Who is Tourco?. TOURCO is a wholesale receptive tour operator Wholesale : because we sell to other travel/tour operators in the travel trade, who then market their products to travel agents and consumers
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Who is Tourco?
Over the years, Tourco’s specialist territory has expanded from providing products in the 6 New England States to include products in the Mid-Atlantic (Capital) Region, the South and Eastern Canada.
We consider this our specialist area as we strive to be the best operator in this region. We do not offer services or products in any other parts of the USA or Canada.
Tourco works closely with the State Tourism boards and Convention & Visitors bureaus in the States and Cities of our region.
Tourco must contract or establish signed wholesale agreements with hundreds of hotels, restaurants and attractions in our region in order to create our different tour products for our different divisions.
As a wholesaler we contract rates that are much less than the average ‘rack rate’ or retail rate for a hotel, restaurant or attraction. As we can promise these suppliers hundreds and sometimes thousands of passenger visits each year.
Tourco has a contracting department that is responsible for communicating with all of the vendors that we hope to work with in a given year and to establish contracted rates with that vendor, be it a hotel, attraction, restaurant or similar.
We establish written contracts with each vendor that we work with, once all rates and conditions are agreed upon, the contracting department prices out the rates and loads all of that information into our booking system, TM; so that all of the staff may view and use those vendors in their bookings.
The contracting department is also responsible for keeping track of how our rooms (or inventory) are selling and moving those blocks around so that we can get the most amount of bookings into each room block and not ‘release’ rooms back to the hotels if we can book them.
Tourco has several different sales divisions within the organization:
The FIT Division handles the sales, booking and processing of reservations for individual travelers.
The Division is comprised of Sales Managers, Reservations Agents and Customer Service/Documentation Agents.
The Sales Managers go to trade shows and travel to the offices of our International Clients to sell Tourco Products for our clients to put in their brochures.
The Sales Department is usually very busy during the summer and fall getting all of the rates and details to our clients for the next year. For example in August 2004, they are selling the products that will be in our clients brochures for the 2005 season.
The Reservations agents process all of the reservations that come through from our hundreds of overseas clients. They can be booking, editing and canceling hundreds of reservations a day.
They are also responsible for processing and send rooming lists out to hundreds of hotels daily. All of those hotel room blocks that our Contracting Department has firmed up for us, need to be sent back to the hotels on the agreed upon date with passenger names or released back to the hotels if we have no bookings.
The Reservations team uses information provided to them by the sales department to know what each of our clients is selling and how to book it, this information is provided on Active Clients sheets.
The Customer Service Department is responsible for putting together all of the documentation that the passengers will receive when they arrive.
They prepare the vouchers that the passengers will present to the hotels for payment and the daily driving directions and sightseeing information for Fly/Drive tours. They also work very closely with our remote offices to ensure that those offices have all of the passenger names and details for passenger arrivals each day.
Finally, they are responsible for handling any problems that passengers may encounter while they are on their holiday and/or complaints or comments when they return home.
Most of our FIT ‘clients’ are International Tour Operators…names you might know are: British Airways Holidays, Virgin (airlines) Holidays, Thomas Cook, Thomson Holidays and more.
These ‘clients’ select Tourco products: tours/hotels/services and publish them in their vacation brochures 8-10 months prior to the operating year. The brochures are then placed on travel agency shelves all over the world.
The passengers themselves don’t usually know anything about TOURCO at all…they are traveling on a British Airways package or a Thomas Cook package (this is called ‘own branding’) Tourco’s name typically doesn’t appear anywhere.
One of our most popular FIT products is the Fly/Drive tour.
Our Tour Operator clients make the reservations for their passengers. We book all of the hotels and provide the passengers with travel documents that include their daily driving directions, maps and discount brochures or coupons for area attractions.
Passengers arrive by air, and then pick up a rental car to travel around on their tour.
We offer Fly/Drive tours throughout our region, they range in length from 7 night tours to 21 night tours and anything in between.
Our FIT customers can also book passengers on any of our ‘scheduled departure’ Motorcoach tours.
These tours are scheduled to departure several times throughout the season, they are escorted by a Tourco Tour Director and are operated in a variety of different languages.
Therefore on any one of our Motorcoach tours, you could have passengers from several different tour operators and/or countries, traveling together.
Many of these tours include meals and admissions to the attractions along the route as well as guiding by our trained Tour Directors.
Each season we create City Packages to make it easy for our clients to sell city stays to their passengers. Most of our city packages include:
Our remote offices in Boston, New York host ‘welcome meetings’ for passengers. They provide travel information about the city and sell theatre tickets, city tours, and many other special services (i.e. museum passes, dinner cruises, helicopter tours, etc.)
