this is about report on travel agency....
INTRODUCTION A travel agency is a private retailer or public service that provides tourism related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, and package tours. In addition to dealing with ordinary tourists most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to making travel arrangements for business travelers and some travel agencies specialize in commercial and business travel only. There are also travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than where their headquarters are located. Travel agencies became more commonplace with the development of commercial aviation, starting in the 1920s. Originally, travel agencies largely catered to middle and upper class customers, but the post-war boom in mass-market package holidays resulted in travel agencies on the main streets of most British towns, catering to a working-class clientele, looking for a convenient way to book overseas beach holidays. The tour operators are the architect or manufacturer who assembles the tour ingredients and creates travel and market by having satisfied clients who return year after year. Tour operator is a company which specializes in planning and operation of prepaid, pre-planned vacations and makes these available for tourist either directly or through retail travel agency. The tour operator can be classified into:1. 2. 3. 4.
Inbound tour operator. Outbound tour operator. Ground tour operator. Domestic tour operator.
1. Inbound tour operator :Tour operator who deal and handle foreign tourist and provides them various services on their arrival and departure such as transfer, accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, entertainment , currency exchanges, insurance services etc., are known as inbound tour operators. These tour operators formulate tour packages individually or in collaboration with foreign tour operators. They are image builders of a country. 2. Outbound tour operator :This category of operators are specialized in promoting and designing multinational tours especially in foreign countries. They sell a package tour to an individual or a group of people of his own country to another country. They work in liaison with inbound tour operators and ground tour operators. 1
Outbound tour operators arrange sightseeing and other services.
3. Ground tour operator :These operators are executed to perform land arrangements at a particular destination. They are also known as reception operators. 4. Domestic tour operator :These operators operates two packages within the boundary of name country and cater the diverse needs of individual and group travelers.
FUNCTIONS A travel agency’s main function is to act as an agent, selling travel products and services on behalf of a supplier. Consequently, unlike other retail businesses, they do not keep a stock in hand. A package holiday or a ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase. The holiday or ticket is supplied to them at a discount. The profit is therefore the difference between the advertised price which the customer pays and the discounted price at which it is supplied to the agent. This is known as the commission. In many countries, all individuals or companies that sell tickets are required to be licensed as a travel agent. In some countries, airlines have stopped giving commission to travel agencies. Therefore, travel agencies are now forced to charge a percentage premium or a standard flat fee, per sale. However, some companies still give them a set percentage for selling their product. Major tour companies can afford to do this, because if they were to sell a hundred trips at a higher rate. This process benefits both parties. It is also cheaper rate, they still come out better than if they sell a hundred trips at a higher rate. This process benefits both parties. It is also cheaper to offer commissions to travel agents rather than engage in advertising and distribution campaigns without using agents. Other commercial operations are undertaken, especially by the larger chains. These can include the sale of in-house insurance, travel guide books and timetables, car rentals, and the services of an on-site Bureau de change, dealing in the most popular holiday currencies. A travel agent is supposed to offer impartial travel advice to the customer. However, this function almost disappeared with the mass-market package holiday and some agency chains seemed to develop a ‘holiday supermarket’ concept, in which customers choose their holiday from brochures on racks and then book it from a counter. Again, a variety of social and economic changes have now contrived to bring this aspect to the fore once more, particularly with the advent of multiple, no-frills, low-cost airlines. 2
HISTORY OF ACE.IN TOURS AND TRAVELS Ace.in tours and travels established in the year 2004 as a company in the hospitality sector in the state of Kerala. The long term vision of the company is to emerge as one of the top most travel companies in the country, that provide and divides unique services to customers worldwide. The company’s mission is to extent cost effective tour and travel packages with quality and class of service from time to time. The company is intending to introduce the number of unique and innovative ideas in the travel sector. It is managed and operated by a dedicated team, experienced professionals with a strong commitment towards customer service. At present, the company is headquartered in the city of Cochin, the commercial hub of the state of Kerala. It has already established full-fledged infrastructure with advanced computerized and modernized office set up to handle the customer needs with pace and precision. Individual care and attention is upheld in every facet of its service. Since the travel agency has felt its need to protect itself and its clients against the possibilities of commercial failure, either its own or a supplier’s and it has advertised the fact that it is surety bounded, meaning in the case of failure, the customers are guaranteed either and equivalent holiday to which they have lost or if they prefer, a refund. The travel agency has received the following recognitions and they are accredition from International Air Transport Association (IATA), Active member of IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI), recognition form Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Kerala Travel Mart and the agency is a specialist counselor on travel to Scotland. Earlier the services provided by the agency are Domestic and International Air ticket, Emigration Assistance, Visa Assistance, Package Tours, Car Rentals, Hotel Reservation and Railway Ticketing. In addition to the above services, at present they also provide services like Insurance Assistance, Processing of travel related documents, Cruise holidays, Health holidays, House boat holidays, Event management and Ayurvedic Therapy.
