Roles of Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Who is a tour operator?

A tour operator is a service provider who puts together tour destination packages that usually include all-inclusive travel, accommodation, tour activities arrangements. Tour operators buy the individual components of tour packages in bulk and then re-sell them for a profit.tour-operators-roles

If we consider that the travel agents are the retailer arm of tourism business, then the tour operators can be linked to wholesalers, since they buy in ‘bulk’ from the providers of travel services like Airlines and hoteliers, break the ‘bulk’ into manageable packages and provide the finished product the inclusive tour for sale to the travel agencies or direct to the consumer/tourists.

For instance, a tour operator might purchase bulk hotel rooms, air-tickets, and sightseeing activities for a particular destination such like Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania among other. Then, the tour operator makes different tour packages that are tailored to single travelers, couples, families and groups desiring to travel to any of the listed destination within a given period of time. In Rwanda for instance, a tour operator can purchase gorilla trekking permits for Volcanoes national park, hotel rooms in Five to Five Hotel in Kigali, Cottages at Mountain gorilla view lodge, Air-tickets from Australia to Kigali and then creates different Rwanda safari packages to be sold to different clients at a

In that way, the tour operator car sell these package to travel agents with or direct to individual clients with Australia. If the tour operator sales this package direct to the client, he/she must have a ground handler in Rwanda, chosen from the many tour companies and travel agencies in Kigali.

Tour operators must accept responsibility for all problems that arise after the sale of their travel packages. Therefore, if a client is mistreated by the airline, hotel, restaurant or sightseeing company, the tour operator is required to help resolve the issue on behalf of her client. Therefore, a tour operator should be trust worth and keep the name of his or her company clean by offering good services.

Accommodation Booking by Travel Agent
Accommodation Booking by Travel Agent

Safari operators also give shopping, dining, sightseeing and lodging advice to potential clients and tour groups as needed. Tour operators are generally self-employed. Therefore, they must have a physical or online office, hire support employees as their customer base builds and advertise to get customers.

Tour operators must have a head for business and have the ability to make quick decisions that affect their clients who might be far away from their homes.

Tour operators also guide visitors throughout their destination. In most cases, safari guides are the same as drivers – they transport visitors from day one to the last day. The tour operators are expected to be knowledgeable about the tourist destination where to take visitors.

Transportation arranged by Tour Operators
Transportation arranged by Tour Operators

Tour operators devise, arrange and promote holidays and travel options, working with hotels, airlines and other transport companies for ground travel, in order to execute the arrangements, promoted either through travel agents or direct to potential tourists by mans of websites or brochure. They provide customers with advice about where to travel as well as the best means of reaching such destinations.

Many flights cancelled in Japan due to severe thunderstorm

japan-stormMany regions of Japan are on alert as the nation was hit by heavy rain and storm leading to severe flooding situation. Passengers with travel plan in Japan have been advised to postpone their visit until the weather conditions are better. Transport links were disrupted with many canceled flights and train services mostly suspended.

Hundreds and thousands of people were asked to evacuate their houses and the situation becomes worse with reports of landslides in the eastern regions as heavy rain continues in the region.

A person in Kanuma was reported missing so far, Tochigi Prefecture, 15 people were injured, two seriously, both of whom were elderly ladies who were overturned by strong winds according to the fire and disaster and the management Agency. Typhoon Etau brought winds of up to 125 km / h (78 mph) at the center of Aichi prefecture Wednesday before moving to the ocean.

Representative of the Japan Meteorological Agency said the country has never faced such bad weather. The north of the capital, Ibaraki and Tochigi are the most affected regions.

Different parts of Tokyo were flooded and many areas were affected by power outages. More than 900,000 people in Tokyo and across the country have been displaced from their homes.

Goni Typhoon that hit southernmost main island of Kyushu in Japan last month killed one and injured 70 people.

Egypt seeks NY Advertisement Agency to Revive Tourism

great-pyramids-of-egypt--egyptEgypt is seriously trying to improve its public image for better and attract back the tourists who have left because of the constant violence. To do as such the country has headed to Manhattan.

According to a report, the NYC advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Co. (JWT) signed a contract worth $68 million for three years with the Arab countries to launch the international public relations campaign.

The agency worked with Egypt some time recently, but since January 2009 revolution, the Ministry of Tourism handled promotion.

As Elhamy el-Zayat, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, said it’s all a matter of perception. Improving the tourism industry in Egypt is based on improving the view of the internal situation of the nation, the same number of nation’s confidence that Egypt has no security or stability for the moment.

