This sample essay on Long Haul Package Holidays provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Package holidays have developed over time, these package holidays have grown with the increasing need of tourists. Package holidays include accommodation, transport and catering.
After World War II in 1949, there was an appearance of the first jet airline. Entrepreneurs realised that there was a need for planes to transport passengers; this saw old military planes being transformed into charter flights.
One of the first entrepreneurs was Vladimir Raitz, who in 1949 set up his own travel company called Horizon Holidays. He used a DC3 to carry thirty-two passengers to Corsica; this was the first package holiday, however, airfares were expensive, which meant that people continued to travel by steamship. Horizon Holidays in the meantime continued to grow by offering charter flights to Palma, Malaga and Tangiers. It was only in 1952 that airlines introduced the first tourist fares and in 1958 the first economy fares were offered.
During the 1960’s there was a growth in the amount of people who were travelling. People were able to afford holidays and employers offered paid holiday leave. It was during this time that more people became involved in the travel and tourism industry, and it became harder for tour operators to make a profit. As tourists began to book holidays, both the hoteliers and the airlines began to demand money in advance.
On the other hand, to attract more customers, more money was spent on brochures and publicity. This forced tour operators to turn to banks for loans to cover the time between holidays being planned and sold. Bigger tour operators were able to convince hoteliers to build ski scrappers to accommodate more people, it was at this time that tour operators realised that aircrafts had to be improved and safety records had to be increased in order to attract more customers and overcome their fear of flying.
During the 1970’s more and more people were comfortable with flying, which saw the Transport Licensing Board receive more applications for route licences to transport their customers. It was in 1974 that there was a recession, which saw the price of oil double; the result of this was in the short term some countries saw a decrease in their visitor arrival figures but in the long run there was a rise in the number of inclusive tours sold. This was a shift, away from hotels to cheaper self-catering accommodation.
In the 1980’s there was a rise in exchange controls, which allowed tourists to travel for as long as they wanted without running out of money. Employers continued to give their employees paid holiday leave, which led to the expansion of winter sun and winter ski markets. There was also a growth in the city breaks market and long paid holidays and cheap airfares led to an increase in long haul package holidays.
In the 1990’s tourists had become more aware of package holidays and what was included, therefore they were expecting more e.g. quality hotels. People were also more conscious of environmental issues e.g. in May 2002; the Balearic Islands introduced a Euro per day eco-tax. There has also been an increase in eco-packages for tourists (World Tourism Association). Smaller specialist tour operators have found it difficult to compete with the bigger countries that offer cheaper prices.
Long haul destinations are destinations that are more than five hours travelling time from the UK. Originally long haul holidays were considered a luxury, as it was expensive and time consuming to get to the destination and at this stage only wealthy tourists were able to experience long haul holidays. Over time, charter operators began to introduce scheduled flights on long haul routes and they used large modern aircrafts, which were capable of flying long distances without re-fuelling. With an introduction to these charter routes, they were able to offer cheaper airfares, which contributed to the growth of long haul holiday destinations. There was also a growth in self-catering resorts at the long haul holiday destinations.
As tourists are prepared to sit on longer flights and in some cases transfer flights, they are reaching out to different long haul destinations. Three key long haul destination holidays are:
* North America (USA and Canada)
* Australasia (Australia and New Zealand)
* Caribbean (Jamaica, St. Lucia and Barbados)
They all have proved to be very popular with the British tourists. Kenya is another leading destination that offers safaris, beach holidays or a combination of both to tourists.
Technological Innovations in the Travel and Tourism Industry:
In the travel and tourism industry between the 1950’s and today, there have been a number of technological developments. The two main areas involved are: transport technology and communication and information technology.
Through improvements, transport technology has revolutionised passenger travel. Today a large number of passengers are transported by aircrafts, ships and trains quickly, safely and cost effectively. Technological advances and aircraft design, after World
War II has seen air travel become a mass-market. The potential for air travel through the development of the jet engine meant that travel was fast, comfortable and affordable. It saw the joining of the tour operator and inclusive tour/package holiday become one e.g. Thomson Holidays Ltd offer combined transport accommodation, meals and resort services as one.
The Boeing 707 jet airline service was first introduced in 1958 and has seen many improvements up to now, which has resulted in improved transport and has opened the market to foreign holidays. The foreign market was opened as these planes/aircrafts could carry more passengers quickly and cost effectively over longer distances. Other transport technology includes rail and ferries e.g. Eurostar, P&O Ferries, Hover Speed and Brittany Ferries. They have all improved their services and lowered their prices. Smaller airline companies, such as; Ryan Air, Easy Jet and Go offer low price tickets in order to retain a market share.