1. COUNTER DEPARTMENT 2. ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT
1. COUNTER DEPARTMENT :It is a department in which goods are sold or services are provided or across which business is conducted with customers. The staff includes namely, Nimmy Jacob, Jyothish, and Rahim, supervised under Bobby C.J. The counter department of this travel agency includes the following services. 1) DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL AIR TICKETING :- Domestic air ticketing is a ticketing which is issued to travel within one’s own country. That is, origin and destination are same. Example, Air ticket to travel from Cochin to Mumbai. International air ticketing is a ticketing which is issued to travel outside the country. That is, origination and destination will be different. Example, air ticket to travel from India to USA. The travel agency commonly follows four methods in air ticketing and they are Galileo, Amadeus, Abacus and Cyber. Ace.in tours and travels mainly follows Amadeus and Galileo. 2) VISA ASSISTANCE: - A visa (from the Latin charta visa, lit. "paper that has been seen") is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter or leave the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport (or passport-replacing document). Some countries do not require a visa in some situations, such as a result of reciprocal treaty arrangements. The country issuing the visa typically attaches various conditions of stay, such as the territory covered by the visa, dates of validity, period of stay, whether the visa is valid for more than one visit, etc.
Conditions of issue Some visas can be granted on arrival or by prior application at the country's embassy or consulate, or through a private visa service specialized in the issuance of international travel documents. These agencies are authorized by the 4
foreign authority, embassy, or consulate to represent international travelers who are unable or unwilling to travel to the embassy and apply in person. Private visa and passport services collect an additional fee for verifying customer applications, supporting documents, and submitting them to the appropriate authority. If there is no embassy or consulate in one's home country, then one would have to travel to a third country (or apply by post) and try to get a visa issued there. The need or absence of need of a visa generally depends on the citizenship of the applicant, the intended duration of the stay, and the activities that the applicant may wish to undertake in the country he visits; these may delineate different formal categories of visas, with different issue conditions. Some countries apply the principle of reciprocity in their visa policy. A country's visa policy is called reciprocal if it imposes visa requirement against citizens of all the countries which impose visa requirements against its own citizens. The opposite is never true: no country lifts visa requirements against citizens of all the countries which lift visa requirements against its own citizens. Some examples of countries who apply reciprocity in their visa policy are:
United States (visa policy of United States) European Union (the visa reciprocity policy in the European Union has not reached full reciprocity for some EU citizens in some countries), Russia (visa policy of Russia) Brazil (visa policy of Brazil).
