IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM
Tourism nowadays is one of the most popular way of spending free time. It is highly developed in almost all countries, mainly because of material profits it brings. But unfortunately, there is the other side of the coin too, especially if it comes about foreign tourism.
From educational point of view, travelling lets people to see world, other peoples, culture and traditions. It is said, that “traveling broadens” and most people consider, it does. At the same time, tourists who has not wide knowledge about World, can “see the grass greener on the other side of the fence”. It causes danger of discontent with country that person live in, what entail complaints and dissatisfaction.
Also economical aspect plays huge role in domestic market economy. Lot of people works in tourist branch what is often their only source of income. What is more, there are some countries - like Malta for example - where tourism is basis of all its revenue. Howewer, if all field are tourist-minded, prices are inflated what is huge drawback for natives.
Thirdly, tourism can have influence on tourist religious viewpoint. Seeing place which is some religion root, surely strengthens pilgrims faith. On the other hand, showing ones faith can meet with incomprehension or even contempt.
In my opinion, tourism is too important for my mental to be stoped, or even restricted because of mentioned below reasons. It should be still developing, and becoming easier to get for more and more people.
A Travel agency is a private or public service that provides tourism related service to the public on behalf of of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, and package tours . In addition to dealing with ordinary tourists most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to making travel arrangements for business travelers and some travel agencies specialize in commercial and business travel only. There are also travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than where their headquarters are located.
The British company Cox & Kings is sometimes said to be the oldest travel agency in the world, but this rests upon the services that the original bank, established in 1758, supplied to its wealthy clients. The modern travel agency first appeared in the second half of the 19th century. Thomas Cook, in addition to developing the package tour, established a chain of agencies in the last quarter of the 19th century, in association with the Midland Railway. They not only sold their own tours to the public, but in addition, represented other tour companies. Other British pioneer travel agencies were Dean, & Dawson the Polytechnic Touring Association and the Co-operative Wholesale Society. The oldest travel agency in North America is Brownell Travel; on July 4, 1887, Walter T. Brownell led ten travelers on a European tour, setting sail from New York on the SS Devonia.
Travel agencies became more commonplace with the development of commercial aviation, starting in the 1920s. Originally, travel agencies largely catered to middle and upper class customers, but the post-war boom in mass-market package holidays resulted in travel agencies on the main streets of most British towns, catering to a working-class clientele, looking for a convenient way to book overseas beach holidays.
A travel agency's main function is to act as an agent, selling travel products and services on behalf of a supplier. Consequently, unlike other retail businesses, they do not keep a stock in hand. A package holiday or a ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase. The holiday or ticket is supplied to them at a discount. The profit is therefore the difference between the advertised price which the customer pays and the discounted price at which it is supplied to the agent. This is known as the commission. In many countries, all individuals or companies that sell tickets are required to be licensed as a travel agent. In some countries, airlines have stopped giving commission to travel agencies. Therefore, travel agencies are now forced to charge a percentage premium or a standard flat fee, per sale. However, some companies still give them a set percentage for selling their product. Major tour companies can afford to do this, because if they were to sell a thousand trips at a cheaper rate, they still come out better than if they sell a hundred trips at a higher rate. This process benefits both parties.
Other commercial operations are undertaken, especially by the larger chains. These can include the sale of in-house insurance, travel guide books and timetables, car rentals, and the services of an on-site Bureau de change, dealing in the most popular holiday currencies.
The majority of travel agents have felt the need to protect themselves and their clients against the possibilities of commercial failure, either their own or a supplier's. They will advertise the fact that they are surety bonded, meaning in the case of a failure, the customers are guaranteed either an equivalent holiday to that which they have lost or if they prefer, a refund. Many British and American agencies and tour operators are bonded with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), for those who issue air tickets, Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) for those who order tickets in, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), for those who sell package holidays on behalf of a tour company.
A travel agent is supposed to offer impartial travel advice to the customer. However, this function almost disappeared with the mass-market package holiday and some agency chains seemed to develop a 'holiday supermarket' concept, in which customers choose their holiday from brochures on racks and then book it from a counter. Again, a variety of social and economic changes have now contrived to bring this aspect to the fore once more, particularly with the advent of multiple, no-frills, low-cost airlines.
Several areas of a travel agency’s focus pay commissions to the agency which becomes it’s principal income. These mainly are: car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours, tour operators, etc. A fixed percentage of the main element of the price, is paid to the agent as a commission. Commissions are not paid on the Tax component of the price.
With regard to Air Travel however, commissions are becoming a thing of the past. In the United States, most airlines pay no commission at all to travel agencies. In this case, an agency usually adds a service fee to the net price. Reduced commissions have taken place since 1995, when first commission reductions hit North America: a cap of US$50 on return trips and US$25 on one way. In 1999 European airlines began eliminating or reducing commissions, while Singapore Airlines did so in parts of Asia. In 2002 Delta Air Lines announced a zero commission base for USA and Canada; after a few months United Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways and American Trans Air joined Delta.
