Travel agency is a practical vacation solution. Vacationing or traveling is one of the favorite activities to spend free time on holidays. Many people go on trips, visit various tourist destinations both within the city, outside the city, and even abroad to release fatigue from their daily routine.
Along with the development of the tourism sector, there are various new business opportunities that have emerged, one of which is a travel agency. The Travel Agency offers various destination tourism products and packages to the public on behalf of the supplying company.
The existence of a travel agency is an important thing for the tourism industry. Travel agencies can help tourists to make vacation plans. They will also make sure that the trip is a memorable one for their clients.
Tourist travel agencies are divided into several types. In addition, this company also has various functions in the rapidly growing tourism industry. What are the types and functions of a travel agency?
The following are the types and functions of travel agencies that we can summarize from various sources.
History of Travel Agency
Quoting from the Mirriam Webster dictionary website, a travel agency or travel agency is an agency engaged in the sale and arrangement of transportation, accommodation, tours and travel for tourists. From there it can be concluded that a travel agency is a business entity that offers service products related to travel or tourism.
Quoting from the Tourism Notes website, the first travel agency founded in England in 1845 by Thomas Cook. However, what should be noted is that the existence of a third person helping people to organize other people's trips has existed since time immemorial. Throughout history, there has been a third person who helped traders and pilgrims organize their journeys.
In 1841, Thomas Cook, then Secretary of the South Midland Temperance Association, organized a 22-mile train journey for the 570 members of his association. He bought up train tickets and sold them to other people.
The experiment was successful and everyone was happy. Cook did his job for nothing. However, this success gave him a new business idea. Four years later, in 1845, Thomas Cook founded "the world's first travel agency." His company coordinated rail and steamboat travel throughout England, Scotland and Europe. This innovative idea earned Cook the nickname as the Father of the Travel Agency.
However, the railway company only gave him a commission of 5% which was not enough to cover his operating costs. To overcome this problem, Cook then decided to diversify his business and enter the field of touring operations. In 1855, Cook began offering tour packages to the public. He then went on his first international tour from England to Paris.
Type of Travel Agency
According to the same source, travel agents are divided into 2 types. The following are 2 types of travel agencies:
A. Retail Travel Agency (Retail Travel Agency)
According to SARC (1967), “The retail travel agency business consists of activities involved in selling tourism products/services directly to tourists and performing normal functions such as issuing airline tickets, making accommodation and transportation reservations, providing specialized services, and receiving and making payments. ."
The main source of revenue for travel agency retail comes from commissions received from vendors. However, the amount of the commission varies in each organization or tourism component. Approximately 95% of the travel agency's revenue comes from the commission, while the rest is obtained from consulting services and others.
|Thomas Cook tries to fix Britain's drinking problem, but ends up changing the way we travel|
B. Wholesale Travel Agency
Wholesale travel agency is a service company that organizes or makes tour packages that will be marketed to consumers through retail travel agency networks or directly to prospective clients if this company has a retail division. This travel agency buys tourism products in bulk and designs tour packages.
This company designs various tour packages that are sold through travel agency retailers. This tourism package usually includes travel tickets, accommodation. In addition, this package can also include several other services or services such as entertainment, sightseeing, sports activities, and others.
Functions and Duties of a Travel Agency
As one of the important components of the tourism industry, travel agents have and carry out various important functions and tasks. The following are some of the functions and duties of a travel agency quoted from the same source:
|Functions of Modern Travel Agency|
A. Travel or Tourism Information
Each travel agency must provide tourists with the necessary travel information. They must provide current, accurate and timely information regarding the purpose of the trip, accommodation, sightseeing or sightseeing activities, shopping activities, immigration, passports, visas, customs procedures, health and security regulations, and various permits required to travel to specific areas, and other information.
B. Preparation of itineraries
The term tourist itinerary is used to identify the origin, destination and all the stopping points on a tourist's journey. This plan consists of various elements and is designed through a detailed study of the market. The travel agency prepares itineraries for tour packages.
C. Airline Ticket Sales and Reservations
A travel agency sells various tourism products. Sales and reservations of airline tickets are still one of their main sources of income. Travel agents perform ticket sales and reservation functions on behalf of various airlines.
D. Making Tour Packages and Pricing
Travel agencies prepare tour packages and sell them to tourists. The creation and pricing of tour packages is highly dependent on the ability of the bureau in terms of how effectively it can negotiate with suppliers.
Reservations are a very important function of any type of travel agency. A travel agency consistently establishes relationships with the accommodation sector, transportation sector and other entertainment organizations to reserve rooms, and seats on cultural and transport programmed.
F. Travel Insurance
Some large-scale travel agencies perform additional functions in serving their clients. Travel insurance protects the traveler against such person as well as baggage loss due to various travel related events and various other issues.
G. Currency Exchange Service
Some travel agencies get permission from the government to provide money exchange services for tourists or tourists.
H. Organizing Conferences or Conventions
Large scale travel agencies also offer complete convention or conference packages that include participant registration, pick-up, providing overhead projectors, slide projectors, TVs, VCRs, information booths, sightseeing, and more.
Benefits of Using a Travel Agency
Many people wonder or are skeptical about the benefits and advantages of using a travel agency to organize or plan their vacation. There are those who think that by using a travel agency, the trip will be less free, and various other problems. Therefore, not a few people choose to organize their trips independently.
|Benefits of Using a Travel Agency|
However, using a travel agency to plan and organize your trip actually has many benefits. The following are some of the benefits of using the services of a travel agency Travel With A Plan:
1. Travel Is Their Forte
Using the services of a travel agency means that we get help from experts in this field. Travel agents are trained to know, understand and adapt to all the different forms of travel. They research information about their clients' itineraries and provide important details including travel advice, breaking news, weather conditions and documents needed for your destination.
2. Knowledge of Tourist Destinations
As experts in the industry, travel agents have extensive knowledge of tourist attractions around the world. Not only that, they also continue to update information about the latest tourist destinations. The travel agency also has extensive knowledge of various information that can help to answer your various questions or problems.
3. Convenience and Convenience
Travel agencies offer the convenience of having every aspect of your vacation or trip brought together in one comprehensive plan. This includes researching and suggesting destinations, as well as arranging flights, accommodation, airport transportation, and excursions.
4. Save Travel Costs
Some people think that using a travel agency will add to the costs involved. However, using their services can actually help you save on your travel costs. The bureaus have exclusive deals with vendors which help to lower the required costs. In addition, these travel agencies also have extensive information about existing promos, and can provide advice on when is the best time to make a reservation.
5. Relationships and Networks
Building relationships and networking with travel agencies can help you plan an unforgettable vacation. If you have a good relationship with them, you can ask them to plan tours according to your interests. In addition, you can also take advantage of relationships with travel agents and their networks to provide things such as hotel room selection and dining menus.
6. Personal Assistance During Travel
Travel agencies can provide various assistance to their clients when they face problems on their trip. In essence they will take care of all things related to your trip.
7. Reduce Stress
Planning and organizing a vacation can be exhausting and stressful. Not to mention the problems encountered while traveling. Using a travel agency can help you to reduce this stress. They will take care of all the needs and issues related to your trip. You just sit back and enjoy it without the stress of thinking about these problems.