Getting on with your tourism investment and finding where you fit in requires knowledge of  how the trade works. Understanding the tourism value chain is a breeze though.  Here is a sample illustration:

tourism-value-chain

While it is self-explanatory, let me go thru each players in the chain so we can fast forward.

The local tourism board represents the government sector, Department of Tourism, regional, provincial or  local government tourism offices. This sector is responsible for the formulation of tourism policies, sets the standards, regulates the industry , provides guidelines, etc.

Coordination of services goes thru the TOUR OPERATORS – these are Companies that contract and purchase separate travel components and assembles them into one package. Meaning these companies are the ones who put together all the components of a tour package – they contract the accommodation, transportation and site operators. You thought it was the travel agency, didn’t you?  It appeared so, but the it is the tour operator that is actually “on the floor”, she has the bunch of tour guides, the transportation contacts, the ones that were actually on the road and knows how to get around.

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Photos from Peter Andringa

The TRAVEL AGENCY is simply a distribution channel, but don’t brush them off, this sector’s expertise is of another interesting aspect which will be discussed lengthily in this blog site. Meantime let’s treat her as a distribution channel.

The TRANSPORTATION sector of course plays the most important role in this industry as and that involves all forms whether by land, sea or air; and including the infrastructures involved and the maintenance of such.

  • Air transportation companies whether providing scheduled services, air taxi operators plus all air charter companies, and other entities such as air strips, airports, air fields, are part of this sector.
  • Water transportation operators whether salt or fresh-water service are also involved, including the land facilities required to service them such as ports, piers and wharves.
  • All land transportation entities are also part of this sector, from all levels, from the  smallest units such as “padyak”, calesa, tricycles to the big bus companies; and including bus depots, gasoline stations, highways, roads, bridges and the maintenance of these.

The HOSPITALITY industry includes all entities that provide accommodation and lodging, from the most sophisticated five-star hotels to the simplest bed and breakfasts or even homestays.

ENTERTAINMENT, LEISURE & RECREATION companies  which serve the “attraction and activities” sector are of course part of the chain.  Examples – theme parks, shopping malls, night clubs, restaurants, museums, cultural villages, fast food centers, bars, experiences, events, activity shops and clubs, craft stores, practically anything that offers attractions and provide entertainment to the travelers.

Above are major sectors involved but with the support of other industries – like supply of customized hotel or resort towels, catering for airline in-flight meals, entertainment on board, etc.

To decide where you will queue in is to actually check on what your interests are and how much are you willing to shell out. Transportation sector and hospitality sectors require millions  if you intend to invest on tourist buses or building a hotel or a resort. Service providers such as tour operators, travel agencies and entertainers will give you a leeway as up to which level would you like to  invest on. If you intend to “queue in”, get involved personally and manage your own ventures ,  you will definitely enjoy every journey, discover more , and even create your own trails. Why not travel along with your own travel business!