Also we provide our clients with a selection of hundreds of Hotels, Inns, Bed & Breakfasts and Resorts throughout our entire region.
FIT passengers can book hotel stays for as many nights as they choose. They may also create their own itineraries by selecting from our list of properties and putting together their own customized tour.
We ‘block’ rooms (allocations) with most of the properties that we work with, these rooms are loaded into our booking system – TM, the FIT reservations staff use those rooms to confirm bookings to our customers.
Our clients can add gateway services to their hotel, city stays or fly/drive, coach tour bookings, such as:
Our TORS website also provides our clients with a place to download our tariffs, view important updates, specials, status and more.
The TOURCO Online Reservations System is an online real-time reservations system.
Designed for our Wholesale Tour Operator Clients the system allows our clients to book any of our hotels, packages or services from our current FIT Tariff. They see live availability and get instant confirmations on their bookings. Plus, our customers that have customized or special itineraries, can also book their own itineraries on the TORS system, once they log in, any itineraries that are affiliated with that customer will appear on the tour list for them to select and book.
Bookings made on TORS are automatically entered into our TM system. Our customers may also cancel their TORS bookings online, or send us a request to amend a TORS booking right from the system.
We have a group brochure that shows examples of many different group itineraries. Sales Managers also spend a lot of time creating customized itineraries for any requests that come through. Once a quote is accepted by the clients. Rooms are confirmed and the whole file is passed onto a Operations Coordinator.
Our Group is comprised of Sales Managers and Operations Coordinators.
The Sales Managers attend shows and go on sales trips to meet with operators and agents to sell Tourco’s destination and products. These are usually ‘preformed’ groups, a bank club, or bowling club, organization or just a group that’s sold by an agent at an operator’s office. They will often arrive in on their own coach. We also welcome international groups that arrive and travel together, these are different from the scheduled departure tours as they are all coming from one agency and traveling together.
The Operations Coordinators will then review the whole itinerary or contract and make reservations for all meals and attractions on the tour, as well as scheduling motor coaches and preparing driving directions and day to day itineraries for the passengers and our Tour Director. They must get all rooming lists to all hotels and a packet of complete instructions to the Tour Director or Guide. Then they must monitor the tours while they are on the road to make sure all is operating smoothly.
The Manager of Tour Directors schedules our staff of Tour Directors on the various tours that are on the road…sometimes we can have as many as 100+ Tour Directors on the road at the same time. Our Tour Directors report to us regularly while they are on the road to advise of any issues during the tour.
Once a tour has completed, all of the paperwork from the Tour Director must then be sorted to the correct departments so that vendors can get paid and all of the evaluations from our passengers can get entered into the system.
Tourco also operates a ‘retail division’ where we sell products direct to consumers instead of selling to other tour operators or travel partners.
We promote these products totally on the internet. DESTINNATIONS is a TOURCO owned name were we sell B&Bs, Character properties and resorts on the website www.destinnations.com
Because these are direct to consumer sales we have a reservationist that is responsible for answering the telephone lines where consumers phone in to make bookings, they may also make their bookings online through the website.
Tourco’s Accounting Department is responsible for keeping track of all company finances.
Our Accounts receivable clerk collect all funds from our customers, the tour operators and group clients and apply those payments to the bookings in the TM system. They send out monthly statements to all of our customers every month – and track all wire transfers, checks and credit card payments on a daily basis.
Our Accounts payable clerk is responsible for getting all payments out to our vendors on time (according to our contract with the vendor) Some of our vendors require prepayment or immediate payment and others bill us on a monthly basis.
The Director of Accounting not only oversees the accounting clerks but is also responsible for all other finances of the company, monthly financial reports to our owner and accountants, payments of overheads, such as rent, electricity, payroll, employee benefits and more.
Our Marketing Department is responsible for producing and distributing all of Tourco’s written or visual collateral, this means: flyers, fly/drive documents, brochures/tariffs, press releases, company profiles & organizing territory and hotel slides to provide to our customers.
Our FIT Tariff and Group Brochure are the two largest pieces that we put together each year, and they take months to finish every year. In additional this department also creates and designs many specialty/seasonal brochures.
The Information Systems Department is responsible for review, purchase and maintenance of all information system hardware and software utilized by the company staff. They work with a local support company to monitor repair and installation of software and hardware company wide. They also maintain all company servers including file server, WAN server, mail server and web servers.
The Information System Director reviews and troubleshoots any software issues including testing and reporting issues with our in house booking system TM. The IS Director also creates and maintains all company websites including the TORS online booking system and any Tourco profiles on third party websites. They also research and review technological advancements Tourco can make either online or offline.