Relationships imply some sort of intermittent interaction between two or more persons, involving interchanges over an extended period of time. For having a good relationship there must be a certain degree of continuity and relationships need to take place for a longer period of time.
There is a distinction in primary relationships and secondary relationships. (Peelen E & Beltman R, 2013) With big customers or with long-term orientated customers you can have a primary relationship, but with most customers Tour Operators will have a secondary relationship, there will be a limited degree of social interaction. Depending on commitment, trust and financial advantage there is the opportunity to continue a relationship. The relationship between a tour operator and customer is dependent on the network. Customers, who develop a relationship with an organisation, actually build a relationship with the people who represent the company. This concept is generalized by saying how the company represents itself.
How does a Tour Operator target a family? If we look at a family who usually makes contact with a Tour Operator from the family? What can be seen if we look at websites of Tour Operators is that a family holiday package usually is directed at the elderly of the family. Usually these are the parents, because they eventually make the ultimate decision. When planning a holiday many parents take the time to talk to the child about where they are going before the actual booking.Their kids have an influence on the holiday decision, but eventually the parents or one parent will make the definite decision. Although there is no proof, many think it is usually the women or mother of a family who makes a booking. When planning as a family you have to take into consideration that the kids enjoy themselves so a tour operator has to make sure there are enough family activities. As well as if you look on the internet and/or at articles on planning a family holiday, all is targeted at the parents.
If we take a look at the Tour Operator Thomas Cook they have a special category for family holidays. Thomas Cook has this text above the family holidays; ‘’Keep the children happy with a whole range of exciting activities, including FamilyWorld and KidsWorld entertainments, organised events, sports and much, much more. What’s more, on certain family holidays, Thomas Cook’s qualified childcare and family-friendly facilities are there to help you out.’’(Thomas Cook, 2015) What can be noticed is that the text is directed at the parents, but the activities are directed at the children. As well on all of the pictures of the holidays a happy family can be seen. When a family will look at this, they want to have a similar experience as the one that can be seen on the picture. They want to have a memorable holiday. If we look at the family holidays sector on the website of Tour Operator Thomson several aspects are similar. Above the family holidays section they display the text: ‘’10 great things about our family holidays’’. Below the pictures under this text, again the activities are directed at children, but the text at the parents. As well many pictures of happy families can be seen. (Thomson, 2015)
In conclusion one can say that when targeting families it is important to engage the children in a holiday offer. Focus on the kids of the family, but direct the sales pitch at the parents. If the company represents itself like this, the family segment can be attracted and engaging with them will be easier. By staying committed there is the opportunity to continue a relationship and even gain a long-term oriented relationship. Still this segment will usually stay in the secondary relationship.
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. United Kingdom: Pearon Education Limited.
Thomas Cook. (2015). Family Holidays. Retrieved from:
Thomson. (2015). Family Holidays. Retrieved from: