Unit 2 Travel and Tourism Entrepreneurs
(a) Select a successful travel and tourism entrepreneur and analyse his or her business development strategy and the entrepreneurial process
Thomas Cook was one of the most successful entrepreneur in the travel and tourism business. His travel agency Thomas Cook and Group has been successful ever since its incorporation. Thomas cook lived in a village in Melbourne, Derby shire. At a very early age he lost his father and started working as an assistant to a gardener in the local market. He then became a preacher and distributed brochures on Baptism. As a young lad, Cook always was enthusiastic about travelling to different destinations. He was passionate about this aspect and wanted to start something of his own. When he attended a meeting in the Temperance Society, the idea of providing exclusive tours came to his mind. With the development of Midland Counties Railway, he made a plan to take a group of people to Lough borough. He later on arranged a trip for a rail company who would charge one shilling per head. Since he had mediated between the rail company and the passengers, he got some share of the money. Subsequently, he planned many excursions for the temperance society, Sunday school children and other enthusiastic adults (Shepherd, 2009). This gave him the required confidence to start his own business. He then started his own business where he organized many tours and started taking a percentage he got from the railway tickets. He was a self-confident and self-reliant person with a drive to work hard and take risks. Gradually he took up many assignments. He arranged for accommodation for a group of people travelling from Leicester to Liverpool. He then took around 350 people from Leicester to have a tour of different places of Scotland. Since he did not have much commercial and financial knowledge, some assignments got him in debt. This did not let him down. His determination and will power mage him arrange trips for more than a lakh people to attend an exhibition at London. Cook was an enthusiastic learner ready to grab information helpful to him from the surroundings. He eventual planned a tour abroad from Leicester to Calais. Later on he started his ‘grand circular tours’ of Europe. Seeing his positive attitude and creativity, he started a business on his own along with his son and named it Thomas Cook and Son (Burns, 2001). His office contained all the accessories required for travel, guidebooks for travelers, footwear etc. the success of the company was such that they opened many branches around the world. Below is a poster of one of the tours organized by Cook.
(b) Evaluate the success of entrepreneur’s business organization.
People all around the world are very adventurous and a drive to explore more and more new places. Over the years, Thomas Cook has made the travel experience modern by understanding the needs of the customers and fulfilling their expectations. The main reason for the success of the business is the inattentiveness, trust and the importance given to the customers and their needs. Nearly 20 million people prefer to travel with Thomson Cook every year and the number is constantly increasing. Our strategy to provide our customers high class facility wherever, whenever and however they wish makes us connect with the customers more closely. They provide their customers with luxury, an aspect often looked forward to by people. From the start i.e. research on tourist destinations, bookings to the complete holiday is looked at carefully in Thomas Cook. Many of its service providers have unified with them so that the combined efforts increase the overall brand of Thomas Cook (Bell and Bryman 2003). Cooks operational model also has adaptations of the local market and integrated with various other tour operators. Our online websites and many call centres answer the queries of the customers. The package variety is vast and it covers different needs of different customers. Other services provided by them includes financial services related to travel such as currency exchange, processing the luggage at airport etc. From the beginning till now, because of commitment from the employees and hard work, the success of Thomas Cook has been high and it always maintains a place in the top 5 travel and tourism companies. The promotional strategies used by Thomas Cook are also very unique. They also give their customers promotional offers and best deals by which more number of customers are attracted to their services. Since everything is available at one place, i.e. travel, tour and accommodation, many people rely heavily on Thomas Cook.
The success of Thomas Cook is also because they give a personal approach to all their tours. They have personal interactions with their customers and make their travel moments even more special. A step wise approach is taken up for this. Initially they sent innovative and attractive mails to their customers to drive them to their package offers. With the advent of e commerce platform, the system was further improved. By this process, the company knew exactly the requirements of their customers, they send the links of those to them and this would increase the curiosity of the customers. Retargeting is another aspect on which Thomas Cook focuses on. When a customer aborts his booking midway, it is important to know the reason and Thomas cook does this by sending them a mail. Cell phones are also made use of and promotional messages are sent to the loyal customers. With large amount of data available on the website, Thomas Cook gets to know what the customer is looking at for their next destination. Therefore they provide the customers with all the necessary information. By this they increase the revenues.
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