Understanding the travel trade

Do you want to access new export markets? Do you want to ensure your tourism business is packaged and sold effectively? Do you want to maximise your marketing budget and broaden your customer base? Start by building a clear understanding of the travel trade…

Intermediaries such as tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and online retailers play a significant role in attracting international visitors to Britain. The travel trade can help open up new markets, attract more visitors to your destination and encourage them to spend more time exploring what you have to offer.

Do you want to access new export markets? Do you want to ensure your tourism business is packaged and sold effectively? Do you want to maximise your marketing budget and broaden your customer base? Start by building a clear understanding of the travel trade…

Intermediaries such as tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and online retailers play a significant role in attracting international visitors to Britain. The travel trade can help open up new markets, attract more visitors to your destination and encourage them to spend more time exploring what you have to offer.

Connecting with key influencers

 

TXGB - block colour graphic representing TXGB

 

Through our busy calendar of global events, our award-winning website, our BritAgent programme and promotional activity, we build and develop relationships with influential travel operators and agents to ensure Britain is featured in their programmes and to help you grow your international business.

Working with the travel trade, we make sure more of Britain features in agents’ itineraries, giving businesses a route to market and helping overseas trade sell Britain by providing sales support, online support, toolkits, advice and itineraries, as well as running product knowledge trips to showcase what Britain has to offer.

By making the most of our knowledge and contacts within the complex global network of distributors and intermediaries that makes up the travel trade, we can help you increase your customer base. We can help you look beyond the confines of your own marketing budget, by giving you access to international and long haul travel distributors, assisting you in putting your business and locations on the international stage.

Award-winning tools

We’ve developed a variety of sales tools to help the travel trade and encourage visitors to choose Britain over other destinations.

Through our BritAgent training programme we’ve trained up over 3,000 new registered international agents since the website re-launched in May 2015, supporting them to sell Britain more effectively.

Our travel trade website received the UKinbound award for Best Trade Initiative 2014 and a Best in Class Award (the highest honour given) in the B2B category at the Interactive Media Awards. It’s an essential resource for travel professionals who sell Britain – and you’re invited to be part of it.

If you are looking to boost inbound visitors to England, take a look at Taking England to the World, our inbound tourism toolkit packed with advice, tips and guidance on reaching the international markets.

Tourism Exchange Great Britain

VisitEngland is delighted to announce the launch of Tourism Exchange Great Britain – a business to business digital platform, connecting tourism Suppliers in England to Distributors around the world.

Think of a holiday cottage in the Lake District. Or a kayaking tour in Cornwall. Know a vineyard that runs wine tastings? Or a historic house and garden? All of these and more can benefit from TXGB – linking their availability, pricing and content to global Distributors such as Expedia and Booking.com. Most importantly, TXGB does this all in one place. And it gives Suppliers and Distributors access to sales data too, so that they can analyse trends and forward bookings.

TXGB offers exciting opportunities for Suppliers, Distributors and DMOs, so visit www.txgb.co.uk to find out more information, and to connect your business.

The structure of the travel trade

Travel agents organise personal travel and accommodation for travellers. They provide travel and tourism services on behalf of suppliers including airlines, hotels, cruise lines, railways, and package tour operators

Tour operators build a package for the elements that make up a holiday or a tour, often dealing with travel, accommodation, transfers and booking activities at the destination. Tour operators often specialise in planning for large groups or events, such as for conferences. An increasing number work online

Wholesalers develop and market inclusive tours through travel agencies. They generally sell to other elements of the travel trade rather than to the public

Tour guides and couriers travel with tourists, and work to ensure travellers’ needs are met, and that their visit runs smoothly. Their work often involves researching on behalf of the traveller, making travel arrangements for accommodation and sightseeing, and organising excursions. Many travel couriers are freelance, and work for tour operators

Short break operators offer accommodation packages, usually between one and four nights

Group travel organisers (or GTOs) often work voluntarily, organising travel on behalf of organisations such as the Women’s Institute

The work of handling agents, incoming tour operators and ground handlers begins when overseas travellers step onto British soil and ends when they leave it. Their work involves managing the visitors’ experience while they are in the country. Many of these belong to the trade body UKinbound

Hotel booking agencies specialise in procuring accommodation facilities and services on behalf of their clients. They range from large organisations run by global hotel brands, to independent properties

As with hotel booking agencies, coach operators range from small driver-owned companies, to large operators, publishing their own brochures of coaching holidays

Conference and incentive organisers manage all aspects of conference organisation on behalf of their clients, and often offer tourism-based incentives for companies looking to reward, encourage and recognise high performance.