He said: “The biggest challenge for Egypt is to shift that view, especially since Egypt is the heart of the Arab world, which has now turned into a source of news of violence in the world.”

Social media will play a big role in this positive development Egypt’s tourism industry. Amal al-Masri, chief strategy officer for JWT-Middle East Africa, based in Lebanon, said JWT “will focus on the social media sites in its work in the development of the nation, as they are the best now, and would affect the choices of tourists in choosing their destinations.”

Through these channels, Al-Masri said they would also respond to criticism and to give a counterpoint to the “abusive news distorting the image of Egypt if there should be an occurrence of terrorist incidents …” however quick to add that the positive parts of the nation would be emphasized.

Al-Masri said “conventional advertising systems” such as television and the newspaper advertisements would also be used, “but to a lesser extent than the social media marketing.”

Egyptian Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy said that Egypt expected to attract 20 million tourists by 2020.

For 2015, the desired number of tourists is around 11 and 11.5 million with an objective exceeding the target of $ 9 billion. Comparing the first half of 2015 and the same period in 2014, Egypt’s tourism revenues have increased by 3.1% and the number of tourists increased by 8.2%.

The key to the sustaining and development of these figures, that Zayat said, is cultural tourism.

“Tourists from the United States what’s more, Canada is particularly interested in cultural tourism, in addition to some countries in South America, India, China and Australia. This way, the Egypt should be promoted in such nations.”

Chile volcano erupts after 40 years causing panic and excitement

chile-volcano-eruptsSouthern Chile is on alert for a third eruption this week. Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted twice in 24 hours and the National Geology and Mining Service of the nation showed more strength in the second eruption than the first.

President Michelle Bachelet, who traveled to the affected region, said: “We don’t know how the situation is going to advance. It’s really unpredictable.”

As per the local people, the blast brought about immediate hysteria among residents and they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. As the mayor of the nearby Puerto Montt, which is a famous vacationer gateway of the Patagonia area, said that the residents were really terrified, some different local people said they were more excited than afraid.

Volcanic ash has caused the house rooftops to cave in, almost a meter high in some spots. Road workers utilized heavy trucks to plough a path through the as ash, as local people shovelled it off their housetops. This volcanic ash is intimadated to damage the crops, animal feeds, bridges, roads, people’s work schedules, tourism and health. The government issued a red alert for the towns of Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas in southern Chile. Both are famous vacationer destinations.

Enormous ash clouds forced aircrafts to cancel flights and floated as far away as southern Argentina — including the beautiful ski resort of Bariloche, which cautioned people to stay home to avoid breathing in dust particles.

Chile has around 90 active volcanic mountains. Geologist Alfredo Lahsen of the University of Chile finds it a positive trait of nature which helps the country to be the world’s biggest copper producer.

Managing your money for a long trip

DollarWhen you are planning a trip along one of the questions that comes to mind is: What is the best option for managing my money? Shot visa?, It took me a few Euros and I’m changing the way ?, I ask about travelers checks? …

Removes a bank to use the visa at an ATM or currency exchange. Both tend to move between 3 and 6 percent. So breathe easy because the end of the goal you’re going to get anyway. The banker knows no nationality race, or what you thought you?

In almost all ATMs in the world you will not have any problem in using credit cards and debit cards and gladly accept your travelers’ checks for a similar commission. Today difficult to find a city in the world where there is an ATM and a bank far. You know, if you go to interior places controlling the budget you are going to spendest before leaving the city.

One of those mini-purses used as a belt under pants is ideal for combining currency and save money both day and night.

But rarely it occurs in some Asian and South American cities are not going to find ATMs but banks. It is possible that ye may only withdraw money with a Visa credit. The electron nor the look, at least in Vietnam.

A very useful advice: It is advisable to go through life with 40 or $ 50 under the pocket. Dollars. In developing countries still will not have too much appreciation the euro and times do change so worth the dollar.

The reason is simple: It is common to find usurers at border posts where change is exorbitant. And you know: new country, new currency. So you have no choice but to change or sleep outdoors. So it is wise to take him 4 or 5 tickets for $ 10 to change in such situations and help us to endure a day and to change or make easy money.

An obvious but important point: if you use both card or check, and escondedlos apuntaros numbers in a different place just in case.

I Tested Alligator Meat in Guatemala

I have eaten strange things in my travels, including snakes, dogs, hairy spiders and crickets. Some good, some that tastes chicken. Why do we always tend to compare the newly tested meat with chicken?

