Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Retail Travel Operations

Main Topics of Study

Package and Group Tours

  • Introduction
  • Planning a group tour

Short Breaks, Special Interest Holidays, Theme Parks, Holiday Centres, Accommodation and Theatre Reservations

  • Short breaks
  • Special interest holidays
  • Useful addresses
  • National parks
  • Skiing
  • Holiday centres/hotels
  • Accommodation
  • Theatre reservations

Coaching and Incoming Tourism

  • Coaching
  • European coach holidays
  • Making a reservation
  • Incoming tourism

Cruising

  • Introduction
  • Passengers and passenger density
  • Factors in cruise costs
  • Some nautical terms
  • International river cruise destinations
  • Ocean, river and canal cruising
  • Client information on cruising
  • Cruising areas

Car Rental

  • Benefits of car rental
  • Growth of car rental
  • Tariffs
  • Car groups
  • Fuel consumption
  • Car rental insurance
  • Organising car rental

Ferry Services and Railways

  • Ferry services
  • Making the reservation
  • Railways

Airlines

  • Introduction
  • IATA traffic and conference areas
  • Most logical routings
  • Aircraft types
  • Fear of flying
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Seat pitch
  • Charter airlines
  • Organising an itinerary
  • Time differences and elapsed flying time
  • Passports, visas and health regulations
  • Special services for passengers
  • Airport information
  • Stopover holidays

Technology

  • Introduction
  • Understanding systems
  • Travel agency systems
  • View data
  • Global distribution systems
  • GDSs and e-commerce

The Internet

  • Introduction
  • A brief history
  • How the internet works
  • Getting online
  • Tour operators and the internet
  • The internet as a marketing tool
  • Travel portals

Insurance

  • Holiday insurance
  • What is included in a travel insurance policy
  • Exclusions
  • Specialist insurance – pre-existing illness, dangerous activities
  • E111 coverage
  • Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) code of conduct
  • Terminology explained
  • Making a claim
  • Information required before issuing a policy
  • Insurance tips for travel agents

Finance

  • Introduction
  • How travel agents earn their income
  • Operational costs of an independent travel agency
  • Security
  • Legal and regulatory requirements
  • Handling cheques and credit cards
  • Cheques
  • Foreign currency
  • Travellers’ cheques
  • The Euro
  • Disposable income

Skills

  • Skills required to work in a travel agency
  • Product benefits for the client
  • Using the telephone
  • Sales techniques in the office
  • Identifying the client’s needs
  • Closing the sale
  • After-sales service
  • Client relations
  • Time management

Handling Complaints

  • Introduction
  • ABTA and arbitration

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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Manual of Travel Agency Practice (3rd Edition) – Gwenda Syratt and Jane Archer (Routledge)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading: