Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Management Of Travel & Tourism Operations

Main Topics of Study

The Place

  • Inhabited places
  • What makes a place?
  • Population growth
  • Natural characteristics
  • The built environment
  • The people and the patterns of life
  • The economic situation
  • Political standards and systems
  • Historic and artistic characteristics
  • Media, entertainment and recreation
  • International links
  • Pace of change
  • Urbanisation
  • Places are unfinished

Tourist Destinations

  • A destination
  • Domestic market foundations
  • Visitors
  • Types of destination
  • Purposes of travel
  • General interest tourism
  • Special interest tourism
  • Special interest focus and purpose
  • Business and professional travel
  • VFR, health, religious and other travel
  • The destination and its three stages
  • The destination as a marketing mix


  • An initial framework
  • Travel motivations
  • What competes?
  • Ego benefits
  • Popular culture and mass tourism
  • The tourism product includes other tourists
  • Tourism communities
  • Visitors’ interpretation
  • Not meeting, meeting or exceeding expectations
  • Visitor surveys


  • From destination to tourism product
  • The total product
  • Product components
  • Diversification
  • Change
  • Space
  • The intangibles
  • Accommodation
  • Predominant features
  • Completeness
  • The marketing mix


  • Types of accommodation
  • Size and characteristics of units
  • The accommodation product
  • Project feasibility
  • Factors influencing a destination’s accommodation
  • Shaping a destination’s accommodation mix
  • The role of tour operators
  • A commodity
  • The hotel room as a commodity
  • The health of the hotel and accommodation sector


  • Access
  • Change
  • The travel marketing mix
  • International links
  • Road transport
  • Railways
  • Air transport
  • Marine transport and inland waterways
  • Visas and facilitating entry
  • Key transportation points


  • Cycles in general
  • Product life cycles
  • Tourist destinations can fall away
  • Changeability
  • Proximity to major markets
  • Obsolescence
  • Staying alive

Market Research

  • The objectives of market research
  • The business climate
  • Structure and complexity
  • Desk research
  • Intelligence
  • Visitor surveys
  • The performance of the tour operators
  • Information systems
  • Disseminating information
  • Evaluating results


  • The image of a destination
  • The core image
  • The brand image
  • Ethos
  • The contemporary viewpoint
  • Setting the tone
  • Romance, familiarity and intimacy
  • Sign systems
  • Fiction and reality
  • Other ideas of reality
  • The unfinished image


  • Prices and tourism receipts
  • Tourism’s economic impact
  • Leakage
  • Reducing leakage
  • Elasticity of demand
  • Price related to the image
  • Currency exchange rates
  • The Euro
  • Anti trust and monopoly controls
  • Two-tier pricing
  • Yield management
  • Key pricing criteria


  • The importance of positioning
  • The positioning of ‘classics’
  • Formulating the marketing mix range
  • The positioning matrix


  • Where does promotion fit in?
  • What does promotion consist of?
  • Public and private sector roles
  • Public and private sector disharmony
  • The different levels of promotion
  • Joint public and private sector approaches
  • Indirect promotion
  • The promotional budget


  • Looking at governance
  • Managing the tourism sector
  • Approaching tourism sector management
  • The role of the Government Tourism Administration (GTA)
  • Words and concepts
  • Tourism development planning
  • Consensus building
  • Involvement, participation and change


  • Forecasting
  • Selling tourism
  • Facilitation
  • The product on the travel agent’s shelf
  • The tour operator’s catalogue or brochure
  • Consumer protection
  • Reservations systems
  • The retail travel agency
  • Checking the retail network
  • Airlines
  • Selling business and convention tourism
  • The speed of sales decisions

Management Tools

  • The relationship between the public and private sectors
  • Different ways of seeing – types of approach
  • Using the tools
  • Public awareness
  • A sector-wide training programme
  • Developing the destination

Regeneration and Re-engineering

  • Cycles and positioning
  • Future development
  • Improvement opportunities
  • Modifying markets and repositioning
  • Tourism policy
  • The degree of development
  • Incentives
  • Listing the projects


  • Planning as part of management
  • Tourism planning
  • Carrying capacity
  • Investment promotion
  • Investment workshops
  • Facilitating new investment
  • Repositioning through expansion
  • Expansion decisions

Quality and Standards

  • Quality and quality management
  • The control cycle
  • The International Standards Organisation
  • Management style
  • A question of values
  • Quality circles
  • Tangible and intangible items
  • Empowerment
  • Quality control and improvement
  • Quality management workshops and other training incentives


  • A legislative framework
  • All sectors of society
  • Registration, licensing, classification and grading
  • Minimum standards
  • Checklist for the development of tourism regulations
  • The right of appeal
  • An ombudsperson

Physical Planning

  • The planning system
  • Different planning levels
  • Environmental impact
  • Planning regulations
  • Listed buildings
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Building regulations

Classification and Grading

  • The purposes of classification and grading systems
  • The failure of government-driven systems
  • Helping the user choose
  • Who can operate a classification and/or grading system?
  • The difference between classification and grading
  • Advisory services and training
  • The Scottish tourist board
  • Inspection
  • Private sector guides

Human Resources

  • The place of human resources development
  • A human resources development strategy
  • Working conditions
  • Future workforce and training needs
  • Minimum standards
  • Training institutions and programmes
  • A national council for tourism education and training

The Tourism Sector Checklist – Part II

  • The tourism development strategy
  • Human resources
  • The management tools
  • Organisation and management

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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The Management of the Tourism Sector – Roger Doswell (ICM/Columbus Publishing)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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Tourism: How Effective Management Makes the Difference – Roger Doswell (Butterworth Heinemann)

The Journal of Tourism Management – (Butterworth Heinemann)

The Management of Tourism – Burkart & Medlik (Heinemann)

International Journal of Tourism Management