I leave the question as rhetorical, if any reader knows please remove me doubtfully and I commented that today went through the fascinating blog of Andy. A drifter who has spent 10 years traveling the world and collect your thoughts in your hobo traveler.

Today collected photographs of his trip to Guatemala specifically in the market Panajachel. There he met with grocery stores where offering its guests good pieces of alligator previously dismembered. Here you have some pictures so you begin to salivate.


If anyone has tried the alligator I hope not tell me that also tastes like chicken …

Visit to Antigua City in Guatemala

cathedralThere was the old name granted by the Emperor Charles V when it was built by the Spaniards but Santiago de los Caballeros of Guatemala. Whatever the name, the estate and the architectural beauty of the city that was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Guatemala (which included the present Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) is still tangible today. It not for nothing was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

Today, Antigua is a lively city where Guatemalans are mixed which have left to live a few kilometers from there for the impossible price at which they have homes in the city-own with tourists who are passing or Spanish students will stay a few months trying to learn the language of Cervantes in an idyllic setting.

Precisely this is one business that has flourished in Antigua in recent decades. It has become the main point of all of Central America for learning Spanish. Many Americans and Europeans, especially young people, buy a few packages that include classes and accommodation for a few months. This has made the night scene has also benefited and can find live music and terraces life any day of the week.

We left things in the hotel and went in soon as we had spare energy with a good lunch.

The cobblestone streets of Antigua were full of pick-ups, as it was the weekend and the proximity to the capital of Guatemala (Guatemala City) – less than 60 kms- makes it one of the main places to visit any short break. Roam around is to walk through the history of the whole country.

This was the third settlement of the capital after two previous attempts failed due to war and natural disasters. Nature also charges a high price for allowing men inhabit these areas, and, in July 1773, a monstrous earthquake reduced most of Antigua to rubble. Numerous aftershocks made the city were practically abandoned and disaster leaves a scar that still present today.

Our first visit was to a church that is well preserved, the one dedicated to San Pedro de Betancur, a canary Franciscan who dedicated his life to the indigenous and poor in Santiago de los Caballeros in the mid-seventeenth century. Pedro died in the city and has its Shrine of Santo Hermano Pedro, in the Temple of San Francisco. A large number of faithful lined up to pray before the tomb and bought a few, in a small kiosk stationed outside, some wax figures representing different parts of the human body. The belief is that if you pray and hang the part of your body you want to heal on the side of the grave, you’ll recover. I, just in case, I bought a figurine-shaped leg and went to pray a few minutes. Who knows, I am not a believer, but the fact is that a month later he had new options to the problem in my right leg dragged for over 12 years.

Next we visited the ruins of the Convent of Santa Clara, located on the 6th Street and 2nd Avenue South east, built in the early eighteenth and destroyed by the earthquake less than 60 years later. The main cloister of the convent is surrounded by arches on two levels. Downstairs the sacristy, the dining room, the kitchen, infirmary and other units was. It is also a source of carved stone.
The facade of the temple is located inside the convent, without overlooking the street, it was closing as the nuns never went abroad.

That facade is one of the most beautiful colonial cities as it has modeled stucco decorations, ornamentation with figures of archangels and carved pilasters. Admission costs 40 GTQ for foreigners but remains one of the most visited by tourists and where various social events and cultural festivities are held locations.

We left a little aside the religious issue-something really complicated in a city full of convents and churches and we passed the Plaza Mayor (Central Park). Very typical construction in the former Spanish colonial cities, the square is surrounded by the forces of the place: civil, religious and military. The Parish of San José Cathedral and the stately town hall surround a square bustled with life among trees and fountains.

A live music group had gathered around him nearly a hundred people. Indian melodies played while many touristy white skins like milk filming them on their mobile phones and camcorders. The owner of the ice cream cart, stationed next to them, rubbing his hands waiting for him to finish the show and the attention paid attention to his small, colorful car.

Courting couples strolled hand in hand, groups of Guatemalan friends chatting on benches and many tourists walked with their eyes focused on the surrounding buildings.

Leave the square by the end in which a comic entertaining a crowd numbers based acrobatics and good jokes demanding quick thinking. We are entering the most emblematic streets of La Antigua Street Arco de Santa Catalina. According to which side of the seventeenth century -from arch Situes you, you can see in the background the famous Water volcano 3760 meters above sea-from the church or the convent of Santa Catalina.

