Tourist Service Companies (Taught in Spanish)

Universidad de Barcelona

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Tourist Service Companies (Taught in Spanish)

  • Host University

    Universidad de Barcelona

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Hospitality and Tourism Management

  • Language Level

    High Intermediate

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Descriptions

    An important part of the mediation industry that supports the tourism sector is made up of companies created by tourist destinations themselves out of their need to respond to travelers' expectations. While these companies are not explicitly involved in lodging or the restaurant industry, they are considered necessary to the functions of any destination that performs an economic activity based on tourism and the movement of people.

    Generally, we speak about companies, but these functions could also be performed by professionals, i.e., individuals who perform the tasks of managing or even creating products that make up the spectrum of tourism practices, whether these practices be more traditional or more modern.

    All of these practices make up the infrastructure that includes everything from the combination of 2 or more tourism products to individual services. This category includes everything from PCOs, some tour operators, retailers, to entertainment management companies with their mediators (tour guides, entertainers, energizers, ADLs, etc.)

    This course will not only delve into the management of companies, but also into the role that their mediators play and their most basic functions. Here, we will exclude those companies that are sufficiently analyzed in other courses in this same thematic area.

    Understand and apply the political, legal and institutional framework that regulates tourism companies and activities.
    It is important to understand the state's role with regard to tourism activity, identifying the different forms of intervention in the political context and understanding the development of public organizations in the sector. In relation to these topics, the student must be capable of understanding current legal issues involving the interrelation between tourism business and its customers.
    Identify and manage the internal aspects, functions and operational processes of tourism business units.
    Success in tourism business management is measured by the capacity to coordinate different operational processes. This requires an understanding of how the complex structures, systems and processes that comprise different tourism activities work: accommodation, restaurants, intermediation, transportation, etc.
    Plan, organize, manage and monitor different types of tourism organizations.
    Tourism organizations must be equipped with basic leadership and management principles, using the latest planning, organization, management, and monitoring tools. Therefore, it is necessary to present the importance of strategic thought in tourism management, emphasizing the need to plan in order to face the uncertainty and complexity of a changing environment.

    Understand the content of the main regulations affecting tourism activity in this field:
    - Know the determining aspects of tourism services companies, identifying the different ways of participating in the tourism context.
    - Understand how demand, along with regulations on activities, shape service companies.
    - Identify and classify the companies and services that participate in tourism production and understand their operation, as well as identify the main types of needs to which they respond:
    - Analyze and understand the main organizational models of tourism service companies.
    - Understand how the structures, systems and processes that comprise different types of tourism services companies work.
    - Identify the market in which the main tourism business units evolve and operate.
    - Perform and manage the key operational processes of a company related to the organization and sale of tourism trips, leisure activities and other complementary products:
    - Understand the social environment in which the tourism phenomenon takes place in order to manage, organize and plan with a complete understanding of the background.
    - Be aware of who are the main actors that participate in intermediation processes in tourism services companies.
    - Know how to apply empathy in the mediation process to be able to detect the needs of the offers' recipients.

    Unit 1. Tourism services companies
    1.1. Services offered: transportation companies and intermediation services.
    1.2. Type of intermediation services and their legislation.
    1.3. New management trends in tourism services companies
    Unit 2. Production management: Revenue and costs in tourism services companies
    2.1. Types of costs
    2.2. Cost structure in different tourism services companies
    2.3. Sources of revenue
    2.4. Calculating and interpreting costs in tourism services companies
    Unit 3. Gradual formation of the sales price of tourism products.
    3.1. Elements and stages of the price planning process.
    3.2. Creation and calculation of tourism services.
    3.3. Price strategies.
    3.4. Interpreting results and applying marketing strategies.
    3.5. Adapting the budget to the customer's and the company's needs.
    3.6. Calculating the break-even point for a transportation service in a combined trip.
    Unit 4. Cost analysis applied to tourism services companies and decision making.
    4.1. Full Costing
    4.2. Direct Costing
    4.3. Activity-based costing - ABC
    4.4. Cost-volume analysis of operations-profit
    Unit 5. Budget planning and control
    5.1. Importance of planning
    5.2. Planning instruments: budget
    Unit 6. Professional profiles in tourism services companies
    6.1. Design of the organizational structure
    6.2. Description of positions
    6.3. New professional needs
    Unit 7. The VAT system for tourism services companies
    7.1 VAT: concept and tax rates
    7.2. The special system for tourism services companies
    7.3. Calculating the taxable base

    The learning strategies employed are mainly aimed at the student developing the abilities associated with the skills identified. Below we specify the teaching-learning methodologies which will be applied to achieve the skills to be gained, as well as specifying how they will be developed:
    - Theory: master classes, lectures, group projects.
    - Theoretical-practical: application activities, problem-based learning, problem solving, practical exercises, research.
    - Presentations: presentations of results. This will allow the student to receive feedback on how to improve his or her oral communication techniques and become accustomed to using information technology.

    The tools used to evaluate the course are those which allow us to assess the course's contents in both a theoretical and practical way; such as objective tests, development tests, individual projects, group projects, in-class activities, oral presentations using IT, virtual forums, portfolios, practical cases, problem solving, etc.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.