As a person working in the tourism field, I can confidentially say that the tourism industry has emerged as one of the most promising industries, with millions of people travelling across the country and internationally. There are numerous factors associated with a person’s need to travel, which may vary from business, leisure, medical purpose, or visiting a relative and friends. Taking care of your travel arrangements can be a cumbersome task, especially when you are exposed to a large number of online portals and offline agents boasting of exclusive packages and discounts. Here is where a tour operator comes to your rescue. He/she caters to all your travel needs, from taking care of documentation, money exchanges, hotel bookings, transportation, etc., to providing a seamless experience and a memorable time with your loved ones. During a discussion with Mr. Manoj Tulsani, CEO of Rayna Tours, we came up with some crucial points on the importance of travel and tourism.
Importance of Travel and Tourism
1) Economic Growth
Tourism sparks economic growth in a region, thus helping local tourism recover. Countries where tourists visit the most get an influx of wealth from visitors coming in and spending on food, hotels, transport, activities, etc.
2) Gaining a New Perspective
This is something that I have personally experienced. When travelling, people expose themselves to various cultures, customs, religions, and lifestyles. Venturing into a new place can teach you more than any movie or book can.
3) Protecting the Environment
Many tour companies are becoming more conscious of the environmental implications of tourism by developing more socially responsible and environmentally friendly vacation packages.
By booking a tour, travelers can experience a foreign land and make sure that they visit the best spots. Here I have mentioned the role and functions of tour operators that aim to provide travelers with an ultimate travel experience.
Roles of a Tour Operator
While a tour operator’s role can vary depending upon their position and employer, these professionals are generally responsible for the following:
1) Creating Tour Packages
No one knows the travel destinations better than the tour operators. They are experts responsible for developing tour packages for individual customers or groups of travelers. They work with customers to understand their interests, thereby recommending a variety of attractions, modes of transportation, and accommodation options to help customers choose the tour package as per their requirements.
2) Prepare Travel Arrangements
Tour operators help arrange travel plans for customers so that they can easily reach their destinations. For e.g., they can book their train or flight tickets to help customers fly between cities or reserve a rental car so that customers can visit tourist attractions. All of your trip plans, including visa processing, hotel reservations, airport transfers, and travel insurance, are handled by them.
3) Budgeting the Tour Operations
Tour operators work with customers to help them prepare a budget for their tour. They develop different itineraries with varying prices and guide and advise their clients on attractions and accommodations within their preferred budgets.
4) Negotiating Rates
Tour operators negotiate rates with vendors, such as transportation companies and hotels and get the best deals for their clients. People travelling in large groups can benefit from this.
5) Providing Customer Support
A tour operator offers customer service to assist clients in preparing for their excursions. For instance, they may answer customer questions about a destination, provide information about currency exchange rates, or notify them about any changes in their itinerary.
6) Researching Travel Options
Tour operators research various travel options and provide recommendations to their clients about where to visit, stay, and eat during their tours. They gather the latest information about changing travel trends and provide their clients with the current information.
7) Providing a Safe and Enjoyable Tour
If you’re travelling somewhere for the first time, you probably want to know beforehand how safe it is for visitors. The help of tour operators is offered here, and they provide you with all the information you need. You’ll be able to keep away from any locations that might endanger your life. Tour guides ensure that you have a pleasurable and memorable experience with your family and friends in addition to attending to your safety concerns.
8) Providing Sustainable Tourism
Tour operators have a social responsibility to provide sustainable tour packages to reduce their negative impact while building a greener tourism industry. This includes focusing on creating benefits for local communities, protecting the environment through conservation projects, and giving priority to animal welfare.
Some More Responsibilities of a Tour Operator
- Use operations management skills
- Use sales and marketing skills
- Manage human resources
- Develop products
- Use financial management skills
- Directing visa application process
- Collaborating with the security staff, marketers, and venue operating teams
- Shipping requisite equipment to pertinent locations
- Remaining accessible to stakeholders
- Managing allotted finances
- Completing client-requested errands (within reasons)
Thus, I can conclude that tour operators play an important role in the success of the tourism industry. They contribute to the positive experiences that travelers across the world endure with their knowledge and expertise, allowing people to travel stress-free at a relatively reasonable price. Tourists can count on them to make their dream vacations a reality.