Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Langston Hughes Poetry Essay Essay Example

Langston Hughes Poetry Essay Paper The illustration of social class between White and Black Society, portrayed through Langston Hughes poems Theme for English B, Democracy and I Too Sing America African American poet, Langston Hughes, exposes the history of the segregation of white and black society in America through his various collections of poetry. More specifically, he portrays the illustration of social class within his three poems Theme for English B, Democracy and I Too Sing America. The author writes from the perspective of an African-American exemplifying the emotion of wanting to belong. Hughes shows this separation through his use of literary features, themes and creation of atmosphere and tone throughout his poems. Hughes creates an atmosphere and tone to illustrate the social class in early 20th century America. Democracy tells that freedom will not come today, this year, nor ever (Lines 1-2) portraying a lack of hope among the African-American society. It also shows the attitude of tiredness among Black society, how they cannot live on tomorrows bread (Line 14) and they have as much right (Line 4) to live here too (Line 17). The contrasting tone present is optimism, where Black society is anticipating a time when they will be treated with equal respect. This tone is heightened by the repetition of freedom (Lines 15-17) and tomorrow (Lines 12-14) which positions the reader to empathise with African American society. In I Too Sing America, the darker brother (Line 2) is made to eat in the kitchen (Line 3), away from white society, who shun him for being different, but when different company comes theyll see how beautiful [he] is (Line 15) and be ashamed (Line 16) for the unjust they showed him. We will write a custom essay sample on Langston Hughes Poetry Essay specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Langston Hughes Poetry Essay specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Langston Hughes Poetry Essay specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer The tone in I Too Sing America is of the hope that the narrator holds for tomorrow (Line 8) and how [He] too is American (Line 17), this tone focuses on the culture and struggle of African Americans, illustrating the order of social class to the reader. Theme for English B tells of how society has ignored a 22 year old, coloured man (Line 7) and how its not easy (Line 16) being the only coloured person in [the] class (Line 10). The tone is harsh, with frequent comparisons between White and Black society such as you are a part of me, as I am a part of you (Line 32) and will my page be coloured that I write, being me it will not be white (Lines 27-28). Hughes uses these comparisons to highlight the dichotomies between White and Black society. Hence, the creation of tone and atmosphere allows Hughes to effectively illustrate the differing social classes in his poems Theme for English B, Democracy and I Too Sing America. The segregation of White and Black society is portrayed through the use of literary features. Throughout the poems Theme for English B, Democracy and I Too Sing America, a prominent literary feature employed by Hughes to develop the readers understanding of social class is figurative language. In Democracy, lines such as I want freedom too (Line 20) and I have as much right (Line 5) represent the isolation experienced by black Americans. The use of couplets, dead.. bread (Lines 13-14), stand.. land (Lines 5-6) and seed.. need (Lines 15-16) in Democracy , allows the poem to flow freely, allowing Hughes to emphasise the theme within. Imagery is displayed by the simile used in lines 15-16 when freedom is described as a strong seed planted in great need to accentuate the longing of wanting to belong to society. In the Theme for English B Hughes exemplifies the segregation further by word choice such as coloured (Line 7) and white (Line 27), which represent hierarchies depending on skin colour. In each poem emotive language is used by Hughes to achieve a direct link to themes, such examples of this are let the page come out of you (Theme for English B, Line 4), democracy will not come (Democracy, Line 1) and I Too Am American (I Too Sing America, Line 17). The poems titles help to convey the tone by positioning the reader to sympathise the African Americans. I Too Sing America depicts that whilst he is black, he too sings the national anthem of the country he is from. Democracy holds the reflection of the justice system and how black people are treated inferior to white society. Through these literary features, Hughes helps the reader to view the segregation of white and black society. The themes in Hughes poems, Theme for English B, Democracy and I Too Sing America, position the reader to sympathise with Black society. Common themes held in all three poems are discrimination, racism and segregation which position white people to be the perpetrators of injustice, whilst black society as the victims. In Theme for English B the narrator exclaims that black people like similar things to white society such as to eat, sleep, drink, to be in love, work, read, learn and understand and life (Lines 21-22), posing the reader with the question as to how the races differ. I Too Sing America speaks of the discrimination at being made to eat in the kitchen (Line 3) and mistreated but then of hope, hope for change when he will be at the table (Line 9) and accepted as part of white society. Democracy allows the reader to empathise with the African Americans, accentuated by the themes of longing, acceptance and tiredness. In lines 10-12 it is stated I tire so from hearing people say tomorrow is another day showing the loneliness experienced by African Americans. It is through these themes Hughes positions the reader to view the segregation of white and black society in America in his poems. In his poems, Theme for English B, Democracy and I Too Sing America, Langston Hughes exposes the segregation of white and black society throughout Americas history. The illustration of social class is enhanced by the use of literary features, themes and creation of atmosphere and tone. The perspective chosen by the author, from the view of an African American, exemplifies the emotions portrayed within. Throughout these poems, Hughes positions the reader to view the unjust times African Americans have faced throughout history and hardships they still face today.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Newspaper report The fire in Carries war Essays

