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BTME-143: Procedure and Operations in the Tourism Business

BTME-143: Procedure and Operations in the Tourism Business

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

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Assignment Code: BTME 143/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BTME-143

Assignment Name: Procedure and Operations in Tourism Business

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment A

Answer the following in about 500 words each.

Q1) What do you understand by the term ‘travel facilitation’? Give an overview of the various travel facilitation services.

Ans) Ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience is the fundamental goal of travel facilitation. From departure to arrival and return, identifying and addressing the core needs of travellers at every stage is essential. Travel facilitation encompasses well-planned, designed, and coordinated services and facilities, simplifying the journey. It involves a comprehensive approach to link processes and harmonize formalities, procedures, and information exchange.

One notable example is the Travel Information Manual (TIM) by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), providing accurate information on required travel documents for international air travel. This is crucial for airlines to avoid fines imposed by immigration authorities.

Integral to tourism development, an efficient travel facilitation setup enhances a destination's overall appeal, potentially leading to increased demand and sustained tourism performance. Various factors, including safety, security, customs, immigration, accessibility, and hygiene, influence people's ability to travel freely. Therefore, the application of the travel facilitation concept involves identifying and addressing all stages of travel, from motivation to post-arrival.

Tourism service and facilities providers, ranging from transportation and accommodation to food, entertainment, and various intermediaries, play a crucial role in facilitating tourists. This broad umbrella term encompasses entities such as travel agents, tour operators, tourism organizations, and secondary constituents like local artisans, taxi drivers, and souvenir vendors. Together, these elements contribute to creating a favourable and hassle-free environment for travellers.

The various travel facilitation services are :

a) Visa facilitation is a crucial aspect of international travel, influencing destination choices based on the ease of obtaining visas. Streamlining visa application processes contributes significantly to a country's ability to attract more tourists, thereby boosting tourism earnings. Efforts to simplify entry formalities have garnered global attention, with many countries focusing on creating a traveller-friendly visa environment.

b) Travel facilitation extends to various service providers, with travel agents, tour operators, tourist guides, and tour escorts playing pivotal roles. Travel agents leverage their knowledge to recommend transportation modes, accommodations, and entertainment options. They also guide clients through customs regulations, including passport and visa requirements, making travel arrangements, and coordinating with service providers.

c) Tour operators offer customized tours tailored to individual preferences, providing private tours with personalized services like private transportation, guides, and unique accommodations. Tourist guides and escorts enhance visitors' experiences by providing insights into historical monuments, cultural sites, and local attractions, facilitating a deeper understanding of the destination.

d) Airport facilitation is a critical element in enhancing the passenger experience. Automated baggage handling systems with coded baggage tags streamline baggage sorting and handling. Self-service check-in kiosks and bag drop reduce processing time, increase passenger choice, and aid airlines in managing higher passenger volumes efficiently. Dual-channel customs clearance systems save time and costs, improving overall airport efficiency.

e) Tourist Information Centres (TICs) play a vital role in providing tourists with essential information about attractions, events, facilities, and services. These centres, often located near tourist attractions, serve as the initial point of contact for visitors, creating first impressions and offering a range of services, including guided tours and souvenir shops. TICs have evolved to include web-based information and interactive kiosks, enhancing accessibility and convenience for tourists.

In response to safety concerns, many countries have introduced tourist police units to ensure the well-being of visitors. Ensuring the safety of tourists is crucial for promoting tourism destinations, particularly among foreign travellers. Establishing tourist police units contributes to the overall sense of safety and security, enhancing the attractiveness of a destination.

Q2) Define a tour package. Describe how a tour operator plans does the costing of a package tour.

Ans)Tour Package Definition:

A tour package is a pre-arranged, comprehensive travel itinerary offered by a tour operator. It typically includes a combination of travel services such as transportation, accommodation, meals, sightseeing, and other activities bundled together for a specific duration. Tour packages are designed to provide a hassle-free and well-organized travel experience, catering to various preferences, interests, and budgets. These packages can range from all-inclusive luxury tours to budget-friendly options, targeting different market segments and demographics.

Costing of a Package Tour:

The costing of a package tour is a meticulous process that involves considering various factors to determine the overall price offered to customers. Tour operators aim to strike a balance between providing competitive pricing and ensuring profitability. The following steps outline how a tour operator plans and calculates the cost of a package tour:

a) Destination and Itinerary Planning: The tour operator begins by selecting destinations and designing the itinerary, determining the duration, and outlining the key activities and attractions. Factors such as seasonality, popularity, and local events impact destination choices.

b) Transportation Costs: Calculating transportation costs involves estimating expenses for flights, trains, buses, or any mode of transportation included in the package. Fuel costs, maintenance, and associated logistics are considered.

c) Accommodation Costs: our operators negotiate with hotels for group rates based on the number of rooms required during the tour. Accommodation costs vary depending on the hotel category, room types, and the duration of the stay.