TYPES OF AGENCIES
There are three different types of agencies in the UK: multiples, miniples and independent agencies. The former comprises a number of national chains, often owned by international conglomerates, like Thomson Holidays, now a subsidiary of TUI AG, the German multinational. It is now quite common for the large mass-market tour companies to purchase a controlling interest in a chain of travel agencies, in order to control the distribution of their product. (This is an example of vertical integration.) The smaller chains are often based in particular regions or districts.
In the United States, there are four different types of agencies: mega, regional, consortium and independent agencies. American Express and the American Automobile Association (AAA) are examples of mega travel agencies.
Independent agencies usually cater to a special or niche market, such as the needs of residents in an upmarket commuter town or suburb or a particular group interested in a similar activity, such as sporting events, like football, golf or tennis.
There are two approaches of travel agencies. One is the traditional, multi-destination, out-bound travel agency, based in the originating location of the traveler and the other is the destination focused, in-bound travel agency, that is based in the destination and delivers an expertise on that location. At present, the former is usually a larger operator like Thomas Cook, while the latter is often a smaller, independent operator
FUNCTION OF TRAVE AGENCY
The main function of any travel agency is to, of course, act as an agent. This includes selling tickets and travel products, reservations, and so on, on behalf of one or several suppliers. Travel agents generally work with no charge to the traveler him or herself. Rather, the travel agent takes a small commission from the overall cost. Again, this isn't added on top of the sale or anything like that. Rather, their commission is taken out of the advertised price.
General Sales Agents for Foreign Travel Companies
A general sales agent is something like a tourism ambassador. A company with its headquarters located in, say, Japan, might set up travel agency offices all around the world to encourage tourism to the country where their headquarters is located. The travel agent will still seek to find better deals for their customers (as, after all, that's what turns a customer into a return customer), so they are not indebted to any one airline or hotel, but, they do tend to focus strictly on travel to, and within, the country where their headquarters is located.
Business and Commercial Travel Agencies
Most travel agencies have a department of business travel and a department of leisure travel. The needs for one traveler and the other tend to vary in a few significant ways, and so, splitting up the duties amongst a couple of departments can help to allow either department to specialize, finding better deals for business travelers on the one hand, and better deals for leisure travelers on the other. However, there are also travel agencies that specialize strictly in business and commercial travel. Incidentally, there aren't a whole lot of agencies that restrict themselves solely to leisure travel.
In the United States, there are several main types of travel agencies: corporate-owned national chains, national/international franchises, membership associations -- such as AAA -- and independent, locally owned travel agencies with no brand or corporate affiliation. National chains will have the most consistent policies and pricing not matter where you go, and often the best international "hotline" customer service, but not always. Big-name franchises offer similar perks but different local owners can opt out of certain promotions and pricing specials. Membership-based associations are often less commission-focused since they rely on member fees. Independent agencies tend to cater to niche markets, such as assisting sports teams, church and school groups looking for inexpensive travel, and large group options.
Cargo Travel Agencies
A few travel agencies specialize in shipping cargo. Of course… that's not entirely relevant if you're looking to fly for business or personal reasons. Still, this should go to show how many different areas an individual agency can specialize in.
Online Travel Agencies
One of the real boons to the travel agency industry has been the use of the internet to allow travel agents to let their travelers compare a wide variety of options for hotels and airline tickets. Ironically, there was some fear for a period of time that, by selling tickets directly to travellers, the travel agencies would go out of business. However, a handful of travel agencies have proven that, even if you can find good deals yourself, there are still instances where a travel agency can find you an even better one. Many traditional bricks-and-mortar travel agencies now have full-service web sites so that you can get the best of both worlds: convenience of self-serve online booking with the benefit of talking to a real person when you need it.
Multi-Destination and Niche Agencies
If you want to split it up into just two types of travel agency, you have multi-destination and niche. Multi-destination out-bound travel agencies are usually larger, offering flights to just about anywhere. Niche agencies are usually independent, and focus on one specific part of the world. If you're flying to say, Greece, you might find a niche agent who knows the area very, very well. Most of these niche agencies cater mainly to people with family in that country, or who do business there on a regular basis.
Consider your individual needs, preferences, and trip objectives when choosing your travel agent. Different types of agencies provide different levels and types of services. If you are a frequent globe trotter, you may want to use a large corporate travel agency with many branches in countries all over the world. Or you may view travelling as a treasure hunt or puzzle, where researching and finding the most off-the-map places is half of the fun. If this is the case, a niche operator may be just the right travel partner for you
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