Differences between tour operators and travel agents
Many have a misconception about tour operators and travel agents. But tour operators and travel agencies differ from each other and play completely different roles in the tourism business. Compared to the factory, the tour operator is similar to the production department, and the travel agency is similar to the sales department …
The tour operator is the organizer and provider of a package of travel services. It is often called a ground handling company. Travel company – tour operator will conclude contracts with hotels and resorts, airlines and land transport companies, for example, cars, buses, minibuses, ferries and trains, etc. With all the necessary prices and information gathered, tour operators prepare detailed travel packages and distribute to travel agents, in travel agent catalogs and abroad.
The functions and responsibilities of the tour operator are negotiated separately:
Transportation: cars, buses and mini-vans, airline tickets, train tickets, ferry tickets, cruise ship tickets, other types of transfers, and even special vehicles such as cycle rickshaws.
Tour guide: all guides must be licensed by the Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia after visiting and passing exams at professional tour guides.
Excursions: popular attractions among tourists, eco-tours, extreme tourism, adventure jungle tours, scuba diving and diving, visiting the islands and even getting to know craft or cultural life.
Food and drinks: breakfast, tea, coffee, lunch and dinner, whether it is a buffet, buffet or packed food.
Accommodation: hotels, resorts, hostels, campsites, hostels, training camps, tree hotels or traditional houses for tourists.
Events: telecasts, treasure hunts, paintball, team building, meetings outside the office …
Special events: corporate parties, karaoke contest, etc.
On the other hand, travel agencies do not form tours. Travel agencies give advice to travelers, advertise and sell vacation packages from various tour operators, then control the booking of the tour. Travel agents are usually located in the most prestigious places with heavy traffic, near the main roads, inside shopping malls or on the first floors of architectural monuments.
Functions and responsibilities of a travel agent:
Sale of tourism products and services, in particular, tours for end customers on behalf of third parties, for example, airlines, hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, etc.
Most travel agencies have a dedicated travel business department, while some travel and business travel agencies.
Some also serve as agencies serving foreign travel companies in different countries.
Acting as an agent in the formation of travel packages:
Buying tours and travel services at a discount and sale at a premium.
Getting commissions from suppliers and other travel companies.
Arranging the purchase of tickets for transportation (for example, airline, ferry, bus, train, etc.).
Other commercial operations are carried out by: insurance agents, travel guides, car rental, currency exchange, private guides, etc.
Offers impartial travel advice.
Next time, if you go traveling in a small group of less than 10 tourists, it is advisable to attract travel agents for this. Do not try to find the best travel agent. This is just a myth! Just work with the travel agent that meets your needs and financial capabilities, or with the travel agent that you trust the most. However, if you organize a group tour, for example, corporate, the tour operator will be able to provide you with more suitable individual services.
The above simple but useful information will help organize a successful vacation or corporate tour and avoid ridiculous misunderstandings.