An industry is a group of businesses or corporations that produce a product or service for the profit. Because of the billions of dollars it generates, travel can certainly be categorized as an industry.
THE SEVEN COMPONENTS OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
The travel industry comprises thousands of companies that produce products and services for travelers. These companies range in size from small businesses to multinational corporations. The combined efforts of all the travel enable people to travel from one location to another. The companies can be organized in to seven groups according to their function.
3 components provide the most basic service-transportation. These are components that get people whenever they go:
1. Air Transportation and Services. Airplanes are very important to the traveling industry. The air transportation component includes:
· Scheduled air carriers. With approximately 250 companies it comprise the largest segment of the air transportation component. Some airlines fly-long distance international and domestic routes, while others confine their services to a particular region.
· Supplemental air carriers (charter companies). They provide air travel for groups at rates lower than regular fares on scheduled airlines.
· Air taxi operators (companies). They also provide transportation on a charter or contrast basis. Using smaller airplanes they fly passengers with special needs, for example who are sick or injured.
· Aerial sightseeing and excursion companies.
2. Maritime Transportation and Services. Sailing is one of the oldest forms of transportation. It includes passenger
· Cruise-lines. Many passenger ship-lines survived by changing into cruise lines. Rather than focusing on transportation, cruise lines focus on relaxation. These floating hotels may offer everything you need. Cruises have become very popular for vacations.
· Passenger freighters. They are cargo ships with some first-class cabins abroad. Because their ports can change as business dictates, freighters have more flexible itineraries than do cruise ships.
· Companies that ferry passengers and cars across lakes, rivers or channels.
· Companies that provide harbor sightseeing cruises and riverboat excursions.
3. Ground Transportation and Services. Ground (surface) transportation is so basic that it is almost taken for granted. It includes:
· Bus (motorcoach) companies. They provides transportation between cities.
· Car rental companies.
· Passenger rail road companies. It is essential transportation in Europe and far less in demand in the USA.
· Taxicab and limousine companies. Hotels use limousines to transport quests to and from airports. Restaurants and tourists attractions have also begun to offer limousine service. Some limousines are luxury automobiles, other are vans.
· Transport workers.
Two components care for and entertain travelers:
1. The Hospitality Industry. Travelers who Don’t stay with friends and relatives usually depend on the hospitality industry. It has a long history. When ancient people began to venture from their homes, they needed shelter on their journeys. The component includes:
· Accommodation (hotels, motels and others) Major hotels are just a place to stay overnight. But others are being marketed as places to spend weekend vacations.
· Resort and casinos
· Restaurants and clubs
· Convention centers and other meeting places.
2. The Tourism Industry. It is concerned with attraction and events that draw travelers to an area. Attraction may be natural or constructed. The last include historic buildings, museums, theme parks, shopping malls, recreation facilities (golf courses, tennis courts, marinas). Even such as professional games, parades, plays and festivals attract tourists.
Two components provide the means for distributing the products and services of the other components to travelers:
1. Wholesale and Distribution Companies. They buy the product of the other components. Because they buy in big quantities, they receive discounts. Then they make a profit by marking up the prices of the products and then selling them to retail agencies. There are 3 types of wholesale operations:
· Charter operators. They buy airplane seats, hotel rooms, car rentals and other products and sell them to tour operators or to the public.
· Tour operators. They assemble transportation, lodging, and sight-seeing packages for various groups of travelers.
· Inbound operators. They specialize in travel packages for foreign visitors.
2. The Travel Mart (Marketplace). It refers to the many outlets at which travelers can obtain travel products such as airplane seats, hotel rooms, or car rentals. It includes:
· Retail travel agencies. The travel agents deal wit all kinds of people. They help exited travelers plan their trips, make reservations, and obtain tickets. They are located in department stores, shopping malls, or suburban and downtown business districts. They can operate independently or as a part of the chain. Some agencies specialize in a specific type of travel.
· Business travel departments (BTDs). They handle the travel arrangement of employees traveling for business purposes. Their work is similar to that done by travel agents. The main difference is that the customers are company employees only, and most travel arrangements are for business only.
· Scheduled airline ticket
offices. It is used on military bases and other governmental installations (doing business as SATO).
· Directly from the producers. All travelers can make purchases at airline, bus, and railroad ticket counters.
· Travel clubs. They specialize in selling unsold travel products. To take advantage of these travel bargains, travel club members pay an annual fee and must have flexible schedules so that they can leave for a trip on short notice.
Although the components of travel industry operate independently and frequently compete with each other, they are really part of an overall system. Travelers use more than one component than they travel. For this reason what affects one component can affect others.