A fee may be charged for issuing a visa; these are often also reciprocal, so if country A charges country B's citizens US$50 for a visa, country B will often also charge the same amount for country A's visitors. The fee charged may also be at the discretion of each embassy. A similar reciprocity often applies to the duration of the visa (the period in which one is permitted to request entry of the country) and the amount of entries one can attempt with the visa. Expedited processing of the visa application for some countries will generally incur additional charges. Types of visa Each country has a multitude of categories of visas and with various names. The most common types and names of visas include: By purpose:
Transit visa, for passing through the country to a destination outside that country. Validity of transit visas are usually limited by short terms such as several hours to 10 days depending on the size of the country and/or the circumstances of a particular transit itinerary. Airside transit visa, required by some countries for passing through their airports even without going through passport control. Short-stay visa, for short visits to the host country. Many countries differentiate between different reasons for these visits, such as: Private visa, for private visits by invitation of residents of the country. 5
Tourist visa, for a limited period of leisure travel, no business activities allowed. Visa for medical reasons, for undertaking diagnostics or a course of treatment in the host country's hospitals. Business visa, for engaging in commerce in the country. These visas generally preclude permanent employment, for which a work visa would be required. Working holiday visa, for individuals traveling between nations offering a working holiday program, allowing young people to undertake temporary work while traveling. Long-stay visa, valid for longer but still finite stays: Student visa, which allows its holder to study at an institution of higher learning in the issuing country. Temporary worker visa, for approved employment in the host country. These are generally more difficult to obtain but valid for longer periods of time than a business visa. Examples of these are the United States' H-1B and L-1 visas. Depending on a particular country, the status of temporary worker may or may not evolve into the status of permanent resident or to naturalization. Journalist visa, which some countries require of people in that occupation when traveling for their respective news organizations. Countries which insist on this include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United States (I-visa) and Zimbabwe. Residence visa, granted to people obtaining long-term residence in the host country. In some countries, long-term residence is a necessary step to obtain the status of a permanent resident. Immigrant visa, granted for those intending to immigrate to the issuing country (obtain the status of a permanent resident with a prospect of possible naturalization in the future): Spousal visa or partner visa, granted to the spouse, civil partner or de facto partner of a resident or citizen of a given country to enable the couple to settle in that country. Marriage visa, granted for a limited period before intended marriage or civil partnership based on a proven relationship with a citizen of the destination country. For example, a German woman who wishes to marry an American man would obtain a Fiancée Visa (also known as a K-1 visa) to allow her to enter the United States. "A K1 Fiancée Visa is valid for four months from the date of its approval.” Pensioner visa (also known as retiree visa or retirement visa), issued by a limited number of countries (Australia, Argentina, Thailand, Panama, etc.), to those who can demonstrate a foreign source of income and who do not intend to work in the issuing country. Age limits apply in some cases. Official visa is granted to officials doing job for their governments or otherwise representing their countries in the host country, such as the personnel of diplomatic missions. Diplomatic visa is normally only available to bearers of diplomatic passports.
Courtesy visa issued to representatives of foreign governments or international organizations who do not qualify for diplomatic status but do merit expedited, courteous treatment - an example of this is Australia’s Special purpose visa.
By method of issuance:
On-arrival visa (also known as Visa On Arrival, VOA), granted at a port of entry. This is distinct from not requiring a visa at all, as the visitor must still obtain the visa before they can even try to pass through immigration. Electronic visa. The visa is stored in a computer and is electronically tied to the passport number; no label, sticker or stamp is placed in the passport before travel. Australia pioneered electronic visa issuance with the Electronic for tourists. Recent changes in immigration law mean that almost all visas (including those for permanent residency) are issued electronically by default unless a label is required (for example to board an airplane). New Zealand is now also issuing some visas electronically. The United States has a similar internet system called Electronic System for Travel Authorization, but this is a security pre-screening only and does not technically qualify as a visa under US immigration law.
This list is not exhaustive. Some countries may have more detailed classifications of some of these categories reflecting the nuances of their respective geographies, social conditions, economies, international treaties, etc. Others, on the contrary, may combine some types into broader categories. 3) EMIGRATION ASSISTANCE :- Emigration is the movement of people into a country or region to which they are not native in order to settle there. Emigration is a result of: including temperature, breeding, economic, political, family re-unification, natural disaster, poverty or the wish to change one's surroundings voluntarily. ‘Immigration assistance’ is defined in section 276 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). Generally, immigration assistance is when a person uses knowledge of, or experience in, migration procedures (even without formal qualifications) to: Help prepare a visa application Advise a visa applicant about their application Help prepare a document in connection with the sponsorship of a visa applicant, or advising the sponsor Prepare for proceedings, before a court or review authority (such as the Migration/Refugee Review or Administrative Appeals Tribunals), or represent someone at those proceedings, unless you are a lawyer Help, or help to prepare, a request to the Minister to exercise certain powers under the Act in relation to a visa applicant.
Providing immigration assistance Section 280 of the Act states that a person who is not a registered migration agent must not give immigration assistance, unless one of the limited exemptions applies. This is the case even if a fee is not charged. Giving immigration assistance without being a registered migration agent is an offence of ‘strict liability’, which means it does not have to be proven that a person intended to commit the offence – doing the act is itself enough for a conviction. For example, Australia’s migration laws can be complicated and difficult to apply in practice. The purpose of the migration agent registration requirements in the Act is to enable the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) to: Keep a public register of individuals who are registered migration agents, which is easily accessible by visa applicants and others. The register also shows details of agents who have been suspended or cautioned Be satisfied that registered migration agents have the requisite degree of knowledge to give immigration assistance. For example, they may be required to complete a course in migration procedure, pass an exam and undertake continuing professional development Be satisfied that a registered migration agent is a fit and proper person to give immigration assistance and is a person of integrity, and Ensure a registered migration agent demonstrates an up-to-date and sound understanding of migration procedure. The department has found that visa applicants and other clients of unregistered migration agents are significantly more at risk of being given incorrect, incomplete or misleading advice. Also, clients of unregistered migration agents do not have the benefit of consumer protection. Registered migration agents: Must comply with a Code of Conduct Must have professional indemnity insurance, and Can be subject to sanctions by the Office of the MARA, such as being cautioned or having their registration suspended or cancelled.
