Travel Agencies and Tour Operators at KidZania: A Proactive and Innovative Approach

Travel Agencies and Tour Operators at KidZania: A Proactive and Innovative Approach

Hugues Seraphin (The University of Winchester, UK) and Frederic Dosquet (Pau Business School, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8434-6.ch004

Abstract

The role of tour operators (TOs) and travel agents (TAs) are putting together transport, events, attractions, accommodation and food / drink into a package and are then selling them to customers. The authors introduce in this chapter a new marketing strategy for TOs and TAs, as there is fierce competition in the retail environment. The approach offers an alternative to the existing marketing and distribution channel in the industry. The KidZania concept in itself is very strong from a marketing point of view due to its high capacity to convince customers. Also, with KidZania, TOs and TAs have an opportunity to ‘breed' ethical tourists, that is to say, tourists that respect their host, their environment, and culture. That said, the KidZania model could be said to be a form of manipulation of emotions, by pushing the children to behave and consume the way we would like them to.
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Critical Analysis Of The Role And Importance Of T.O And T.A In The Tourism Industry: A Literature Review

Talking about the role of TO and TA, is above talking about tourism products and even broadly, tourism market. Indeed, tourism product is defined ‘as the total experience, the tourism product can be disaggregated into stages of the vacation from anticipation and planning, to booking, travel and evaluation’ (Gilbert, 1990, cited in Cooper & Hall, 2008, p. 27). Another approach is to consider the tourism product as ‘an amalgam of destination elements including attractions; supporting services such as accommodation and food and beverage; and transportation’ (Cooper & Hall, 2008, p. 27). Both approaches of tourism product are implicitly referring to the role of TO and TA, which will be presented in the following paragraph. In a nutshell, TO and TA are putting together transport, events, attractions, accommodation and food / drink into a package and are then selling them to customers (figure 1).

Figure 1.

The tourism market

978-1-5225-8434-6.ch004.f01
Source: Cooper & Hall (2008)

The topic of ‘distribution channel’, that we are defining as ‘a system of intermediaries, or middlemen, that facilitates the sale and delivery of tourism services from suppliers to consumers’ (Buhalis & Laws, 2001, cited in Diaz, Martin-Consuegra & Esteban, 2015, p. 330) is also key here.

Key Terms in this Chapter

KidZania: KidZania is an experience design concept targeted at young people. The KidZania model could be said to be a form of manipulation of emotions, by pushing the children to behave and consume the way we would like them to.

Travel Agents (TAs) and Tour Operators (TOs): Travel agents (TAs) and tour operators (TOs) are retailers and as such they sell a variety of products and services, among these are: tours; overseas package tours; short break holidays; flights; theatre booking; car hire; cruising holidays; rail tickets; coach holidays and tickets; travel insurance; foreign exchange. This is in addition to bureaucratic services: visa and passport applications; making reservation; planning itineraries; calculating fares and charges; advising clients; and dealing with customer complaints.

Innovation: Innovation is all about introducing new concepts, products, services, process, marketing technique, organizational structure to meet the needs of existing and new customers with the overall purpose to stimulate and increase spending and growth.

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