Table of Contents
A. Using a couple of resorts you have chosen to focus from your company portfolio, investigate and analyse the various functions of resort operations, including the coordination and handling of various suppliers and customer service function as well as managing the legal requirements, e.g. health and safety issues, contracts, meeting local laws, etc. 4
B. Critically examine and analyse the resort management structure for the various types of tour operators and their guest-related activities, including specialist programmes such as diving or seasonally varied events such as winter sports. 6
C. Discuss the importance of effective quality systems in resort operations and discuss how resorts usually apply and monitor quality procedures in managing conflicts and the legal issues. 7
D. Analyse how implementing an effective quality systems and procedure by your organization (tour operator) produced results and impacted on the operation of the resort. 9
E. Analyse a range of incidents that affect the resort environment and evaluate the procedures to be implemented by a tour operator to deal with different force majeure situations in resort. 10
F. Discuss how the procedures to be implemented in dealing with incidents comply with guideline of trade associations and government bodies. 11
Tour operation management industry is one of the emerging industry due to positive trends in the travel and tourism industry. Requirement of tour operation management industry can be assessed through the fact that customers requires package of services for which information pertaining to destinations, events, transportation medium and other aspects is important. This information is possessed by tour operation manager who help tourists to select among wide available services on their visit.
In order to examine the tour operations management industry and operations performed in context to resort management, example of Footstep historical tours company has been chosen in the present context. This company offers wide range of services for tourists into transportation, hotels, food, events and visiting sites etc. Footsteps is into the tourism industry since last 30 years and possess invaluable experience in this industry which is helping the company so as to sustain its customer base and manage competitive against other market players operating in the tour operations industry (Hilberath, 2001).
Footstep has started their business from the historical tours offerings so as to attract the historical tourists only but with the increasing demand for the different kind of tour package consisting activities such as sailing, trekking and summer & winter sun Footsteps has expanded their consumer base in this category as well. In addition to this, Footsteps is into events such as “The west end”, Elbert hall, London day out and familytours etc. Positioning of Footsteps is into the middle to high income group with high degree of customization services for its customers so that consumer needs can be understood to deliver best possible tour operator services for their consumers. Higher focus for Footsteps is towards consumer segment with heritage tourism but with increasing demand into the different tour packages Footsteps has developed their tourism services into such tourism areas.
Aim of present paper is to serve three major learning objectives which can be given as under:
LO1 Understand the function and structure of resort operations
LO2 Understand the role and impact of quality system and procedure
LO3 Understand the management issues related to incidents
These learning objectives would be obtained in the present research context with special reference to the Footsteps historical tours company so that tour operation management practices can be understood.
A. Using a couple of resorts you have chosen to focus from your company portfolio, investigate and analyse the various functions of resort operations, including the coordination and handling of various suppliers and customer service function as well as managing the legal requirements, e.g. health and safety issues, contracts, meeting local laws, etc.
There are different categories of hotel with which Footsteps has tie ups so as to manage their tour services. Some of the major hotels in portfolio for Footsteps would include Churchill hotels, Starwood hotels and resort and four season hotels. There would be different set of responsibilities which tour operation managers need to fulfil such as handling customer & suppliers and handling legal activities (LOURENS, 2002). Key roles for the tour operation managers would be to develop contract with the suppliers & customers of the company, to develop payment system, to make reservations and to market the tour operation among the different consumer segments. Transportation services are being offered by the tour operators not only from one destination to other but also from the destination to hotel. Customer service parameter would include before & after visit service support, services on the site and enhancing customer satisfaction through customer survey. Room allocation is being made looking into consumer requirements and customization is done.
In order to maintain proper communication it is essential that tour operators should know different language so that they can deal with the customers from different nationality and suppliers as well. Reservation is being done by the tour operator by knowing the convenience date from customers and availability date for the hotel. Customers are offered services such as air conditioning, food, beverages and particular room type keeping in mind consumer preference for these facilities. Tour operators manage good coordination with the resort so that consumer satisfaction can be enhanced by offering suitable services to them.
Resort operation functions would also include health & safety legislations, contract, meetings and local laws pertaining to the particular destination visited by the consumers. Tour operators need to be aware of the health & safety legislation pertaining to the resort operations such as health & safety at work 1974, contract, provision of service, local law, profit margins and data protection etc (RALEIGH & ROGINSKY, 1999). Employer is responsible in order to ensure health & safety at workplace by development of written statements for safety procedure and imparting training. Employees would also be involved in ensuring health & safety at workplace and ensuring their own security while working in the organization. Accident recovery procedure should be properly known by the employees so as to handle any emergency situation.
Resort manager need to investigate the arrangement for health & safety and in case supplier health & safety procedure are not up to the mark then it’s his responsibility to fix them. Employment contract would be established with the permanent employees while terms and conditions need to be negotiated with the temporary staff in the organization. Formal contracts are made between the tour operator and resort manager in order to block rooms for the tourists. Local laws and currency prices also need to be considered by the tour operator while developing the tour operator services for tourists.
B. Critically examine and analyse the resort management structure for the various types of tour operators and their guest-related activities, including specialist programmes such as diving or seasonally varied events such as winter sports.
Resort is defined as the service provision in order to impart accommodation and other services at the same place. There are different structures available for resort such as the inclusive resort, full board, half board, bed & breakfast and self catering etc. All inclusive resorts would include all prices such as transfer from airport, government taxes, stay and food etc. In self catering arrangement of resorts, apartments would be offered to the tourists while catering would be arranged by them. Such types of arrangements are made by the tourists in order to save on their cost (TURKEL, 2000).
In bed and breakfast type of arrangement cost for the resort would include staying cost and complimentary breakfast with that. Half board structure of resort operations would provide facility for breakfast and dinner along with the cost of accommodation for the tourists coming in the resort. Many a time lunch is being offered to the tourists in place of the breakfast and dinner. In full board type of arrangement all three meals are being included in the cost of accommodation paid by the guests.
C. Discuss the importance of effective quality systems in resort operations and discuss how resorts usually apply and monitor quality procedures in managing conflicts and the legal issues.
Footsteps historical tour is one of the major tour operation management organization which has high level of importance for the implementation of effective quality systems in resort operations so that they are able to apply quality procedure in order to manage the conflict and legal issues pertaining to the resort operations. There are several aspects of effective quality system practice such as health & safety, audits & checks, legal responsibilities, dealing with irregularities, contractual obligations and effective services which are being followed at present by Footsteps in order to avoid any adverse legal implication on the organization. As a part of health and safety compliance Footsteps take moral and legal responsibility in order to ensure safety as per the H&S standards for all the contracted accommodations (Clute, 2008). In addition to this, any related activity in the resort would also be as per the H&S standards. Directors of the Footsteps are directly monitoring the compliance of health & safety legislation in their organization. There are several code of practice adopted in the resort operations such as fire safety, pool safety, food hygienic safety, gas safety and balcony safety. Footsteps train their employees for all these compliance and ensure that notices are already in place prior to customer occupation for these places.
In order to enhance the health & safety implementation in the organizational context audits and checks are performed on periodic basis. Responsibility for audits & checks are allocated to resort managers in place of area manager. Health & safety audits would be conducted by the trained resort managers and appropriate documentation would be done by the resort managers in order to ensure compliance for the health & safety procedures. Footsteps generally conduct the supplier audit before offering occupation to the customer so as to ensure that health & safety procedures are properly adopted by resorts. In addition to the moral responsibilities, it is the legal responsibility of tour operators to ensure consumer protection by consumer protection legislation wherein defences can be given against any kind of negligence made by the resorts.
Further, quality systems deployed by tour operators would ensure reporting and dealing with irregularities in which accident monitoring procedure would be adopted and investigation would be made for any accident. Statistics of incidents is being maintained by Footsteps in order to make revision into the documentation system. Oral, written and non verbal communication is developed looking into the requirement for specific type of communication by the tour operators. There are several legal laws which are abide by Footsteps while serving their consumers such as Unfair contract term act 1977 and Hotel proprietor act 1956. Unfair contract term act 1977 is adopted by the footsteps in order to make sure that their contract with consumers or suppliers does not avoid any unfair contractual obligations which are not as per the legal system. Further resorts are having limited liabilities for items of 50 pounds if display is given otherwise resorts are fully responsible (Satin, 2008).
Footsteps has the efficient reporting system for the irregularities wherein full emergency control is developed for all products and employees are given the access to senior management team in the organization to take appropriate action. Accident investigation is done and review is done in order to develop suitable documentation for making necessary changes. Documentation is developed by giving suitable instructions to the staff of Footsteps and blueprints are developed for the services offered by the Footsteps. Personnel hired from the overseas countries would be imparted training in order to follow suitable guideline.
D. Analyse how implementing an effective quality systems and procedure by your organization (tour operator) produced results and impacted on the operation of the resort.
Implementation of the effective quality systems and procedure at Footsteps historical tours has resulted and impacted on operations of the resort as below mentioned:
· Resorts are having close coordination with the tour operators so as to implement the health & safety guidelines
· Resort managers have been appointed the responsibility to handle implementation of the health & safety legislation in the resort and monitoring is directly handled by the director of the resorts which shows high importance of health & safety legislations in the organizational context.
