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Itinerary Planning

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Mindmap.pngConcept Map

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Archerytarget.pngObjectives

This OER enables you to

  • Define the term itinerary
  • Collect information required for the itinerary
  • Identify the priorities and requirements of the customer
  • Use the resources for detailing the itinerary
  • Plan the itinerary
  • Calculate the tour cost

Writing.pngIntroduction

A tourist is very upset because on reaching Agra he found that the TajMahal was closed on that particular day. He had his flight booked for visiting Khajurahoon the next day and he would be missing the world famous attraction for which he had actually come to Agra. It seems that his agent had not planned his itinerary properly.

Definition

Let us first know the meaning of the term itinerary planning. Roday, Biwal, Joshi ,(2009) have defined itinerary planning as the linking of all the journey points of the traveler’s journey, i.e. from the origin point, and in between stopping points for sightseeing at the destination and back to the point of origin. This is not always the case as sometimes the tourist may not come back to the point of origin.

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  • • Itinerary planning is one of the major functions of any travel agency.
  • • The travel agencies sell readymade package tours to their clients or may design customized itineraries as per the requirement of the client.
  • • Itinerary planning has to be done carefully as many details need to be considered like sightseeing, time taken, meals, weather, monument information, the timings of the monuments and its closure.

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Resources for planning the Itinerary

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Planning the itinerary

Once you get all the information from your client/tourist the next job is to plan the itinerary as per the client’s requirement.

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Tour Itinerary:

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Costing of Tour:

The next important thing after planning the itinerary is to calculate the tour cost for the itinerary planned. The following costs need to included while calculating the tour cost:

  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Entrance fees
  • Miscellaneous fees
  • Mark up

Let us see each one in detail:


Hotel:

As a travel agent you should be aware of the various types of hotels available at the destination and keep yourself updated of the different category of hotels, types of rooms, tariff plans, extra bed rate, taxes, meals, etc. The tariff plans differ as per the season at most of the tourist destinations i.e. regular, season, off-season, and week-end tariff. Many hotels give a special discount to corporate as well as large groups depending on the size of the group. Example: For the group of 12 students of SYDTT, dormitory accommodation was provided at Hotel Tourist Home @ 175/- per student for a single day. The staff was also charged the same rate.

Meals:

Many hotels include different meals in the tariff. There are different plans included in the tariff as below:

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The tourist can also have his/her meals as per the ‘a la carte’ menu and can pay for their own meals. Example: Here, since the students paid for their own food as per the ‘a la carte menu’, the meals are not to be included in the tour cost.

Transportation

While doing the costing of the transportation you have to consider the various modes of travel undertaken by the tourist like airways, railways, and the ground transport asas the cost varies depending on the type of vehicle used. Example: For the 12 students + 2 staff members accompanying them for the Aurangabad tour, a 17 seater vehicle was booked. The students were told to get the best rates for a vehicle in good condition. The rate of the vehicle was Rs.14.00 per km. Since the itinerary was planned for 3 days the vehicle was finalized at the cost of 14.00/km with an average of 300 kmper day. So the total cost of the vehicle was Rs.12600/- for 3 days. (14.00 x 900 km = Rs.12600/-)

Local Guide/Escort

English speaking and foreign language licensed guides are provided by the India Tourism offices of the Ministry of Tourism. Authorized local guides are also available at most of the tourist attractions. As a travel agent you should have the list of the approved tourist guides available along with other contact details. The guides are available for Half day, Full day, night halt, and outstation charges as applicable by the rate decided by Ministry of tourism. Thus, the travel agent while doing the tour cost needs to include the guide charges as well. Escorts are normally provided by the tour operator for the group tours. To find out the per person cost of the guide, the total guide charges needs to be divided by the number of people travelling.
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Daulatabad Fort


Example:

Since Aurangabad is a historical place, the services of a guide are essential as it will be of no use if the attractions are seen without a guide. The tourist office at Aurangabad was checked for the availability of guide. A guide was provided for 2 days at an amount of Rs.3150/- + Rs.500/- (for outstation charges as Ajanta caves are outside the city i.e.103 km and takes 2 ½ hours drive one way.) Total =3650/-
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Chandminar at Daulatabad Ford

Miscellaneous

will include if cultural shows or any other types of entertainment are provided by the travel agent. Other charges such as porterage, or taxes such as airport taxes, toll taxes, entrance fees at tourist attractions, can be given as a supplement to the tourist or included in the tour cost. Example: From Pune to Aurangabad and back to Pune, thereare 6 toll booths and taxes were calculated by the students for 17 seater vehicle which came to Rs.288 one way. The entrance fees at the tourist attractions were:

  1. Amenities charges at Ajanta caves: Rs.140/- (Rs. 10/- per person)
  2. Eco-friendly, non a/c bus: Rs.140/- (Rs.10/- per person)
  3. Entrance fees at AjantaCaves: Rs.140/- (Rs.10/- per person)
  4. Return Eco-friendly non a/c bus: Rs.140/- (Rs.10/- per person)
  5. Entrance fees at Daultabad Fort: Rs.140/- (Rs.10/- per person)
  6. Entrance fees at ElloraCaves: Rs.140/-(Rs.10/- per person)
  7. Entrance fees at Bibi-ka-Maqbara:Rs. 70/- (Rs.05/- per person)
  8. Entrace fees at Panchakki: Rs.70/-(Rs.05/- per person)

Total entrance and other fees were: Rs.980/- for the group and Total toll taxes were Rs.576/- (Rs.288 x 2)

Mark up:

Lastly the mark up which is one of the main sources of income of the travel agency has to be added to the per person cost of the tour to get the final tour cost. Apart from the commission earned from the hotel and other transport services the travel agencies charge some amount as mark up or service charges as they have to meet the expenses of running the travel agency. The amount charged as mark up varies from one travel agency to another.

Example:

Here the students had contacted and booked the hotel and the transporter with the help of concerned faculty and thus Mark up was not included as it was not done through a travel agent.

Calculation of Tour Cost

Item Details Total cost
1) Hotel Rs.175/- x 2 nights x 14 pax Rs.4900/-
2) Transportation 14.00 x 900 km Rs.12600/-
3) Guide Rs.3650/-
4) Entrance and other fees Rs.980/-
5) Toll taxes Rs.576/-
Total Tour Cost Rs.22706/-

To find out the per person cost of the tour you have to divide the total tour cost by the total number of people travelling for the tour. So here, Rs.22706 if divided by 14 people (12 students and 2 faculty), the per person cost comes to Rs.1621.85/- You have to round this figure to Rs.1622/- per person. In case of travel agencies the rounding can be done as Rs.1630/- per person. While giving the final tour cost to your client, you have to give the items included in the tour cost and what is not included in the tour cost.

So, the final tour cost for Aurangabad tour is Rs.1622/- per student.

Tour cost includes:

  • Dormitory accommodation.
  • Transportation by 17 seater non a/c vehicle.
  • Guide charges
  • Entrances at sightseeing places
  • Toll taxes

Tour cost does not include

  • Any meals
  • Parking
  • Porterage, etc.

Tools.gifActivity

Go through some of the OERs from NIOS wiki for further inputs

Giftbox.pngSummary

Itinerary planning is one of the important functions of a travel agency and requires detailed and careful planning. The travel agent should have knowledge of the basic requirements of tourist and facilities available at the destination before planning the tour itinerary. Tariffs and facilities are constantly changing and current information is necessary if the tour is to be successful. Itineraries are sold as ready made package tour or they may be customized according to the client’s requirements.Costing of the itinerary is an essential component of itinerary planning.

Inkpot.png Assignments

Plan a week-end tour to a hill station/tourist spot in your vicinity for your family. Refer to the suggested resources from the internet or any other sources and mention the accommodation, transportation required, attractions at the destination and calculate the approximate tour cost.