4) CAR RENTALS: - A car rental or car hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short periods of time (generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks) for a fee. It is often organized with numerous local branches (which allow a user to return a vehicle to a different location), and primarily located near airports or busy city areas and often complemented by a website allowing online reservations. Car rental agencies primarily serve people who have a car that is temporarily out of reach or out of service, for example travelers who are out of town or owners of damaged or destroyed vehicles who are awaiting repair or insurance compensation. Because of the variety of sizes of their vehicles, car rental agencies may also serve the self-moving industry needs, by renting vans or trucks, and in certain markets other types of vehicles such as motorcycles or scooters may also be offered. Alongside the basic rental of a vehicle, car rental agencies typically also offer extra products such as insurance, global positioning system (GPS) navigation systems, entertainment systems, and even such things as mobile phones. Hertz is one of the longest established rental companies, and the first in America, originally started in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs as Rent-a-Car with twelve Ford Model T cars in Chicago. Rental condition Car rentals are subject to many conditions which vary from one country to another and from one company to another. Generally the vehicle must be returned in the same condition it was rented in, and often must not exceed mileage restrictions, otherwise extra fees may be incurred. For insurance reasons, some companies stipulate a minimum and / or maximum rental age. In some cases, the minimum age for rental can be as high as 25, even in countries where the minimum legal age to hold a driver's license is much lower. It is not uncommon for there to be a young driver surcharge for all drivers aged under 25. In all cases a valid driver's license is required in order to rent a vehicle, and some countries require an International Driving Permit. Recent conditions have utilized GPS technology to limit maximum speeds or driving to specific regions. Renewable fuel vehicles are available in certain areas. The majority of car rental companies require the use of a credit card to charge additional fees should a defect be found with the car on its return or for road tolls, motoring related fines or missing fuel. In lieu of a credit card some companies require a large cash deposit or occasionally a debit card.
5) PACKAGE TOURS :- It is a combination of travel elements prepared for an individual or group by a tour operator. Package tours are categorized into inbound and outbound tours. The company has carefully designed and packaged its inbound tour packages, specialized tours and travel packages for the individuals as well as the group are evolved taking into account the customer needs and interests. It has pioneered unique holiday packages for the sub continent India. The company’s service start with the very arrival transfer till final departure from India with assistance, guidance and facilitation from experienced representative throughout the tour in the state of Kerala. One can enjoy the scenic journey through Kerala with its very changing landscape from sandy beaches to tranquil lakes, from wildlife sanctuaries to green mountains. The representative of the company shall accompany the tourist groups, show them the sights, guide them on special cuisines, assist them in shopping and bargaining and take care of the problems if any. The company will select standard hotels and resorts with all necessary amenities to make sure that the inbound tour and the stay is a memorable and enjoyable one. The company has designed and pioneered a number of outbound tours for the domestic travelers. The packages are carefully designed for various favorite destinations. A customized itinerary tailored to customer’s interests and requirements is embedded in every package. The travelers and tourists can have the advice from the company’s tour consultant to meet their desired dream holidays. 6) AYURVEDIC THERAPY :-The package is designed for 7 days to 21 days that includes the Ayurvedic Rejuvenation therapy, which provides at the company’s Ayurvedic Spa. The customers are given various therapies such as abhyanga-sudhikriya massages (Massaging the whole body with medicated oil and herbal powder and later dipping the body in warm water) sirodhara (A continuous pouring of medicated oil on the forehead by means of earthen vessel along the Abhyanga) Pizhichil (warm medicated oil flows comfortably on all over the body in a synchronized way and a gentle massage is performed on a special plank called Droni) and Uddvarthanam (a deep dry massage using herbal powder). Ace’s Rejuvenation therapy package as given above will in proven benefits for the customers such as improvement of vigor and vitality, including sound sleep and therapy giving complete rest to the body and mind, improvement of skin texture and complexion , relief of back pain and providing muscular relaxation, useful for chronic headaches, migraine, mental stress, tension and neurological problems, complete rejuvenation enhancing muscular tone and tuning of nervous systems especially ideal for customers having rheumatic problems , paralysis’ etc. Reduces obesity, imparts mobility to joints and strengthens muscles and refreshes the body and the mind. 7) PROCESSING OF TRAVEL RELATED DOCUMENTS :-A travel document is an identity document issued by a government or international treaty organization to facilitate the movement of individuals or small groups 10
