The Components of a Tour
Tours require the combined skills and resources of many people. What do they consider in choosing the components of the tour, and how are the pieces put together? For a thorough examination of this topic, we enrolled in classes during the pandemic to become more familiar with destinations and group touring, so we are taking a quick snapshot of the all-important components of a tour. If you were considering a tour, what would you include? Obviously, the answer depends on the market and destination. Some tours offer a minimum of elements; others are all-inclusive. Let’s look at some options:
Transportation – Most tours include transportation as part of the package. A fly/drive package combines air and a car rental. An air/sea or fly/cruise combines air and ship transport; a rail tour includes transportation by train; a motorcoach tour uses luxury motorcoaches to carry travelers from place-to-place visiting major attractions. Many tours include airport, hotel and rail transfers.
Itineraries – Tours tend to use one of three types of itineraries:
A circle itinerary – brings travelers back to their starting point via a different route. Travelers can experience varied sights and places throughout, without retracing their steps. This approach suits tours that aim to cover a broad area, such as visiting a country or a specific region.
An open-jaw itinerary – begins and ends in different places. For example, a tour might visit several destination cities in one country without returning to the original departure city. This type of itinerary works well when returning to the starting point would mean retracing steps.
A hub-and-spoke itinerary – is an increasingly popular approach. Travelers set up their base at a hotel in one city for several days and take day trips into the surrounding area, avoiding packing, unpacking and moving baggage. They also might spend one night away from the home base. The hub-and-spoke approach allows travelers to explore a region in depth.
Accommodations – Proximity to sightseeing attractions, transfer services, parking for the motorcoach, and accessibility for travelers with disabilities may be important in selecting hotels for a tour. Hosted and independent packages usually offer travelers a choice among several hotels in different price ranges. On escorted tours, participants stay together at a hotel.
Meals – Tour operators can cut costs substantially by requiring travelers to pay for their own meals or by adjusting the kind of meals offered. Some offer certain meals as part of the tour package. Others may offer a meal with a local family to discover the cultural differences. Meals plans can be as varied as the tour itself.
Sightseeing – Tours usually include some attractions that are standard tourist draws. On a hosted tour or an independent tour, travelers generally receive sightseeing vouchers and admission tickets ahead of time or pick them up at the first stop on their trip. On an escorted tour, attractions might be added during the tour, depending on the interests of the group.
Price – Whatever the components of a tour, travelers are likely to weigh them against its price. A small percentage of tours are quoted per couple. Usually prices are given per person, double occupancy; each person paying this price when sharing a room. Single occupancy prices are higher; and called single supplement. A few tours try to find a roommate for a traveler who does not wish to pay the single rate. When the tour operator will not guarantee a roommate, the traveler may have to pay the single supplement.
Other Components – The fare for some tours includes services such as baggage handling, or gratuities, service charges, or taxes. Some tours offer amenities, such as flight bags, free drinks, or gifts.
All these moving parts require careful planning. And that emphasizes, once again, the incredible value and worth TravelKatz brings to the table every time you work with us! Give us a call at 352-277-7300 or visit our website for a chat or just browse the different tours we have to offer at www.travelkatz.com