On the sides, souvenir shops, jade, crafts and bars populate the busiest street of La Antigua. There are also many indigenous descent hawkers trying to get the daily wage by selling different types of tissues, necklaces, bracelets, flutes, drums and much more.

When night overtook us, our guide and friend, the great Willy, born in La Antigua-Posadas took the alternative bar he owns: Los Encuentros. A highly recommended place to produce their own varieties of beer, perform cultural activities every day and you will be able to take your food or drink sitting in bus seats torn from scrapped. The back of one of these typical “chicken buses” (the old American and Canadian school buses are donated to Guatemala) presides over a small stage where performances take place.

Original decoration for a special place located at the 1st Avenue South 4 which houses a number of alternative local court.

We finished the day at another place full of foreigners in the Australian, with a few glasses of boys was hoarse on stage playing, pretty decent shape, several contemporary hits in the language of perfidious Albion.

Antigua is a city that offers everything: culture, history, Spanish courses, great shopping and great nightlife. One of the main visit, not only in Guatemala but in all of Central places.

The edge of the Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

devils-pool-victoria-fallWandering vagabondn – water catchment intended – I saw this article showing video and photos rating peeking limit Pond Diablo, a small pond where the water is directed with little force to the sharp drop forming Victoria Falls, in the the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

According to said article, the last rock that serves as a springboard for water from the Zambezi River is relatively safe and provides the ability to take incredible pictures. Must be one of those things that adrenaline rush uncontrollably and that adventurer should have on your list of “things to do before you die”. I have listed and did not know that was allowed. When I was in Iguacu, I remember watching from the walkway on the Argentine side that took you to the Garganta del Diablo and the Parana River looked forward to his gentle vertical drop. The depth was scarce, and thought, “could stand down there and even get on that rock just above the drop. I do not think I would fall and it would be indescribable feeling.”

In Victoria that before the waterfall area is suitable for swimming. Of course, any slip careful when you’re near the edge! Here’s the video for you between healthy envy …

A Rough Trip to Zimbabwe

victoria-fallsLike most people know, the name Zimbabwe derives from very famous ruins that exist in the African country.

A few years ago, four friends decided to visit Zimbabwe, on our own, and not through any travel agent that all scheduled thus getting rid of a number of discomforts, dangers and scares. But also rid you of the excitement, uncertainty and improvisation that involve the whole adventure of discovering oneself and the freedom to create your own program. We agreed that we would visit the Hwange Park, Victoria Falls, a Bushman settlement, Lake Kariba, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and many other places whose names do not come at this time in my memory.

The flight from Madrid to Harare conducted without any mishap, and even admirable punctuality. We left the airport. Lucia sunshine. As soon as we started to sweat excessively splendid.

Firmly believe that time is money, we went into action immediately going straight to take a taxi. The driver who was responsible would walk for fifty years, and was so little physically graceful Antonio, pessimistic and gloomy group, said no more get on the vehicle we wanted to take us to Harare hotel where we had booked two rooms.

-I do not know. I have a bad feeling. This good man is much Frankenstein seems.

Logically, we laugh at their fears. However, halfway punctured two wheels at a time and not a miracle we crashed into a tree. There, sitting in the gutter, we had to wait over an hour to bring a spare tire, since the spare wheel had already changed one of the damaged driver that so little favored by nature.

Overnight we stay at a hotel in Harare and the next morning we went straight to catch a plane that was to take us to the small airport Hwange Park. Antonio saw a dead snake on the ground and had to force him to go to his plane because he’s superstitious, became obsessed with that misfortune would occur. During the flight he broke down one of the motors of electric and spent much fear, but eventually landed safely.

‘What I said? The tragedy haunts us’ she said Antonio believes his gloomy forebodings were right to be.

The knot that fear had put us all in the throat, did not allow us to respond with some opportunist joke.

We retrieved our luggage with some trembling legs -for the brave tremble too, though little of it-talk and went to a rent-a-car where we rented a minibus with driver included. The driver was a super nice young man who I think only knew the English language the word yes, then used it for everything. Half of his face was occupied ebony a smile -the rest of her features were nothing relevant-. I regret not remember his name, because as far as we struggled to pronounce it must be rare. It was a very nervous guy and started the vehicle when Antonio had not finished climbing causing a good shot in the right leg, the best he had to play football was given.

I do not know what kind of path he took the nickname Smiles – affectionate put him right away- but the truth is that there were more potholes than road and all found a decrease several centimeters due to shaking and shock we took our heads against the vehicle roof. And what happened in big smiles laughing all the time.