of persons across international boundaries. Travel documents usually assure other governments that the bearer may return to the issuing country, and are often issued in booklet form to allow other governments to place visas as well as entry and exit stamps into them. The most common travel document is a passport, which usually gives the bearer more privileges like visa-free access to certain countries. However, the term is sometimes used only for those documents which do not bear proof of nationality, such as the Refugee Travel Documents. The various documents includes : PASSPORT :-In general, a passport is a travel document that also serves as proof of citizenship from the issuing country. Although generally accepted by the majority of countries in the world, some issuing countries expressly exclude the validity of passports from nations that are not recognized by their governments. LAISSEZ-PASSER AND EMERGENCY PASSPORTS :A laissez-passer (from the French let pass) is a travel document issued by a national government or certain international organizations, such as the United Nations, European Union and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). A laissezpasser is often for one-way travel to the issuing country for humanitarian reasons only. Some national governments issue laissez-passers to their own nationals as emergency passports. Others issue them to people who are stateless, or who are unable to obtain a passport from their own government, or whose government is not recognized by the issuing country. ALIENS AND REFUGEES TRAVEL DOCUMENT : Refugee travel document (formally: 1951 Convention travel document) are passport-like booklets issued by national governments to refugees under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. 1954 Convention travel documents are similar documents issued to stateless persons under the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. The document is the successor of the (now defunct) League of Nations' Nansen passport. Alien's passports and certificates of identity are passport-like booklets issued by national governments to resident foreigners, other than those issued under the 1951 and 1954 conventions mentioned above. However, some governments issue certificates of identity to their own nationals as emergency passports. OTHER DOCUMENTS AS TRAVEL DOCUMENTS : National Identity Card: - Identity cards are generally issued as a means of identification within a country, but in some cases they may also be used as a travel document. For example, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can use their cards to
exercise their right of free movement in the EU, EEA and Switzerland without a visa. Driver's license:- Driver's licenses are generally not considered travel documents, since they bear no information on nationality and conditions which would lead to refusal of a travel document have generally not been tested. However, in several provinces of Canada and U.S. states, nationals/citizens can -upon payment of an extra fee and additional information regarding- receive an Enhanced Drivers License which enables border crossing between Canada and the U.S. by land and sea. De facto travel documents: - De facto travel documents are documents which in practice will be sufficient to cross borders legally, but with no legal status as a travel document. Within the Border Controls in the Common Travel Area, travel between Ireland, the United Kingdom, the British Crown Dependencies, Isle of Man and Channel Islands, no travel documents are required by British or Irish citizens. As this requirement does not hold for others, these citizens have to establish the presumption of having this nationality, which requires in practice some form of identification. The documents used for this purpose (most notably: driving license) are thus de facto travel documents. Other means of identification:- Strictly speaking, it is not necessary for an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen to possess a valid travel document (such as a national identity card or passport) to enjoy the right of free movement in the EU, EEA and Switzerland, with exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland. In theory, if an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen can prove his/her nationality by 'any other means' (e.g. by presenting an expired national identity card or passport, or a citizenship certificate), he/she must be permitted to enter and reside in the EU, EEA and Switzerland without a visa. An EU citizen who is unable to demonstrate his/her nationality satisfactorily must nonetheless be given 'every reasonable opportunity' to obtain the necessary documents or to have them delivered within a reasonable period of time. 8) INSURANCE ASSISTANCE:- The travel agency provides travel insurance. Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers, and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one's own country, or internationally. Temporary travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of 12
the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a "multitrip" policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Coverage varies, and can be purchased to include higher risk items such as "winter sports".