· Resort managers need to ensure health & safety legislation through periodic audits and checks
· Incidents taking place in the resort need to be properly reported through developed documentation (Garrett, 2009)
· Statistics for the incidents need to be managed by resort managers in order to report the same to higher authorities
· Proper investigations need to be carried out for the incidents and improvisation is being done so as to make sure such events do not take place in future
· Resorts highlight the health & safety regulation and legal compliance as one of the key factor in order to tie up with the tour operators
· Resorts need to display regarding limited liabilities for the goods of tourists otherwise they own the full liability for such goods
· Resorts need to offer extensive training to the overseas and domestic employees in order to maintain health & safety compliances
· Unfair contract act with the consumers are avoided so as to safeguard from any adverse legal implications
E. Analyse a range of incidents that affect the resort environment and evaluate the procedures to be implemented by a tour operator to deal with different force majeure situations in resort.
There can be range of different incidents which may affect the resort environment such as natural incidents, transport incidents, medical incidents, political problems and accommodation & transportation issue. Natural incidents can affect the resort environment and tourists experience as well. Few examples for natural incidents would include 1988 Hurricane Gilbert and Tsunami. Transport incidents affecting resort environment would include crashes, Hijack, safety issues at aviation and unsuitable vehicles. For aviation industry lack of experience in pilot, personnel shortage and flight & ground crew can create some of these transportation related issues. Medical incidents affecting the resort operations and environment would include typhoid outbreak, cholera & malaria and food poisoning related problems. SARS was one of the examples for medical incident which cost approx $10 billion for the travel & tourism industry. In some of the destinations like Hong Kong, tourist arrival falls by 58% which was quite significant. Political and terrorism related issues can have severe impact on the operations & environment of resort. There are several examples for the political and terrorism related activities such as the 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait, 9/11 terrorist attack on US and continuous terrorist attacks in India etc. Accommodation and transportation related problems can be significant and affect the resort environment. Report of risk for crime in Jamaica, scare due to murder in Florida in 1993 and escort trips booked by companies in Florida were some of the major examples of these incidents.
For Footsteps, being a tour operator it is the prime responsibility to deal with these crisis situations by planning in advance (Evans, 2005). Footsteps ensure that the resort or transportation companies are having sufficient arrangements in order to deal with the crisis situations. Cooperation is maintained with the local authorities so as to develop resolution for the crisis situation faced by resorts (Glaesser, 2006). There are different teams developed by partners such as incident management team, joint operational incident & emergency, HR team and site response team etc. In case of the incident taking place there would be cut back in the holidays, number of tours and promotes other global brands in order to offer services to the consumers.
F. Discuss how the procedures to be implemented in dealing with incidents comply with guideline of trade associations and government bodies.
Procedures implemented by the tour operators comply with the guidelines of the 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, foreign officer would suggest whether it is safe to travel or not and the staff maintained by foreign officer would be highly trained and most of them would be counsellor officer to offer solution for the problems faced by the people. There would be additional number of people in the team such as press officer, technical officer and representatives from British Red Cross. Foreign officer would provide the support for the fatalities in abroad while support would also be given to the friends and families residing in UK. Financial support would also be provided by the foreign officer being a last resort and these financial help would not be provided to the people who are travelling against the advice made by foreign officer. Association of British Travel Agent (ABTA) develops the guidelines and develop liaison between the affected members of the association. Training is imparted by ABTA on crisis management for its members so that they can efficiently handle the crisis situation. Duty offices are established in order to provide assistance for the resort team as well as customers and develops main link between UK and resort team. Procedures are implemented in order to handle crisis.
Present paper has evaluated the resort management practice adopted and tour operator management coordination with the resort. Example of Footsteps historical tours has been taken for the present paper in order to examine the tour operation practice and resorts having collaboration with the footsteps. Functions and structure of the resorts have been examined and different types of resort structure have been revealed through examination of structure. Role and impact of service quality system has been explored in context to the Footsteps wherein service quality systems and procedure are implemented by the organization in order to ensure health & safety, contractual obligations and audits & checks for the consumers. These factors would ensure that there are no adverse legal implications arising for the resort by adopting fair legal practice in the organizational context. Implications and change in resort environment due to these practices have been examined in present paper as well. Finally, incidentsaffecting resort environment and ways to deal with these incidents have been explored and it has been revealed that natural incidents, medical incidents and transportation incidents are among the major incidents faced. In order to deal with these incidents tour operators and resorts need to plan and deploy efficient practices in the organizational context as per government bodies.
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