1.1 Definition and scope of the study
The tour package (or tourist package) means all the services offered by tour operators (or tour operators) when selling trips lasting more than 24 hours. According to European regulations, a tour package is a journey of more than 24 hours sold on a all-inclusive package and covering at least two benefits among the services of transport, accommodation, excursions, meals and other activities.
The tour operator market is composed of two main types of players:
- tour operators (or tour-operators) who organise tourist stays in the form of "packages" by bringing together the services of several suppliers (airlines, hotels, restaurants, leisure providers, etc.)
- the travel agencies that market them.
However, the distinction between these two players is becoming increasingly blurred: some travel agencies are developing their offers themselves, while some tour operators are taking advantage of the development of e-tourism and selling their products directly to the end customer.
The players in the sector include general tour operators (Kuoni, Salaün Holidays), specialists and group operators (Geotravel, CE Evasion), as well as integrated, franchised or voluntary networks (Havas Voyages, Selectour Afat, TUI), independents, online agencies (Lastmminute.com) and mass retailers (Carrefour Voyages).
Traditionally carried by tour operators and travel agencies in physics, the industry has been shaken by the emergence of digital players bringing together all the offers on a single platform, as in the case of Booking . com or Lastminute . com in France. Another disruptive factor on the market has been the rise of private sales platforms and discount sales offering special promotional offers to the most responsive customer visitors.
The european market of tour operators and travel agencies was worth 167.4 billion euros in 2016, a figure that is growing strongly. The growth in the European market is mainly due to the dynamism of the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain in the tour operator market. On a global scale, the market is also growing strongly, driven by the economic growth of emerging countries and the growing importance of leisure and tourism in people's habits.
The french market of tour operators and travel agencies grew by 12% in 5 years, between 2014 and 2019. This growth can be explained by the simplicity and convenience offered by tour operators and travel agencies, as well as the comfort and security offered by intermediaries.
However, this growth is threatened by a number of issues, the main ones being the preference of the younger generations for the personal travel arrangements and competition from booking platforms online . In addition to this, external factors, in particular the crisis related to the Covid-19 which caused the market turnover to fall, peaking in May 2020 ( - 83.81% between May 2019 and May 2020).
However, growth drivers are emerging, in particular the success of tailor-made travel and the growing demand for more personalized travel, the ecological awareness and dynamism of the sustainable travel segment, and the targeting of the over-50s, whose share is set to increase sharply in the coming years and who represent a strong customer potential for the organized travel market.
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