In today's world, the competition is very high in every aspect of a country's economy. Millennials are majorly influenced towards travel and tourism sector. They wish to visit places as per their own accord and also, want the services that are delivered to them as per their own choice and preferences. The organisations that function to provide travel and tourism services to these individuals are called tour operators (Nunkoo, Gursoy and Ramkissoon, 2013). Tour and travel agencies combine the travelling locations and the experience of tourism together to develop a tour or holiday package. They take assistance from a number of service providers to deliver quality services to customers along with ensuring that these tourists derive maximum satisfaction. This helps them in ensuring their sustenance in market, thereby increasing their stake in market and improving their brand name and position in industry. They possess widespread knowledge about the places established in other countries and they can easily manage the trip for customers in other places.
TUI is one of the most well renowned tour and travel agency that delivers best class service to customers at reasonable prices. Tourist Union International or more commonly known as TUI is a multinational travel and tourist company headquartered in Hanover and Germany. It runs hotels, travel agencies, airlines, cruise ships and retail stores under its own name.
Indian ocean, especially Mauritius is one of the most beautiful places of the world to visit.Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean division and large number of people are willing to experience a tour there. TUI provide best resort management service to their customers and people are always ready to avail the services delivered by the company.
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1.1 Functions of resort operation management
Tour and Travel agencies have to tie with a number of service providers including hotels to ensure that they deliver quality services to their customers and to attain maximum satisfaction from them. Various hotels and resorts are available in Indian Ocean, particularly Mauritius. Tour and travel operators enter into agreements with these hotels to manage and provide facilities to tourists. Some of the major hotels and resorts in portfolio for TUI in Mauritius include Sensimar Lagoon Mauritius, Riu Creole, Riu Le Morne, Lux Le Morne etc. TUI operates in coordination with these resorts to make sure that tourists have a comfortable stay in Mauritius and also deliver services with an aim to retain these customers for a longer time. Company along with the help of these resorts provides accommodation facilities to consumers and also, at times, render entertainment and support services. TUI, being a well renowned tour operator has certain functions in respect of resort management which are explained below:-
- Coordination with suppliers and corporate clients:Company along with the resort management makes sure that all the necessary inventories and services are provided by suppliers within time so that customers can avail the benefits of these and have a supreme experience. Also, TUI makes sure that no delay is caused in terms of provision of any product or service which helps the company in retaining the customers and their families for a long period of time. By providing amenities that are beyond the expectations of tourists, company aims at gaining widespread acceptability and increasing their name and position in market. Also, company takes regular feedbacks from corporate clients to gain knowledge about any shortcoming in the services being provided at resorts.
- Compliance with legal and statutory requirements: Top management of entity has to make sure that all the necessary rules and guidelines provided by law in relation to resort operation and provision of services are being followed. Also, it is required that the legal requirements related to food and safety of consumers are ascertained and complied with by the company.
- Health and Safety laws: There are various rules and regulations that are made in relation to food, sanitation, security and living conditions of customers in resorts and hotels. Company has to make sure that it abides by all the requirements of Health and Safety Act, 1974 to maintain its sustainability in industry. This can take place only when all the related guidelines are made clear to the employees of resort and strict adherence to these are ensured by hotel as well as TUI.
- Fulfilment of the various contracts: The legal team of company has to ensure that all the necessary agreements and contracts entered in by the company are concise and clearly specified to the staff members (Nunkoo, Gursoy and Ramkissoon, 2013). Also, the employees working at the resort have to be paid well in accordance with the Labour Laws and statutory requirements imposed by government.
- Operational Efficiency: TUI along with the resort management has to make sure that all the operations being carried out by the workforce are conducted professionally. The quality of services rendered by resort has to be in accordance with the requirements and preferences of customers. The management of resorts and hotels regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of employees and make sure that they are equipped with the required skills and competence.
- Meeting proposals and other requirements:Top management makes sure that the cost of holiday or tour packages offered are in accordance with the rates being charged by competitors in industry. Also, company gains an insight into the behaviour of customers and market and thus, decides an effective price keeping in consideration the timely delivery of services offered.