Communications and information technology has allowed major airlines to use computers as soon as soon as they became commercially available in the 1960’s, to try and automate reservation operations. The British Overseas Airways Co-operation (BOAC) took the first step towards computerisation and they developed the Electronic Reservation System (ERS). IBM and Sperry Univac were working with emerging database software to try and improve on the Passenger Airline Reservation System- (PARS). Later, IBM developed the International Passenger Airlines Reservation System (IPARS) to accommodate the growth of international air travel. Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) revolutionised airline tickets, package holidays, hotel accommodation and other travel and tourism products.
GDS were developed from individual airline reservations, which have merged/amalgamated into four major global reservation systems; they are, Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus and World Span. This has allowed co-operations such as, Thomson Holidays Ltd to operate throughout the world and develop partnerships with agencies and tour operators. The CRS have given airlines an advantage as it allows travel agents to use reservation terminals to book seats, which means there is an increase in seat sales for the airlines and a reduction in the operating expenses. On the other hand, travel agents have a competitive advantage, as it is quicker and cheaper to make an airline reservation by a computer terminal than by telephone.
The development of the Internet and interactive digital television, has allowed consumers to make their own travel purchases, because of this many airlines, tour operators and travel agents now have on-line bookings.
Changes in Socio-Economic Circumstances:
Since World War II there have been many factors, which have contributed to the growth of the travel and tourism industry. They are:
An increase in the time available for travel activities- legislation dictates that employees are entitled to a paid holiday once a year. In 1951 sixty-six per cent of manual workers were allowed two weeks paid holiday leave, by 1970 fifty-two per cent of workers had three or more weeks paid holiday leave and by the 1990’s holiday entitlement had risen to four or five weeks per year. The entitlement of paid holiday leave has helped the UK travel and tourism industry to grow, as consumers now take short holiday breaks in addition to their main holiday. In the 1950’s the average working week was fifty hours but now typical hours range from thirty-seven to forty hours per week. This allows workers more flexibility in their jobs and working hours.
Increase in disposable income- disposable income is the money that the average person has left over once all the bills are paid. In the UK disposable income has risen, which has led to an increase in consumer spending on holidays and in the travel and tourism industry. The state of the economy affects the amount of disposable income that consumers have, in the 1980’s there was an economic boom in the UK, which led to a demand for overseas travel but the early 1990’s saw a recession in the UK, which led to a decrease in demand for tourism products. The column graph below shows the increase in disposable income in the UK:
Source: Social Trends 31
Improved transport systems and mobility- the UK has a wide and varied transport network, which means that most people have access to some form of transport. This transport network has made travel and tourism facilities more accessible. Car ownership is responsible for the increase in tourism as it is a means of transport for domestic holidays in the UK. The Channel Tunnel has led to an increase in car holidays abroad and the improvement in road networks has allowed access to countryside leisure activities. The column graph below shows the increase in car ownership per household in the UK:
Source: Social Trends 30
Changing Needs, Expectations and Fashions:
Overtime the travel and tourism industry has gone through many changes, these changes have been dictated by changing customer needs, expectations and the changing fashions.
Throughout the ages there has been an improvement in technology e.g. aircrafts have become faster and quicker, this has led to customers changing their holiday destinations from local places to exotic locations. In the 1960’s, UK residents tended to have short holiday breaks, mainly at the seaside and holiday centres at this stage were very popular as they catered for all tourists needs e.g. accommodation, catering and leisure activities.
As aircraft technology made air travel accessible and affordable for tourists, they started taking holiday breaks abroad and for longer periods of time. Tourists started expecting affordable holidays to destinations such as, Spain and Portugal, which led to the introduction of package holidays. As tourists travelled more often to short haul destinations, they started to develop a desire to explore further a field, which has led to increased long haul holidays. Tourists’ expectations of air travel and their desire to travel further in the quickest time has led to the improvements in aircrafts and the introduction of planes, such as the Concorde.
Once tourists have reached their chosen holiday destination, they expect all their needs to be fulfilled. Different needs by tourists has led to different holiday packages being introduced e.g. full board, half board, bed and breakfast, self-catering etc. Tourists expect the place they are staying at to provide adequate accommodation (price paid is in line with board offered), the food provided is what tourists would like to eat and the activities offered encourage leisure and recreation.