The purpose of the focus group sessions was to identify major areas of concern among experienced travel agents both in Orlando and New York. In particular, the discussions focused on the travel agents' experiences with the sale of tour packages and their relationships with tour operators. The methodology used by the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies was to start each discussion by introducing broad issues of tour packaging, and incrementaly narrow down to major concerns of day-to-day operations, as well as what would be the "ideal" tour operator the travel agents would like to work with. The next stage revealed the future arrival of a new tour operator that will have the following characteristics: a. No service charge to the travel agency for any credit card purchases by consumers. b. Incentive commissions: sell x packages and get additional y $. c. Combined rebate for customer and travel agent on future travel at the same travel agency only. d. Satisfaction guarantee or your money back (Tour Operator takes full responsibility to refund customers, and will not refer the travel agent to the various providers such as airlines, hotels etc.) In the final stage of each discussion, the travel agents were informed that the future tour operator is SEARS TOURS which will basically have the same customer satisfaction policy as the nationwide retail store. The travel agents expressed their opinion regarding the appearance of this supplier in the market. Findings are reported in the next section. The Orlando group is reported first, followed by the New York group. The findings are reported chronologically, that is according to the incremental stages of the discussion mentioned earlier.
travel agents; Sears Tours
The Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Orlando, FL; New York, NY
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Number of Pages
Milman, Ady, "Focus Groups of Travel Agents Regarding a New Concept in Tour Operation: "Sears Tours"" (1986). Dick Pope Sr. Institute Publications. 71.