travel agents is touring. Moreover, according to the WTO rules, the tour must include at least three services (accommodation, transport service and any other that is not directly related to the two indicated). The classic proactive tour operator forms complex tours, completing them with the services of local tour operators or hotel, excursion and other organizations in different places of visit. It also ensures the delivery of tourists to the place of the beginning of the trip and back, organizes the provision of inside route transport.
The receptive tour operator completes the tour and the service program at the place of reception and service of tourists, using direct contracts with service providers.
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