1.2 The Structure of the resort offices of tour operators
In tourism industry, there are various types of tour operators that provide a wide range of services to customers to ensure that they have a supreme experience. The types of tour operators that function within the tourism industry are:-
Operators in tourism sectors:There are various tour and travel agencies that combine the demands and preferences of customers and travelling experience into a holiday or tour package for tourists all across the globe (Coghlan, 2012). TUI is also a specialist operator that provide tour packages to customers with the option of customisation so that tourists can modify the package according to their choice of tour locations, sight-seeing places, hotels etc. Also, company uses social media tools to communicate the details of some attractive and captivating holiday offers to their royal or regular customers.
Wholesale tour operator:These are the tour operators that functions as mediators between customers and suppliers of service providers in market. They render facilities related to reservations and products to customers. TUI owns a number of hotels in Mauritius to deliver high class services to the customers and avail maximum benefit of the satisfaction derived by them. Also, the company provides services only in accordance with the availability of these with the entity.
Special tour operator:These are those operators that deal in the niche market of social club and emphasize upon providing services related to leisure, entertainment and fun. These do not operate for the purpose of money making and are just focussed on a selected group of individuals. TUI also appoints certain special operators and take their assistance to deliver services in a way that customers enjoy a comfortable stay.
Machine operators:These are the service providers that provide products of basic necessity to customers like food and accommodation. TUI is a well renowned company that possess its own manufacturing unit and thus manufactures a wide range of food products and services that are required by the customers. Every customer during the trip wants hygienic and delicious food and thus, they focus upon this area largely.
Forklift operator:Some well renowned and famous tour and travel agencies also provide some additional benefits to customers in relation to their security (Gill and Williams, 2014). TUI also recognise the need of these and thus provide facilities like medical aid, insurance, license and passport services to customers. By providing health products and assistance to tourists, they ensure good health and security of customers at all the times.
Indian ocean is one of the most famous tourist places across the globe. It is covered by water which makes it captivating for the customers an influence them to visit the place. Tour and travel agencies along with resort and hotels offers a package that tempts the customers to avail the services being offered by the company. They spend huge amount to ensure that customers have a lavish experience with high quality services. This is aimed at building and imrpovimg their brand image and position in market.
2.1 Impact of effective quality system on legal and conflict situations
In order to attract new customers and retain old ones, it is imperative that the quality system and processes are effectively carried out in resorts. Top management of resorts ensure that high quality and best class services are offered to customers so that they can have a lavish experience that gives them maximum satisfaction and fulfils all their expectations. By providing high living standards to customers, they maintain their stake in market and also improve their brand position simultaneously. Quality system ascertains and analyses the processes, system and practices adopted by the resort management and measures if they match the standards set by law. In order to increase business revenue and sales, quality component has to be considered by the management. Furthermore, majority of resorts are now adopting various quality systems and mechanisms that keep a check on each and every step and process followed by company. Resorts make use of Six Sigma and Total Quality Management in business operations so as to ensure that the errors in services delivered are negligent. The quality systems and processes are carried out by way of several checklists and audit schedules which are explained below:
Checklist on Technical Services:This includes the attributes in relation to various technical devices, tools and equipments being utilised by the management of resorts (Hallmann and et. al., 2012). Such devices are AC, DC and other technical tools and equipments like refrigeration plants.
Checklist on Internal and External Security:This helps in keeping track of the security of customers in resort. These would include areas pertaining to hazardous incidents, accidents and other security related issues that may take place within the premises of resort.
Checklist for Housekeeping: This include components like common area, floor, rooms, terrace and sanitation. Proper maintenance and cleaning of all these processes need to be ensured by the resort management at all times.
Checklist for entering an agreement with vendor or supplier:There are set norms and standards that ned to be considered by the managers of resort while entering a new agreement with any supplier (Van Vuuren and Slabbert, 2012). They need to follow certain practices so that they can be registered to provide services to resorts coming under TUI Group.
Checklist for other departments:The other departments and units that are a part of resort staff have their own checklist and quality measures that need to be followed by them.
Along with this, the resort management ensures that evaluation by managers as well as feedbacks by customers are being carried out so that services can easily be improved for future purposes. By ensuring that all the guidelines and laws in relation to quality of services being offered are adhered, company seeks at avoiding any legal or statutory conflict that may arise in future due to quality quotient.
