Package Holiday in Shade Term Paper submitted For British Culture Course To Professor Xiao Huiyun Name: Wu Beilin No.:0919 Package Holiday in Shade Thesis statement: Package holidays have once been very fashionable among people. But with the emergences of more travel alternatives, the growth of low-cost airlines and accommodation as well as the independence holidays more tourists want, traditional package tours have lost much of their popularity. However, package holidays will not die. Outline: Ⅰ. The brief information on package holidays A. The definition of package holiday B. The development of package holiday Ц. The advantages of package holidays in the past A. The well-prepared and fixed schedule of package holidays B. Safety, reliability and cheap transportation provided by package holidays C. Tour guide and ready-made entertainment included in package holidays Ш. The increasing drawbacks with package holidays today A. Losing popularity with the emergence of more travel alternatives B. Not that obvious reliability on package holidays 1. Declining favourites on package holidays because of cheaper transportation and accommodation 2. Increasing organizations responsible for the safety of independent travellers C. Increasing desires to control over the holidays without the preparations made in package holidays IV. Solutions to the fading package holidays A. Measures already being used both in Britain and in China B. Suggested ways to promote package holidays V. Conclusion Package Holiday in Shade A rough idea of the term “package holiday” can be gained by knowing the meaning of “package”. The exact meaning of a package holiday or package tour is a tour that “consists of transport and accommodation advertised and sold together by a vendor known as a tour operator. Other services may be provided like a hire car, activities or outings during the holiday. Transport is typically a charter flight to a foreign country”1. To explain it in simple way, the package tour will include getting there and staying there, it may include meals and activities and will usually include the services of a Holiday Rep while you are on holiday. You pay the money to the Travel Agent and everything is arranged for you. What you have to do is turn up on the day. The first package tour was organised by Thomas Cook. He chartered a train on 5 July 1841 to take a group of temperance campaigners from Leicester to a rally in Loughborough, twenty miles away.2 Since then, package holidays developed in a very rapid speed. In 1970s, this new forms of traveling enabled the British people to go abroad to have a look at the other part of the world. Then over the past decade, the development of the package holiday industry over the past decade has given many people in Britain as well as in China the opportunity to visit and spend holidays at destinations which were previously visited mainly by the rich and fortunate. At that time, Most UK families chose to go on package holidays because of the convenience they offer. And as people of that period had limited knowledge on traveling, they completely relied on the tour operators to decide and prepare everything for them. As a result, packages holidays have wined a lot of supporters. In the whole tourism industry, it just like a red flower in a black-and-white film, adding colour to people’s life. Regarding this, several reasons can help to explain the prosperity of package holidays in the past. Firstly, in the old days, people knew little about the outside world. As they desire to know more and see more, they turned to package holidays, which have prepared and fixed all the necessary things for tourists. They just paid one all-inclusive price in advance and then everything — flights, transfers, accommodation and possibly food, outings and entertainment — was laid on for them. It was as convenient as buying a bottle of cola on the street. Secondly, package holidays are good value for money because of the safety, reliability and cheap price they provided. The transportation in the old days was not that well-developed. As a result, people feared to travel to far away without any guarantee. In this way, package holidays including insurance encouraged people to travel. Also, the package tour operator needed to make block bookings for travel, accommodation and so on, so they were able to offer lower prices than you would be able to find as an individual. Larger operators also offer free or cut-price child places on some of their holidays. Some do special packages for single parents too. Many people find it reassuring to know that their holiday is all paid for before they even get on the plane, so that all they need to take is a little spending money for souvenirs and drinks. Thirdly, tour guide meant a lot to the people in the past as they had limited access to get information. That is to say, tour guide being a service including in the package holidays played an essential part in people, especially in young families’ learning the new culture. "This is why lots of people who would previously never have dreamed going on a package holiday suddenly see the benefits once they have a young family," says Sean Tipton, "There will be a coach at the airport waiting to take you to your hotel and the places of interest.”3, Due to the above, package holidays have once been the preference by travelers. But in the recent years, package holidays have become less fashionable. Over the past five years, the UK market for overseas package holidays has grown at the relatively modest rate of just over 4% a year. This rate of growth is around the same as that experienced in the UK market for overseas holiday travel as a whole.4 According to the news released in the year 2003, the popularity of package holidays has been the first time fallen to the lowest point since 1970 and also “for the first time, the number of families choosing to arrange a