i) Dictionary, 2018). Tour Operators are companies that

The customer approaches a Travel Agent for a
holiday. The Travel Agent plans, organises, advises, and books most or all
components of the holiday, using exclusive deals provided by Wholesalers, Tour
Operators, and Ticket Consolidators. Wholesalers sell products directly to
Travel Agents, and do not sell to the public. They work in conjunction with
Hotel Group Reservations and Destination Management Companies. Hotel Group
Reservations are responsible for booking large groups of people at Hotels at a discounted
rate, and often specialise specifically in booking large-scale tours through
companies such as TopDeck. A Destination Management Company specialise in
managing tourism within a certain region and ‘handle
arrangements for tours, meetings, transportation, and so forth, for groups
originating elsewhere’ (Travel Industry Dictionary, 2018). Tour
Operators are companies that ‘assemble the various elements of a tour’ (Travel
Industry Dictionary, 2018) – such as activities and travel – and sell this as a
package to Travel Agents. They have a sub-branch known as Local Tour Operators,
who specialise in the same area but are responsible for hosting these packages
in a specific destination. Local Tour Operators then employ Tour Guides to run
the packages organised. Ticket Consolidators work in conjunction with airlines by purchasing tickets ‘directly from the airlines at
specially negotiated rates’ (Independent Traveller, 2017) and selling
them to the Travel Agent.  

If a customer were to book a holiday themselves,
it effectively cuts every person but the customer out of the stakeholder
diagram and leaves them entirely alone. The customer is then left to book every
part of their holiday themselves. It is their sole responsibility to book
flights, visas, transfers, accommodation, insurance, and activities. If an
issue arises with any of these aspects, the customer must then organise a
solution without the aid of a travel agent. Imagine the customer booked two
individual flights with separate companies in order to reach an international
destination. Their first flight is delayed by five hours, and as a result they
miss their connecting flight to their destination. Already stressed, they now
have to call the airline to organise a replacement ticket. This could take
hours due to airlines having quite a high-traffic phone line. In this
situation, instead of panicking at the beginning of their holiday about flight
changes and fees associated, they could make one simple phone call to their
travel agent, who will then organise the entire thing for them and issue them a
new ticket.

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what you’re looking for in this cruise, I would immediately recommend P. However,
I want to show you why I have recommended them over their competitor, Princess
Cruises. The Princess Cruises’ closest match to what you’re searching for is a
10-day trip strictly limited to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The alternative with
P that is within your allocated budget is the 12-night ‘Fiji Adventure’,
which stops at Fiji, Vanuatu, and New
Caledonia. Your wife and yourself will head off onto the seas aboard the
Pacific Aria, which was recently refurbished in 2015, so you’ll find it’s quite
luxurious and new. Due to the cruise companies constantly evolving to meet
customer demand, there have been a lot of new inclusions since you last
travelled. The Pacific Aria had a range of ‘new activities added in 2014’
(Ironside, R. 2016.), and the standard ‘buffet’ style eating has been replaced
with the pantry; eight separate eateries ranging from ‘Indian curries and Mexican cuisines to regular fish and
chips, fresh sandwiches and delicious cakes’ (Cumming, G. 2016). The
Pacific Aria is also home to Salt Grill, owned by celebrity chef Luke Mangan,
so you can both experience that touch of fine dining crossed with star-awe. Attend
the cruise at a time when there are no school holidays to avoid large groups of
children. Otherwise there’s the famous Kid’s Club and designated children’s
areas to keep them occupied and out of your hair. If this isn’t enough, join
your wife in the relaxing spa, or catch one of four evening shows. The Oasis is
an adults-only pool, where you’ll find your hanging cabanas and an endless
supply of cocktails, thanks to your included drinks package. Or, if you want to
get away from it all, escape to your own
balcony. The standard balcony cabin is quite comfortable, and comes with a
pleasant price tag of $9,566.08 for two people – this includes a $720
per person extras package, which provides you with the drinks package and $300
on-board spending credit. If you’re wanting to splurge, upgrade to the suite.
You’ll still get that great balcony, but the suite is that touch more
luxurious, with a sitting area and priority embarking. This cabin does exceed
your budget, at $12,738.08 for two people, including the extras package. I
believe you’ll be more than comfortable in the balcony cabin, but this is your holiday.







Hi Jon! So glad
to hear you’re chasing all that Europe has to offer. And in the Summer, too!

I compared both
TopDeck and Contiki for this tour, as they both have extensive European
itineraries. I personally recommend TopDeck over Contiki. Contiki is notoriously
known for its party tours as it is generally aimed at a younger target market.
TopDeck is a lot slower in pace and leaves ample amount of spare time in each
location, so you will be able to embark on your own adventures to better
experience the area. I recommend the 14-day ‘Venetian Trail’ tour, which
accommodates your needs every night
with 13-nights spend in 3-star hotels.

I imagine at 30 you’re
wanting to see as much as you can. You will experience envy-worthy bucket list
activities on this tour, such as a relaxing Gondola Ride through the canals of
Venice. See Lake Bled for yourself; a beautiful lake surrounded by woodlands, with
a medieval-style castle perched upon an island in the centre. The Berlin
driving tour will get you up close to what remains of the Berlin Wall. Join the
hundreds of thousands who commute via bike in Amsterdam and join a riding bike
tour of the city. The itinerary for this trip begins in Venice and ends in
London, so I recommend we book flights with at least two days either side to
explore those cities. So, visit infamous locations including the Sistine
Chapel, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace while you’re there. Nearly all of these
activities feature on European bucket lists, so it’s a great way to really
experience as much as possible in a limited amount of time.

TopDeck is a
company that practices responsible tourism, which is ‘minimising the negative
environmental, economical, and social impact’ that a person or group has on a
destination (SustainableTourism.net, 2014). The idea is to leave a certain
destination better than how you found it, and focuses predominantly on how the
locals are affected. TopDeck demonstrates responsible tourism in a variety of
ways, such as encouraging passengers to respect local religions, and ‘observing
and respecting local customs and etiquette’ (Intrepid Travel, 2018).

Let me know what
you think of this itinerary and get back to me. Look forward to hearing from