The Travel and Tourism have been experiencing significant changes due to globalization. In an article written by Ivanov and Webster in 2013, globalization is a process that is greatly influenced by the increasing interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments in different countries that are aided by information technology. Even though globalization has been changing the business rapidly, the travel and tourism sector has maintained its structure.
The structure of the travel and tourism industry involves sectors that allows tourist to travel in and out of a selected destination, sectors which are included in the product at the destination, the human elements of tourism and the public, private and voluntary sector. The first sector that will be discussed is that of travel trade aspect. For an individual to travel, there must be some planning and arrangements to ensure that the time spent at a destination is satisfying. This is where the travel agents and tour operators step in.
According to Marvell (2006), travel agents and tour operators are factors of the travel trade sector that plays a crucial role in travel and tourism industry. A travel agent is described as a private retailer that relays travel related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as hotels, flights, car rental or packaged holidays. They act as a sales representative that sells travel products and services in the interest of suppliers. The travel agents, however, do not possess a holiday package or ticket unless they have received an order from a client. These agents sell the packages to the tour operators and other suppliers as they receive products at a discounted rate. This discounted rate is not sent to the customer as an addition known as the commission is added to incur a profit. However, a tour operator has the responsibility of creating and arranging holiday packages that are then marketed to the public through travel agencies or directly via websites, TV advertisements and call centers.
This, therefore means that the tour operator will in advance make the necessary arrangements for accommodation, transportation, and itineraries for a destination of interest. When the holiday package has been compiled and ready for marketing, it will be advertised in brochures. The tour operator is then tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the holidays run smoothly and in the case of an emergency or difficulties, it is dealt with effectively. The tour operators known as TUI referred to as the four major operators are Thomson, Thomas Cook, My Travel and First Choice. Accommodation and transportation are sectors that are equally important in the travel and tourism sector. Hayward (2000) defined accommodation as the necessities in the tourism industry which includes hotels, resorts and times shares, conference centers, park lodges, food and beverages among others.
The accommodation sector aims to satisfy the needs of tourist and in doing so, they provide exceptional services such as spa, massage, room service which caters to the needs of individuals who wishes to relax. This can be considered as a beneficial business as a satisfied customer can increase their profit significantly. The accommodation sector has a direct relationship with the transportation sector. According to Hayward (2000), without transportation, the accommodation sector would incur a great loss as most of its customers derive from other countries. Transportation is a way in which people travel to reach their destination. The travel and tourism sector use air and sea travel to their advantage as both means of transportation is beneficial to the local economy. Also worthy of mention is the conference and event sector. Marvell (2006) explained that the conference and event sector is advantageous to the local community and economy.
Events such as festivals and sports allow tourist to explore the culture of the country they are visiting as it is a formal or informal place of meeting. This is a result of the various activities that usually take place at an event. While tourists are interested in entertainment, they will also be attracted to the food and beverages provided by vendors who are often locals. The capital earned through this medium will be transferred to the local community.
The private, public and voluntary sector also contributes to the local economy. According to Hayward (2000), the private sector consists of various commercial operators owned by individuals or companies with the aim of generating profits from services and products that are provided for customers. The private sector communicates directly with customers. Some prime examples of a private sector are travel insurance, travel press, travel marketing, private colleges, tour operators and travel agents. The public sector, however, takes the leadership role in managing the decision-making processes which leads to strategic planning. The main objective of this sector is to support the industry. The voluntary sector involves different components that act as a force factor that works for the benefit of the tourism sector. They also work for the benefit of the associations they represent.
The voluntary sector includes National Parks Association, Museums Association, National Trust, Tourism Concern and PSA (Passenger Shipping Association), among others.