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The Blurring Line Between Travel Agency and Tour Operator

Travel Agency Vs Tour Operator

Today it’s fair to say that the difference between travel agency and tour operator is blurred. Travel agents sell lots of different holiday packages that have been put together by various tour operators. They do not design their own package and therefore do not act as a Principal or have an ATOL licence or Bonding in place.

Customer Service

If you’re a tour operator, customer service is an essential aspect of your business. Whether you’re providing your customers with support through phone, email or social media, it’s important to be attentive and respond to their concerns promptly. You can also use customer feedback to develop and improve your products and services.

In addition to preparing tour budgets for their clients, tour operators are also able to recommend accommodations and attractions that meet their customers’ preferred price range. They also research different travel options and advise their clients about the best way to spend their money on their tours. Lastly, they can often get better rates for plane fares and other travel-related expenses because of their relationships with other providers. They may even be able to offer financial protection under the New Package Travel Directive. However, this is only possible if they are members of a Trusted Travel Agent scheme. Then, they will be able to provide complete financial track and trace on their bookings.


If you’re thinking of starting a travel agency, there are many costs associated with it. Some of these include travel agency software, marketing and office space. Some of these costs can be expensive, but they’re necessary to launch a successful travel business.

A tour operator creates packages that they sell directly to consumers or through a travel agent. A travel agent, on the other hand, buys elements of holiday packages from a number of tour operators and combines them into pre-made packages that they sell to consumers.

Often, it’s not clear who is responsible for what in the industry, and people often question travel agents about things that are actually the responsibility of the tour operator. It is best to always use a travel agent that is PTS (Protected Trust Services) protected and offers full financial track and trace on all holiday bookings you make. It also means they will have a great relationship with a wide range of tour operators to get you the best possible deals.


Often, travel agents can provide you with more flexibility than tour operators. This is because they will be able to offer you different price options based on the number of services and activities included in your package.

A tour operator will create their own packages from the products of different suppliers and sell these packages directly to consumers or through a travel agent. They will then arrange with airlines and hotel providers for specific accommodation and flights to be included in the package.

Research has shown that customers want flexible booking and cancelation policies. This is even more true during times of uncertainty, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a good idea for tour businesses to consider offering flexible booking and cancellation policies to make it easier for travellers to book with them during these uncertain times. This can be a win-win situation for both the tour business and the customer. It is also a great way to unlock all that revenge travel pent-up demand!


It’s not unusual for travel agencies to be asked questions about things that are actually the responsibility of a tour operator. While both businesses have a role to play in the travel industry, it’s important to understand their differences. This will help you better communicate with service providers and make your business run more efficiently.

A tour operator will buy the various components of your holiday from several sources and then combine them to create a package. Then they’ll put their own price tag on the package and sell it to both consumers and travel agents.

While a tour operator has the potential to earn more money from their packages, they also have to worry about the quality of their services. This is why they tend to focus on one or more countries and specialise in specific types of holidays. Travel agents, on the other hand, have a wide range of packages to choose from and may be able to provide you with an itinerary that suits your needs.

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