d) Meals and Dining Options: Meal costs are factored in, considering the number of meals included in the package. Options for dining, such as inclusive buffets or à la carte, impact overall costs.

e) Sightseeing and Activities: Entrance fees, guide charges, and costs associated with planned sightseeing activities are accounted for. Optional excursions or activities may be offered at an additional cost.

f) Ground Transportation: Local transportation, such as transfers from airports to hotels or within the destination, is considered. Costs for buses, vans, or private cars are factored into the overall package cost.

g) Insurance and Permits: Costs for travel insurance, permits, and any mandatory fees required for certain destinations are included.

h) Administrative and Operational Costs: Administrative overhead, including salaries, office expenses, and marketing costs, is factored into the package cost. The operator's profit margin is determined based on business goals and industry standards.

i) Contingency and Unforeseen Costs: A contingency amount is added to account for unforeseen expenses or emergencies during the tour.

j) Markup for Profit: The tour operator adds a margin for profit, ensuring that the overall package cost covers all expenses and generates revenue.

k) Market Research and Competitor Analysis: Tour operators conduct market research and analyse competitors to ensure their pricing remains competitive and attractive to potential customers.

l) Promotions and Discounts: Any promotional offers or discounts are factored into the overall costing, considering their impact on revenue and customer acquisition.

m) Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including taxes and licensing fees, is considered in the costing process.

n) Customer Perceived Value: The operator assesses the perceived value of the package by considering the quality of services, reputation, and customer satisfaction.

Assignment B

Answer the following in about 250 words each.

Q3) Give an overview of the various legislations that directly or indirectly affect and regulate tourism.

Ans) Trans-border Movements and Tourist Protection:

Passport Act, customs, visa regulations, foreign exchange regulations, and immigration laws govern trans-border movements and protect tourists.

Transportation Laws:

Aviation regulations, railway, road, and water transport laws, including fares and tariffs, fall under this category.

Hospitality Laws:

Covering aspects like food, lodging, guests' and hosts' rights and liabilities, entertainment, and the classification, grading, and rating of hotels.

Consumer Protection Laws:

Addressing health, hygiene, and service quality standards to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of tourists.

Industrial and Land Use Laws:

Encompassing contracts, partnership laws, sale of goods, land use regulations, and infrastructure development laws.

Human Resource Development and Labour Laws:

Pertaining to employees' working conditions, wages, and human resource development within the tourism sector.

Laws Governing Tourism Organizations:

Focusing on the functioning of tourism organizations at various levels.

Conservation Laws:

Covering environmental protection, heritage preservation, antiquities, monuments, and historical sites.

Laws for Sustainable Tourism Development:

Aimed at ensuring responsible and sustainable tourism practices for long-term industry growth.

Regulation of Service Providers and Service Quality Laws:

Governing the conduct of service providers and setting standards for service quality.

Global Code of Ethics for Tourism:

Recognizing the absence of a common tourism law in many countries, the UNWTO introduced The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Serves as a framework for sustainable and responsible tourism development. Guides the formulation of tourism laws and legislations, promoting equitable and responsible practices across the industry.

Need for Central Tourism Legislation:

While some countries have comprehensive tourism laws, many lack a centralized approach.

Notably, India lacks a Central Tourism Act, but the UNWTO's Global Code of Ethics serves as a reference for sustainable tourism development. The initiative encourages countries to adopt common statutes for the betterment of the tourism industry.

Q4) Give an overview of any two important regulations which have an impact on business in the tourism industry.

Ans) Aviation Regulations:

Aviation regulations play a pivotal role in shaping the business landscape of the tourism industry. They encompass a range of rules and standards governing air travel, airlines, and related services. Key aspects include safety measures, licensing, aircraft maintenance, and operational procedures. Regulations set by aviation authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), impact airlines, airports, and the overall travel experience.

Compliance with these regulations is paramount to ensure passenger safety, maintain industry standards, and facilitate international cooperation. Airlines must adhere to strict safety protocols, pilots and crew members must meet certification requirements, and airports must comply with security measures, contributing to the overall reliability and trustworthiness of the aviation sector within the tourism industry.

Environmental Conservation Laws:

Environmental conservation laws significantly influence tourism businesses, especially those operating in ecologically sensitive areas. These regulations aim to protect natural resources, biodiversity, and cultural heritage. The impact is felt by tour operators, hotels, and attractions located in or near environmentally significant areas. Compliance involves sustainable practices, waste management, and minimizing the ecological footprint of tourism activities. National parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and heritage sites often have stringent regulations to ensure responsible tourism.

Failure to comply can lead to fines, closures, or damage to a destination's reputation. Balancing the economic benefits of tourism with environmental preservation is a continuous challenge, and businesses need to adopt eco-friendly practices to align with conservation laws. Sustainable tourism practices not only help in compliance but also contribute to long-term business viability by attracting environmentally conscious travellers and fostering positive community relationships.