And finally, more giddy than the drum of a washing machine, we Hwange Park.
And we were amazed by variety of wild animals found there! We took pictures and filmed nonstop until the smiles got too close to the head, possibly male elephant am so cocky and aggressive that showing – which made us furious, pushed the nose of our stubborn road and he flipped us no miracle. We got a fright in the body!

We’ll see if we returned alive Antonio, increasingly gloomy house said.

-If you die just you, you buy the largest cog we find Fernando said the horniest of four.

We endorse and I -Mark

– You will be envy of all who see spend your coffin, Antonio.

-Just we hired another company with the same minibus driver, thanks to Antonio had learned to say:

Shit, something terrible is going to happen, you’ll see.
The smiles, seeing that we laughed, not to repeat this phrase until changed by another angry statement from our pessimistic:
– You want already shut, fuck!

Arriving at Victoria Falls overturned the vehicle and blows out apart from some well delivered. The smiling driver Antonio learned another word:
– Killer!

He could not learn words in Spanish, because we parted there.

Victoria Falls are an extraordinary sight. Greatness, DIN, admiration, wonder! There he bought an old wooden drum Methuselah and goatskin.

We entered the hotel and were punished touching. We got a room with two beds, claiming they had no more. The beds we played and lost to Chinese Antonio and I, who had to settle with sofa and a folding chair. We were so tired that we fell asleep instantly. The next morning, Antonio and I had a stiff neck could only see what was happening on our right side, it was to where we had been twisted neck.

I’ll start cutting this narrative that is poised to become a travel novel.

We rented a zodiac with driver, with the intention, through the Kariba lake, arriving at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge. The boat broke down half way and stayed there almost two hours at anchor waiting to come and rescue us.

While we waited for help, our friend Antonio pessimistic on three sheets of paper made a will and we gave one to each of us. In the will he left our friend Fernando its valuable collection of stamps, Mark your old 600, because this would pirran antique cars; Anita, his wife, all his property, and me a mountain bike.
– Let him come out alive, I will take you to my widow.

Excited and moved, thanked him for his generosity.

Today, Antonio retains its valuable collection of stamps, the old 600, also mountain biking and half of its properties, which is what his wife left him after divorcing him.

The 3 Months Trip to the Middle East

When last year ended up touring South India and Sri Lanka, it was not my first choice as a journey of several weeks. Actually my Plan A was the Middle East and that is what, delayed a year, I am doing now.

The route originally raised me has been open to change, with a party that knew more or less safe and already done, another part that was challenged by political tensions in the area, (that make some governments suspicious of anyone who approaches its border without being part of an organized tour) and a part that is still open. What is certain is that since the June I’ve been doing a tour of Egypt and, after traveling from Alexandria to Abu Simbel, I abandoned the Sinai into Jordan. After visiting the main attractions of the Hashemite Kingdom began the first part which was doubt Syria and beyond.

To enter Syria are two requirements beforehand: not having visited or plan to visit Israel and ask in advance for a visa at the Syrian Embassy in the country of residence.

The visa issue is complicated. As a Spanish citizen should have the visa processed the Syrian Embassy in Madrid, as Quique did. But as resident in Ireland, you should contact the embassy in that country … but there is none. Therefore, and because I refused to send the passport by mail to London or Madrid what I’ve done is ask for a residence certificate at the Embassy of Spain in Dublin. Armed with this document (in English), a good dose of patience accompanied by a smile and face not hurt a fly in my life, I stood on the border between Jordan and Syria and 28 USD and a while later entered Syria.

Of course, there were scrambled from all corners of the Internet and found information that warranted such a possibility. Although there is no 100% guarantee of success, it seems that the situation is resolved favorably and even had an alternative plan: request a transit visa valid for 72 hours, and cross to Lebanon. After a few days there, back into Syria but bordering the Mediterranean country no trouble getting a visa on the spot.

Having managed to survive all this, I did a quick and sleepless transit through southeastern Turkey (at half past seven crossing the southwest border near Antaquia and within twenty-four hours later he left for Silopi, in southeastern) . This morning I entered Iraq (for the Turks) or Kurdistan (the Kurds), and here I will stay ten days or so.

As flights to Europe until August 21, I’m considering other destinations such as Lebanon or Georgia, before returning to Spain. Belatedly, but now I’ll tell you the best options for traveling around this unique area of the world, now I’m going out to dinner to see who offers me the Kurdish cuisine !.