Coverage types The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance are:
Medical emergency (accident or sickness) Emergency evacuation Repatriation of remains Return of a minor Trip cancellation Trip interruption Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit Overseas funeral expenses Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items) Flight connection was missed due to airline schedule Travel delays due to weather
9) EVENT MANAGEMENT: - Event management is the application of project management to the creation and development of festivals, events and conferences. Event management involves studying the intricacies of the brand, identifying the target audience, devising the event concept, planning the logistics and coordinating the technical aspects before actually launching the event. Post-event analysis and ensuring a return on investment have become significant drivers for the event industry. The recent growth of festivals and events as an industry around the world means that the management can no longer be ad hoc. Events and festivals, such as the Asian Games, have a large impact on their communities and, in some cases, the whole country. The industry now includes events of all sizes from the Olympics down to a breakfast meeting for ten business people. Many industries, charitable organizations, and interest groups will hold events of some size in order to market themselves, build business relationships, raise money or celebrate. Event managers can supervise diverse corporate events, such as product launches, press conferences, corporate anniversary parties, meetings, conferences, and marketing programs such as road shows and grand opening events. In addition, they can coordinate special corporate hospitality events such as concerts, award ceremonies, film premieres, parties to launch new products or services, fashion shows, commercial events, and even private (personal) events such as weddings and religious services. Event management firms can handle a variety of specific event13
related services, which can range from a few select services for clients with limited budgets, to handling all creative, technical and logistical aspects of an event. Categories of events Events can be classified into four broad categories based on their purpose and objective: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Leisure events e.g. leisure sport, music, recreation. Cultural events e.g. ceremonial, religious, art, heritage, and folklore. Personal events e.g. weddings, birthdays, anniversaries. Organizational events e.g. commercial, political, charitable, sales, product launch, expo.
10) HEALTH TOURISM: - Health tourism is patient movement from highly developed nations to other areas of the world for medical care, usually to find treatment at a lower cost. Medical tourism is different from the traditional model of international medical travel where patients generally journey from less developed nations to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that is unavailable in their own communities. Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. Individuals with rare genetic may travel to another country where treatment of these conditions is better understood. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available. Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry. If you are looking at plastic surgery, correction of congenital malformation, breast reconstruction surgery and other beauty enhancing cosmetic surgeries, Kerala offers highly specialized departments and expert surgeons to take care of your needs. Dental treatments are also a priority of tourists to Kerala as even the most complex jaw replacement surgeries cost 50% lesser than international rates. Access to state – of – the – art technology and specialized orthodontic clinics are also easier in Kerala. Without leaving a dent in your budgets. While a hip replacement surgery cost up to US$ 12,000 outside India, the procedure would be completed in less than one – third of the cost here in Kerala. On a more common level, a regular dental filling which would cost around 400 in Austria would cost a mere ten in Kerala. Generally estimates show that more surgeries in India cost just one – tenth of the cost in western countries and across different categories, tourists are discovering that there is an alluring cost difference of around 60 – 70% on medical treatments in most premium institutions here. 11) CRUISE HOLIDAYS:- Cruise Holidays is an independent cruise specialist in India, specializing in planning the right cruise vacation for Families, Couples, Honeymooners and Corporate groups. We market all the leading 14
cruise lines & liners and offer our customers the best value cruise holidays to destinations around the world. Some of the cruises we offer include the Mediterranean cruise, cruise to Alaska, the Caribbean cruise, South American cruise, Asia cruises, cruise to Europe, cruise to Hawaii and many more. 12) GLOBAL HOTEL RESERVATION :- A hotel reservation system, also known as a central reservation system (CRS) is a computerized system that stores and distributes information of a hotel, resort, or other lodging facilities. A central reservation system is a tool to reach the global distribution system as well as internet distribution systems from one single system. A CRS assists hotel managers in managing their online marketing and sales, allowing them to upload their rates and availabilities to be seen by sales channels that are using the CRS. Sales channels may include conventional travel agencies as well as online travel agencies. Reservations a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. m. n. o. p.