Besides this, TUI will ensure quality within the resort in the below mentioned ways:
- Proper and timely communication of the time of arrival and departure of customers to the resort management.
- Prior discussion is done with the resort manager about the travel itinerary along with the tour or holiday package offered to the customer and its cost so as to avoid any conflicts in future.
- Taking regular feedbacks from customers or other corporate professionals and partners in this sector to gain knowledge about the quality of services being offered to tourists. This is done with the aim to bring about improvements in processes, if deemed to be required.
2.2 Impact of quality systems implemented by tour operator on operations of resort
Quality refers to that attribute which deals with the efficiency and the effectiveness of processes, systems and practices adopted by management of an entity. Standards for maintaining the quality of amenities offered to people need to be followed by the resort management. TUI ensures that all the legal and statutory requirements are being complied by the resort so that no conflict arises in future. Also, the tour operator makes sure that Six Sigma and Total Quality Management measures are being undertaken within resort (Theobald, 2012). These processes help in reducing the probability of errors in the operations. Also, processes, activities and practices followed by resort are matched with the checklist and audits to find out deviations from required performance. When functioning systems are maintained properly, then the quality automatically gets enhanced as a result of which the service itself gets improvised and admired by tourists. The advantages of complying with effective quality systems on operation of resort are as follows:-
Improvement in Services:When systems and processes carried out by resorts are regularly analysed, audited and monitored on the basis of quality, it enhances the existing level of quality being offered in terms of services to customers. This reflects maximum satisfaction to users of services and helps in retaining these individuals for future.
Higher Revenue and business:By ensuring compliance with the quality measures and systems within the premises of resort, enterprise is able to render maximum satisfaction and also look at increase in generation of revenue for business (Ali and Omar, 2014). Also, this helps the resort to find opportunities for growth and expansion of its operation across various parts of the globe. Also, a high position of resort in industry would imply high employee as well as customer retention.
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3.1 Incidents that impact the dealing of a resort
There are various incidents that are common in occurrence in any organisation which is associated with resorts and hotels. Incidents are those issues or conflicts which may arise due to customers or any statutory body and mainly impacts the environment of resort (Boretti, 2013). In order to overcome these challenges, entities belonging to resort industry make some action or mitigation plans so that these issues do not largely hamper the operation of resort. Some of these incidents may include medical problems, natural problems, political incidents, accommodation issues and transit incidents which are briefly explained below:-
Natural incidents: These are the factors which are beyond the control of human behaviour and power. These include the situations that occur naturally like earthquake, tornado, fire, floods, droughts, tidal incidents etc. Such natural environmental conditions largely affect the operations of resorts as they may cause loss of life, inventory or other valuable assets of company that are necessary for carrying out its operations. This issues are mainly faced by the resorts which are situated in those geographical locations which have seas and oceans present nearby.
Transit incidents: These are those incidents that take place at the time of execution of the trip. Travel and tour agencies make use of a suitable mode of transport for the transportation of people from one place to another. During the implementation of this, sometimes an incident may occur like hijack, crashes, accident etc. which may cause harm to the tourists (Flognfeldt and Tjørve, 2013). In case of nay harm being caused to any of the tourists during the trip, it affects the environment of resort. Also, this can sometimes bring bad image to company and impact the business of resort adversely in future. Thus, TUI use safety tools at the time of travel and also provide training aid to customers which may help them at the time of any injury.
Medical problems:These are the incidents that do not generally occur in the normality of business operations. But this may affect the environment of resort along with hampering the operations of business. These medical issues generally arise in areas like food and beverages, changes in weather, pollution or any other heredity situation. These issues can create adverse situations like food poisoning, cholera, typhoid, malaria or any other medical issue. Due to this reason, the rate of tourists falls down and this will result in loss of business for the resort.
Political issues: These are the situations that arise due to the government of any country. This may happen due to changes in rules, regulations and policies set by government. To combat this, TUI follow all the policies made by statute and government laws along with working as per the rules of the country. The changes in policies of government may sometimes benefit the operations of resort but most of the times, the changes cause an adverse impact on the environment of resort.
