Tour Operations and Tourism Distribution Channels Management: Teaching Programme


Wednesday 22 April 3-6pm D265

Introduction. The Assignment (see below)


What are intermediaries? What role do they play in the tourism system?

How do they add value for the industry, for the tourists?


In preparation for the next lecture please read the attached article

Internationalisation strategies of the British Tour Operators


Thursday 23 April: 9-12 C126

The business strategies of tour operators

Analysing market opportunities


After these lessons you should be able to carry out an analysis of your chosen market stage one of the assignment.


Monday 27 April 9-12 C126

The elements of the tour package

Pricing and Yield Management



Tuesday 28 April: 9-12 C126

Workshop on your assignment research so far. Please make sure you have done your market analysis and have a clear idea of the country, market and product.

Distribution channels principles


Wednesday 29 April 3-6 D265


The impact of the internet on tourism distribution channels


Thursday 30 April 9-12 C126

The future shape of tourism distribution channels


After these lessons you should be able to begin creating your tour programme for the assignment


Monday 4 May Bank Holiday no classes

Tuesday 5 May, Thursday 6 May

Transport for package tourism: Derek Robbins

- role of charter flights

- impact of low cost airlines

- cruise shipping

Assignment 2 will be issued to you during this week. This will be due Friday 19 June


Monday 11 May 9-12 C126

Branding and marketing for Tour Operations


Tuesday 12 May 9-12 C126

Delivering Service Quality, or creating memorable experiences


Thursday 25 May 9-12 C126

Final Assignment workshops


Recommended text book :

Tourism Distribution Channels edited by Buhalis, D. and Laws E. (2000) Continuum

Other useful texts referred to in the lectures

Laws, E (1997) Managing Packaged Tourism Thomson

Yale, P (1995) The Business of Tour Operation Longman

Ingold, A et al (2000) Yield Management: Strategies for the Service Industries Continuum

Middleton, V et al (2009) Marketing in Travel and Tourism, Elsevier


Tour Operations Management: Assignment 1


Aim: to propose a viable tour programme to a country of your choice aimed at an identified target market of British tourists.


Market analysis

Identify target market: purpose of visit, demographic, psychographic and behavioural characteristics (supported by evidence from tourism reports and other sources)

Identify needs preferred accommodation, means of transport, level of assistance from couriers, cultural issues (diet, religion, family, gender etc), affordability, means of booking etc

Rational for an inclusive tour programme. What added value would a package tour provide these customers?

Existing competition direct and indirect prices, packages offered. What competitive strategy would be needed to enter this market?


The tour package

Duration, frequency, capacity, target occupation level, target numbers

Physical elements: Accommodation, Transport, Attractions identify possible providers and their published prices

Pricing: What discounted rates would you need to create a competitive product? What contract terms would these rates be offered at?

Overheads, allowances and contingencies: What else would you have to build into the package price?

Sales and profit targets.


Distribution and marketing

How would you make the product available to your target market? Evaluate the role of intermediaries in the tourism distribution channel.

What brand image would communicate your unique selling points and competitive positioning to the market?


Output required: by Friday 5 June

3,000 word business report including the tour itinerary and prices. You may submit this individually or in a group of up to four people.

You are advised to begin work on this assignment during the lecture programme as we will be covering each part of the assignment in a lecture and there will be the opportunity to get feedback and advice on your ideas.


Assessment criteria


Knowledge of the target market and the tourism resources of your chosen country

Understanding of the process of tour operations management

Ability to use appropriate means to analyse the information obtained

Creative decision-making to create an attractive and viable programme