Individual, group, shared, and multi-rate reservations Add, change, and cancel bookings including multiple legs Standard, package, negotiated, and group rates (via on screen button) Multi-Currency rate displays Sell messages dynamically linked to CRO office, property, rate or allotment code Geographical and regional single or multi-property search Property details including pictures, raster maps, rate and room type lists, nearby attractions, and point of interest information Links to external context databases to provide in-depth property, rate, and room details List of room types and rate codes List of rate availability strategies and restrictions User definable products by rate code Waitlist capabilities Quote rates system set up initial and secondary rates per property, per day Query system for reservation action items Intuitive, logical sales process flow Links
13) HOUSE BOAT HOLIDAYS: - A houseboat is a boat that has been designed or modified to be used primarily as a human dwelling. Some houseboats are not motorized, because they are usually moored, kept stationary at a fixed point and often tethered to land to provide utilities. However, many are capable of operation under their own power. Float house is a Canadian and U.S. term for a house on a float (raft), a rough house may be called a shanty boat. The kettuvallams (Kerala houseboats) in the backwaters are one of the prominent tourist attractions in Kerala. More than 2000 kettuvallams ply the backwaters, 120 of them in Alappuzha. Kerala 15
government has classified the tourist houseboats as Platinum, Gold and silver. The kettuvallams were traditionally used as grain barges, to transport the rice harvested in the fertile fields alongside the backwaters. Thatched roof covers over wooden hulls, 100 feet (30 m) in length, provided protection from the elements. At some point in time the boats were used as living quarters by the royalty. Converted to accommodate tourists, the houseboats have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. Most tourists spend the night on a house boat. Food is cooked on board by the accompanying staff – mostly having a flavour of Kerala. The houseboats are of various patterns and can be hired as per the size of the family or visiting group. The living-dining room is usually open on at least three sides providing a grand view of the surroundings, including other boats, throughout the day when it is on the move. It is brought to a standstill at times of taking food and at night. After sunset, the boat crew provide burning coils to drive away mosquitoes. Ketuvallams are motorised but generally proceed at a slow speed for smooth travel. All ketuvallams have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned. At times, as per demand of customers, electricity is switched off and lanterns are provided to create a rural setting. 2. ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT :Any business and any organization needs away to run it or to make a success or flourish it there is need of money and it should be accounted timely. If any organization started with less money or insufficient money, later on it faces a lot of budgetary problems, without money its progress is hundred and same times, situation arises to put it off. So, it must, while planning to run any organization, money should be managed sufficiently and ways should be planned perfectly for the availability of money should be planned and accounted. There may be this and that way to manage money. It should be managed through healthy means. It is easy to manage money gather then to expense it. Very intelligent person’s pieces of advices are included, pros and cons. Money should be explored and it should be accounted from beginning to end. To make a successful organization, its money should not go waste at any level. Quotations should be invited from the market. Quality should be judged and money should be expended by the trustworthy persons for the interest of the organization. This department is managed by Mridhula Mukundan. Accounting Procedures When you start a travel agency, you need to keep accurate accounting records for your business. These records help you keep track of your agency's performance and are necessary for preparing your tax return. The most important accounting procedures for a travel agency are the cash flow statement, the general ledger and the income statement. a) Cash Flow Management:-One of the most basic goals of your accounting procedures is to keep track of your agency's cash flow. While running a travel agency with multiple daily transactions, it can 16
be easy to lose track of your sales and your incoming payments. Through the use of your accounting software, you can keep track of your company's net cash flow from sales and expenses. This keeps track of the cash management of your business and helps identify any financial problems. Make sure that your agents post all business transactions in your accounting records. b) General Ledger:-Another accounting tool for a travel agency is the general ledger. The general ledger gives an overview of your company's current position. This ledger keeps track of your agency's assets, everything your company owns and what it owes. The accounting impact of all business transactions should be recorded on your general ledger through your accounting software. Most businesses update their ledgers daily or weekly. It is crucial to update your general ledger regularly so you can keep track of your agency's financial status. c) Recognizing Revenue:-An important accounting procedure for any business is the process of revenue recognition. This principle establishes when a business has officially earned revenue and can declare the earnings on its accounting statements and for taxes. A travel agency, as a service industry, must use the cash method for recognizing revenue. Your agency must recognize revenue as earned as soon as a payment is received. It does not matter when you complete your service to the customer, as soon as you receive payment, you must recognize the payment as revenue. d) Income Statement:-The last accounting procedure for running a travel agency is the maintenance of an income statement. The income statement records your total income and expenses to calculate your net profit over a period of time. The income statement serves a similar purpose as the cash flow statement. While the cash flow statement only keeps track of cash, the income statement measures the profits of your business. When you start your agency, the cash flow statement is more important as you get the handle of your company's daily cash flow. In the long-run, your income statement is more important as it gives a better description of your company's total profitability.