Accommodation issues: This is the basic need of every individual that agrees to be a part of the holiday or tour package. Every visitor wants better and comfortable living during their stay at resort. To ensure this, resorts are focused upon providing best class living facilities to the customers. Also, during the peak seasons, when the business is experiencing a boom and rooms are not usually vacant, customers can face issues related to non availability of rooms in resort (Medlik, 2016). This may adversely impact the environment of resort along with damaging the brand name and corporate position of business in industry.
The above mentioned incidents affect the environment as well as operations of the resort and can even result in conflicts in functioning of the system. Thus, these need to be managed well by the management of resort so as to ensure its sustainability.
3.2 The procedures to to deal with different incidents
An entity can undertake various ways to deal with the incidents that occur within or outside the premises of resort but affect their customers largely. The incidents which occurs in TUI group are related to the passenger and other operational incidents during the transit. A company has to make an action plan to deal with the incidents that occurs during the tour to improve the operations and build a positive image of company among the customers.
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Company implements the following processes to deal with these problems:-
Identifying the area where the incident occurs:These are the areas or fields where the incident generally arises during the tour. These areas need to be ascertained by the company and tackled well to deal with the situation.
Developing the information related to it:After the incident is ascertained, the next step taken by company is to obtain the relevant information related to that incident. The information collected includes the data like why it occurs, what would be the reason of its occurrence, what are the problems which may occur as a result of it (Jaafar and Maideen, 2012). For example- a customer is not satisfied with the operations of entity and wants to sue the company, in such situation, the company should satisfy him by rendering suitable services that match his choice and preferences along with his demand.
Ascertaining the solutions for that incident: After the complete study of the incident, company should develop the possible solution for that situation so that it may cause least harm to the company's image and its operations.
Creating a plan to implement the solution: The solution should be used as a basis to develop the plan so as to rectify that incident. This will help the company to reach from the current situation to the desired situation where the incident will be dealt with.
3.3 Procedures for link with guidelines of trade associations and government bodies
Procedures implemented by resorts and tour operators must comply with the guidelines of trade associations and government bodies. Foreign and commonwealth officer would be having their role in such incidents wherein emergency telephone number would be available in order to report extreme cases (Minns and Wallis, 2012). Also, foreign officer would suggest whether it is safe to travel or not and the staff maintained by foreign officer would be highly efficient to develop solution for the problems faced by customers. Financial support would also be provided by foreign officer. Also, the resort management system provide training to staff of every department so that if any issue and problem arise, it can be handled well.
As per the above report, it has been concluded that travel and tour agencies follow customer centred approach and are mainly focused upon fulfilling the need and preferences of customers. Also, it has been observed that every entity has to follow certain rules and policies set by government and law to ensure its sustenance in market. Also, resort management has to implement an effective quality system so that the quality of services offered to tourists is ensured. Also, company take measures to deal with various natural incidents, medical issues, political and accommodation issues that affect the environment and operations of resort.
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Books and Journals
- Nunkoo, R., Gursoy, D. and Ramkissoon, H., 2013. Developments in hospitality marketing and management: Social network analysis and research themes.Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management.22(3). pp.269-288.
- Coghlan, A., 2012. Facilitating reef tourism management through an innovative importance-performance analysis method.Tourism Management. 33(4). pp.767-775.
- Gill, A. M. and Williams, P. W., 2014. Mindful deviation in creating a governance path towards sustainability in resort destinations.Tourism Geographies.16(4). pp.546-562.
- Van Vuuren, C. and Slabbert, E., 2012. Travel motivations and behaviour of tourists to a South African resort.Tourism & Management Studies, pp.295-304.
- Hallmann, K. and et. al., 2012. Suppliers' perception of destination competitiveness in a winter sport resort.Tourism Review.67(2). pp.13-21.
- Ali, F. and Omar, R., 2014. Determinants of customer experience and resulting satisfaction and revisit intentions: PLS-SEM approach towards Malaysian resort hotels.Asia-Pacific Journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism (APJIHT).3(2). pp.1-19.
- Theobald, W. F. ed., 2012.Global tourism. Routledge.