trip themselves will outstrip the number going on package holidays”5. The similar things happened in China as the travel agencies report that in the year 2005, the overseas package tours have not been able to generate as much popular interest as usual. More and more tourists together with holidaymakers are turning their backs on the traditional package holidays. However, these are not unreasonable. The disadvantages of package holidays are becoming more and more obvious as the society is developing. Frankly, package holidays once in the sun are being put in the shade now. First of all, more travel alternatives such as road trips and online travel clubs are emerging, which lessen the tourists to book holidays through the travel agency. As is known to all, the people working as the travel agent or the tour operator are all entitled to earn a living. So when tourists book their package holidays through the travel agency, there must be a cut from the money they paid, which is considered to be profits of the agency. In other words, tourists pay more than real need when booking a package holiday. Resulting from this, greater use of the on-line bookings has simplified the process as it was cheaper than visiting a travel agent. Statistic shows that about 40 percent of independent holidays were booked on the internet compared with 27 percent who had gone through a travel agent.6 Second, tourists pay lower price for the same thing shown in the travel agency as more budget airlines and accommodations appear. Air remains the dominant mode of transport used by UK holiday takers. Three-quarters of all independent holidays are taken from the UK by air. Low-cost airlines really help a lot in saving money.7 In China, more and more low cost air-tickets are offered for tourists. But as airplane is not as popular as in UK, the change in this aspect is not that obvious. Moreover, some organizations responsible for the safety of independent travelers are developing quickly. For example, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FOC) gives travel advice and offer help when necessary to the independent travelers. It also holds lecture on how to act under the dangerous conditions insisting that prevention is better than cure8, while in China, increasing amount of the self-employed small travel agency offer the same help, but without holding a lecture. Third, package holidays tend to be quite structured, so are not suitable if tourists want lots of flexibility and freedom on holiday. Mintel said British tourists were likely to book at least 24 million independent holidays in 2004, equivalent to 55 percent of the holiday bookings market - up from fewer than 22 million in 2003. The number of people booking independently has grown 60 per cent between 1998 and 2004, with expenditure on these holidays more than doubling from just over £5.5 billion in 1998 to an estimated £11.7 billion in 20049. Travel agencies in China report a drop in bookings, too, whereas previous years often saw price hikes of up to 20 percent. These statistics tell us that tourists want to control their own holidays. For instance, they want to plan their own schedules as package holidays cannot be that flexible; they want to experience the real traditional culture as in package holidays, tourists only walk around in a hurry having a rough idea of the city; they want to make friends with the local people, but not to listen to the guide shouting about when and where to gather. There is no doubt that the package holiday is in decline but to use the word “death” would not be correct. It is more like the patient is sick. Hence, solutions need to be found. There are measures already being used now. Mark Wright, managing director of independent travel agent Adventure Company in Britain, said: "We specialise in off-the-beaten-track holidays and have sold 40 per cent more this year.” A spokeswoman for TUI10 said she has also begun to offer flight-only deals to meet the change in the demand of package holidays11. In China, road trips have been organized as package tour in order to attract the rising automobile owners. Promotion is also necessary. The travel agency must think out some new ideas of organizing package tours. Like the idea of recreational ecotourism promoted by Jerome F. Agrusa12 In this paper, I have discussed mainly on the fading package holidays both in Britain and in China. What I really want to point out is not the disadvantages of package holidays, but how to let the sun shine again on them. Drawbacks do exist, nevertheless, developing new methods to dwarf them is much more important. As regards to the current situation in the tourism industry in the two countries, package holidays will survive and grow more and more prosperous. Finally, they will become the main force behind the big boom in tourism in the UK and in China. Notes 1 Quoted from Wikipedia 2 Information from Wikipedia 3 Quoted from the spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents 4 The report UK Overseas Package Holiday Market, Research and Market 5 Quoted from the news By Kate McKay, Evening Standard 6 Statistics from a survey by the research company Mintel 7 Ibid 8 Information from Travel Advice by Rachel Briggs 9 Statistics from a survey by the research company Mintel 10 the parent company that owns Thomson Holidays, Lunn Poly and Britannia Airways 11 Quoted from the news By Kate McKay, Evening Standard 12 Dept. of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, University of Southwestern Louisiana, USA Bibliography http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/business.cfm?id=2318582005 http://business.scotsman.com/ebusiness.cfm?id=1275312004 Take me on a holiday that helps. Mark Rowe. UK: 2005. Ecotourism and Sustainable Development of the Maya Rain Forest in Central America. Jerome F. Agrusa, & Julie Guidry. USA.
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