Q5) Identify four contemporary challenges in airline management and suggest steps to overcome them.

Ans) Fuel Price Volatility:

The fluctuation in fuel prices poses a significant challenge for airline management. Volatility in oil prices directly impacts operational costs, affecting profitability. To address this, airlines can adopt fuel-efficient aircraft, invest in alternative fuels, and implement hedging strategies to mitigate the impact of price fluctuations. Diversifying energy sources and enhancing fuel efficiency through technological advancements are key steps in managing this challenge.

Global Health Crises:

Recent global health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have severely disrupted the airline industry. Travel restrictions, reduced demand, and operational constraints have created financial strain. To overcome such challenges, airlines should develop robust contingency plans, invest in digital technologies for contactless services, and maintain flexible operational models. Collaborative efforts with health authorities and international organizations can help establish standardized protocols for crisis response and recovery.

Technology Integration:

Rapid advancements in technology present both opportunities and challenges for airlines. The integration of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and blockchain, requires significant investment and adaptation. To overcome this challenge, airlines should prioritize digital transformation, invest in employee training, and collaborate with technology providers. Embracing innovative solutions can enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experiences, and ensure competitiveness in the evolving landscape.

Environmental Sustainability:

Growing concerns about environmental impact and sustainability pose a challenge for airlines to align with global climate goals. To address this, airlines can invest in more fuel-efficient aircraft, adopt sustainable aviation fuels, and implement carbon offset programs. Collaboration with industry stakeholders, participation in global sustainability initiatives, and transparent communication about eco-friendly initiatives are essential steps. By embracing environmentally responsible practices, airlines can demonstrate commitment to sustainability and meet the expectations of environmentally conscious travellers.

Assignment C

Answer the following in about 100 words each.

Q6a) Write short notes on frequent flyer or miles programme.

Ans) Frequent flyer or miles programs are loyalty initiatives offered by airlines to reward customers for their travel. Passengers earn points, often called miles, based on the distance flown or ticket cost. Accumulated miles can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades, or other travel-related benefits, fostering customer loyalty, and enhancing the travel experience.

Q6b) Write short notes on GATS – General Agreement on Trade in Services.

Ans) The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a WTO treaty facilitating international trade in services. Enforced since 1995, it establishes principles for fair and transparent services trade, promoting market access, and preventing discrimination. GATS covers various sectors, including finance, telecommunications, and tourism, aiming to liberalize global service exchanges.

Q7) Discuss main issues in tourist transport management.

Ans) Tourist transport management grapples with several key challenges. Traffic congestion and environmental concerns pose threats to sustainable tourism. Coordination between different modes of transport, such as air, land, and sea, can be complex. Accessibility to remote destinations, safety measures, and infrastructure development demand attention.

Efficient information dissemination to tourists and adapting to technological advancements for bookings and navigation are crucial. Balancing the needs of local communities and preserving cultural heritage amid increased tourist mobility is another concern. Addressing these issues requires collaboration among stakeholders, innovative solutions, and a sustainable approach to ensure positive travel experiences and minimal environmental impact.

Q8) Give an account of any major GDS.

Ans) One major Global Distribution System (GDS) is Amadeus, a leading technology provider for the travel industry. Amadeus facilitates seamless communication between travel service providers, including airlines, hotels, and car rental companies, and travel agencies worldwide. It offers a comprehensive platform for booking and managing reservations, streamlining the travel process. With a vast database of travel-related information, Amadeus enhances efficiency for both travel providers and consumers. Its global reach and integration with diverse travel services make it a key player in the travel technology sector, contributing significantly to the evolution and efficiency of the modern travel industry.

Q9) Discuss the common issues that require managerial attention.

Ans) Managers often grapple with diverse challenges in the workplace. Communication breakdowns demand attention to ensure a transparent and cohesive work environment. Addressing employee morale, motivation, and conflicts fosters a positive workplace culture. Efficient time management and prioritization become crucial for meeting deadlines and achieving organizational goals.

Adapting to technological advancements and staying competitive in a rapidly evolving market requires strategic planning. Financial management, including budgeting and cost control, remains a constant concern. Managing change effectively, promoting diversity and inclusion, and staying compliant with regulations are additional priorities. Skilful attention to these common issues enables effective leadership and the sustained success of an organization.

Q10) What do you understand by Human Resource Planning?

Ans) Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the strategic process of aligning an organization's workforce with its business goals and objectives. It involves forecasting future staffing needs, identifying required skills, and implementing plans to meet those needs. HRP encompasses recruitment, training, and development initiatives to ensure a competent and motivated workforce. The process involves analysing current staff capabilities, anticipating future demand, and addressing potential skill gaps. Effective HRP enables organizations to adapt to changes, maintain a skilled workforce, and optimize human capital to achieve long-term success. It is an initiative-taking approach that aligns human resources with organizational goals, fostering efficiency, and responsiveness to dynamic business environments.

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