Travel Agents and Overseas Tour Operators - Market Report
Released on = April 16, 2007, 9:20 pm
Press Release Author = Bharat Book Bureau
Industry = Marketing
Press Release Summary = It estimates that, in 2003, the total UK tourism market (excluding day trips) was worth £60.15bn, a rise of 2.8% on 2002. Between 2000 and 2003, the revenues generated by UK travel agents and tour operators rose gradually, by 6.6%, to £41.23bn.
Press Release Body = Travel Agents & Overseas Tour Operators - Market Report
It estimates that, in 2003, the total UK tourism market (excluding day trips) was worth £60.15bn, a rise of 2.8% on 2002. Between 2000 and 2003, the revenues generated by UK travel agents and tour operators rose gradually, by 6.6%, to £41.23bn. The majority of this revenue (91.4%) was derived from outbound travel arrangements and packages. Between 1999 and 2003, the penetration of adults who took a holiday in the last year remained fairly constant and rose by 3.2 percentage points to 65%.
Four integrated travel companies dominate the travel agents and tour operators market - First Choice Holidays PLC, MyTravel Group PLC, Thomas Cook UK Ltd and TUI UK Ltd. These companies are major players in the tour operators, retail travel agents and charter airlines industries. In the late 1990s, all four companies fought hard to increase market share, but, in the 2000s, the drive for market share has diminished following the difficult times faced by the entire market.
Many factors have adversely affected the travel agents and overseas tour operators market, including: terrorism and the war in Iraq; the outbreak of disease, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and foot-and-mouth disease; the growth of low-cost airlines; and the use of the Internet and other technology to make travel arrangements. These factors have proved to be problematic in different ways; the first two served to restrict the overall demand for outbound tourism, whereas the growth of the Internet and the use of other technology to book holidays has led to a reduction in the need to use travel agents or tour operators.
Since 2000, the number of travel agency outlets has declined, whereas the number of tour operators has increased. Although travel agents are losing business to direct sales through tour operators, they are increasing the level of bookings taken through call centres and via online systems. Nevertheless, the majority of people prefer to book a holiday through a face-to-face or telephone conversation when making complex or expensive travel arrangements.
The difficulties of the 2000s have led the travel and tourism market to become increasingly cost conscious and profit orientated. The philosophy of \'pile them high and sell them cheap\' is eroding, although outbound package holidays are often cheaper than self-packaged or independently organised holidays. The development of low-cost air travel is, in effect, dividing holiday travel behaviour and it is likely that independently organised holidays will gain market share at the expense of package holidays. In fact, package holidays will become more specialised and orientated towards the premium sector