FINDINGS It is a recognized institution. It is customer oriented. The agency has experienced professionals. The services provided by the agency has high quality and is also cost effective. They uses modernized and computerized methods. The agency fulfills the customer needs within the time period as required by the customers. The staff in the agency is very cooperative and gives full disclosure of the information to the clients. The agency always maintains liaison between the management and the staff. Each department in the agency is completely flourished. They maintains the records accurately and efficiently. The agency conducts the internal audit and external audit on time in order to ensure the true and fair view of the reports maintained. The agency has adopted standard accounting practices. It has fully fledged infrastructure. Individual care and attention is upheld in every factor of its services. The itinerary is designed according to the customer’s interests and requirements. The travelers and tourists can advice from the agency’s tour consultant to meet their desired dream holiday’s.
SUGGESTIONS Updation of client information: With the many travel offers currently available, match relevant offers with the clients and communicate. This is a critical time to step up the meter on communication to the company’s database, as well as, other prospects. Now is the time to update the client information so the company can better serve the clients one to one. Increase the sales training and prospecting skills: The phones may not ring as much in the near future as in the past. Take this time to fine tune the sales skills so the company can be better prepared for tougher sales in the weeks ahead. Be in the know: The more the company can be perceived as the travel knowledge or safety expert, the more the clients will rely on the company for its guidance and counsel. Use the Internet, trade associations, news, consortium membership, peers, etc. to fully gain knowledge, not just information, which the clients desperately need, thereby building credibility. Marketing plan: You can't get to where you want to go without a road map. The marketing plan will force the agency to take an aggressive sales posture and will provide it with the strategies and tactics to reach its goals, whatever they may be. The key is to have them. It will also establish action plans for everyone. However, if the agency don't inspect what the client expect, the plan is meaningless. So standard format of marketing plan must be maintained. Identify more pied pipers who have the ability to bring in new business: Think of the number of airline employees who have been recently laid off. What a wonderful opportunity to hire them as outside agents who can bring in new customers. They will also be grateful to stay connected to the travel industry. Develop more customized client promotions: Air or car or cruise or hotel or theme park or golf or spa, etc. Take the stress and worry out of the preplanning experience for the clients. And if they absolutely don't want to travel by air for the present time, package other means of transportation. Also, think of new commission opportunities: whether its vacation home rentals or selling add on insurance, travel intelligence, and services offering convenience. And, with the incredible pricing opportunities available for the clients, there is no better motivation than now to promote travel. Be creative: Be creative and think of promotions, alliances, partnerships, etc. which the agency could develop with local merchants, local colleges and universities, department stores, restaurants, recreational entities, local associations and clubs, fundraisers, community associations, local special 19
events, etc. This list is endless in identifying new ways of attracting business.
CONCLUSION The reduction in commission paid by airlines has prompted travel agencies to streamline their business and adapt to new business models in order to guarantee their long-term profitability. This can be accomplished by shifting their commissionrevenue model to a service-fee revenue model. Indeed service fees are not only a way to compensate for the loss of airline commissions but also a way to generate new revenue sources for travel agencies. As a result, many of them are expanding their service-fee models both in terms of the amounts charged and the number of services for which they charge fees. In this context, travel agencies should overcome their hesitation to charge service fees because the implementation of service fees does not result in a loss in clients. If their service-fee models are effectively implemented, they will be able to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is crucial to understand what trends travel agencies need to be watching to ensure that they stay ahead of the game and one step ahead of their competitors. By generating more revenue from service fees, travel agencies will reduce the risks resulting from commission cuts and anticipate a potential shift to leisure services (tours, cars, cruises, etc.). Tour operators and rail companies have already lowered travel agents’ commission and are asking them to sell more of their products if they want more commission or incentives. To be profitable, travel agencies must sell the value of their services and expertise on prices to sustain long-term relationships with their customers. This means that they have to consider the impact of new technologies and identify costefficient service-fee management solutions to meet their business requirements. Finally it is important for travel agencies to: Educate: Educate staff and travel agents thanks to formal training programs on service-fee schemes and high margin products. Communicate: Communicate to customers up-front and inform them of the new service-fee driven business models so that they will become acquainted with the facts and will be more inclined to pay. Automate: Automate processes when charging fees to avoid errors and increase travel agents’ efficiency and productivity.