When you are planning a vacation, you may be confused about the difference between Tour Operator and Travel Agent and how exactly their roles play in planning your vacation. In this article, we are going to help you to clear this confusion by highlighting the difference between travel agent and tour operative.
What is a Tour Operator
A tour operator is a person responsible for actual planning of the trip. He is the one who reserves the tickets, hotels, transportation, destinations and even meals. Sometimes they might even arrange a tour guide to guide you through your destination. So we can say that a tour operative offers a complete package. A tour operative is involved in your vacation right from the planning of your trip to the point you return home. He works for you throughout your holiday and he reaps the maximum benefit from your deal.
Some tour operators are specialized in certain areas i.e. specialized in a certain country. Other tour operators offer tours throughout the world. While some tour operators are involved in planning, arranging, advertising, selling and operating tours, some do not actively participate in selling. This is where the role of travel agents comes in.
What is a Travel Agent
The term agent, in travel agent, might give you a hint about the role played by travel agents. An agent is a person or a business authorized to act on other’s behalf. In this case, a travel agent is an intermediary between clients and tour operatives. He is actually involved in selling attractive tour packages to the clients and is good at matching tours and trips according to client’s needs and requirements. A travel agent can help you to choose the ideal package, based on your budget and preferred destinations.
However, with the availability of self-service in the internet, many people prefer to arrange their own tours and the number of available jobs as travel agents is slowly decreasing. However, there are still people who prefer to obtain the services of a travel agent to arrange their tour in order to save their time and efforts.
Difference Between Tour Operator and Travel Agent
The main difference between a tour operator and a travel agent is that tour operator is the person who is actually responsible for the planning of the trip/tour package while travel agent is the person who is involved in selling the tour package. Travel agents’ job is to help you select a package that suits the clients’ needs whereas tour operator plan your trip, arrange accommodation, transportation and look into the minute details of the job. Tour operators have more responsibility about your tour, as their job begins the minute you start preparing for the trip to the moment you return safely from the trip. In addition, nowadays many people prefer to work directly with the tour operators without the intervention of the travel agents.