A tour operator usually combines tour and travel components to create a holiday. The most common example of a tour operator's product would be a flight on a charter airline plus a transfer from the airport to a hotel and the services of a local representative, all for one price. There are different types of tour operators, such as:
Thomas Cook and Thomson are well known mass market tour operations. They are companies that put together package holidays to suit the customer. They arrange transport accommodation, Activities and any extra services that might be needed. A mass market tour operator knows which are the most affordable routes and modes of transport, where tourists get most of the adventure and what services can be offered for free. A mass market tour operator must understand operations of related companies and how they compliment or conflict. For example customers can book online or they can go to a travel agent. Tour operations are in the private sector and they attract inbound and outbound tourism.
Specialist operators are more expensive than Mass market and less known but they are a lot more flexible for customers. They put together packages with a combination of accommodation, travel and sometimes transfers. A specialist operator is more flexible for the customer to be able to do what they want to do, they specialize towards the tourists interests for example ski holidays etc. Cox and Kings are an example of a specialist operator and they are in the private sector. They also attract inbound and outbound tourism.