Newspaper report The fire in Carries war Essays Newspaper report The fire in Carries war Paper Newspaper report The fire in Carries war Paper Essay Topic: Literature Last night as the family slept, a ferocious blaze swept through their home destroying everything in its path. Druids Bottom, set in the picturesque village of Druids Grove, was engulfed in flames reducing this beautiful family home to ashes. Fire-fighters were quick on the scene and were quoted as saying This is one of the fiercest fires we have seen in a long time and the residents were lucky to get out alive. We have seen a lot of fires in our time, however none as bad as this, its a miracle everyone survived. A fire like this could have quite easily taken many innocent lives. The inhabitants of the house are naturally deeply saddened by this catastrophe, but they remain positive and are trying to make the most out of this extremely bad situation. Hepzibah Green, a resident at the house stated the fire took everything, but we will always have our memories, the good and the bad. They will stay with us forever and no fire will ever change that. It is important that no one blames themselves; it was an accident and could have happened at any time, and could have been lot worse. We all have each other to get us through this difficult time in our lives, we must stick together from now on Investigators have concluded that the fire started upstairs and most likely by someone playing carelessly with matches. Hepzibah Green has confirmed that another resident at the house Mister Johnny had been playing with matches and it was likely that he started the fire. However she also added that Yes Mister Johnny may have started the fire, but no one blames him. After all is it thanks to him that we all made it out alive. Mister Johnny is special, you see and so no blame can rest on his shoulders. If anyone is to blame, it is me. I should have kept a closer watch on Mister Johnny then thins would never have happened. As it turns out it was in fact Mister Johnny who raised the alarm and led the rest of the family to safety. Albert Sandwich, an evacuee who was temporarily living at Druids Bottom has simply remarked, no one was killed no one was hurt, thats all that matters. All of the inhabitants of Druids Bottom are devastated at the lost of their home, apart from the owner of the house, Mr Evans, who had just recently inherited the house from his late sister Dilys Gotobed. Mr Evans stated its all that Hepzibahs fault, she looked after my sister for years thinking that in the end she would get something out of it, but when the old girl died and left Druids Bottom to me, Hepzibah obviously thought if she couldnt have the house then no one could, so she burnt it to the ground out of spite I know thats what happened. Only time will tell what really happened so for now, we should watch this space.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

UAE AND GCC SOCIETY Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

UAE AND GCC SOCIETY - Essay Example Government of several countries is developing various environmental policies in order to reduce the threat of global warming through the reduction of carbon emission level. Moreover, the governments are motivating the organizations to conduct sustainable business practices. Gulf countries are trying to introduce non-carbon energy sources in order to control the level of carbon emission. The study will focus on the alternative energy sources of oil and sustainable development of Gulf countries in future. Discussion GCC countries are the incremental suppliers of oil and gas for entire globe. First of all, day-by-day the price of oil and gas are increasing dramatically. Secondly, higher consumption of fossil fuels is increasing the level of carbon emission. Therefore, government of all the developed and developing countries is motivating industries and communities to reduce the consumption of oil and gas. Moreover, people are trying to use substitute of oil and gas as their energy resou rces. These substitutes are solar energy, wind energy and electric energy. Looking into these factors, GCC countries are trying to develop several environmental policies to reduce the consumption of oil and gas. ... Rapid energy demand growth can be attributed to three several affiliated causes. Due to several demographic changes, industrialization and low price level are motivating people to consume electricity as major energy resources. The GCC countries are manufacturing and distribution oil as the form of a cartel the name of this cartel is OPEC. They are maintaining the price of oil in global countries. Moreover, due to total control over oil and gas, OPEC is increasing the price of oil and gas on regular basis. In addition, burning of fossil fuel is increasing the level of carbon emission that is resulting rapid global climate change. Looking into these factors, several organizations and industries within all the GCC countries are trying to reduce the consumption of oil and gas. They are trying to implement substitute energy resources of oil and gas in their business process. Demand for solar energy and electrical energy is significantly increasing in UAE. It is true that, people now-a-day s are trying to avoid the consumption of fossil fuel cars. Petrol or diesel vehicles are more costly comparing to other substitute vehicles. Leading organizations around the globe are trying to capitalize on the opportunities that have been developed due to globalization and advanced technologies. Several vehicle manufacturing organizations are trying to provide energy efficient cars and electric cars to reduce the consumption of oil and gas. These organizations are making profit through this strategy and this strategy is bringing sustainability in the economy, environment and society of a country. Wind, solar and water energy are considered as the renewable energy sources. Economic growth of a country highly depends on the

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Investing For Retirement Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Investing For Retirement - Research Paper Example Investing For Retirement In the Family Finance section of Financial Post, there is an article entitled "Retirement Transition All About Expectations." This article is about a couple, Julius ,60, and Emma, 58, in Alberta, Canada who are both retirees, who's been worrying about how they can protect themselves financially if ever there would be a sudden change in the economy. According to Julius, "it might be difficult to make the transition from employment to retirement". Exposure to inflation is their main threat being a retiree. Don Forbes, head of Associates/Armstrong & Quaile gave them an advice on how they are going to utilize their financial plans to protect themselves against any threats. Forbes gave the couple a five year plan scenario on the pension plan they availed, stating what they should do, and explains its corresponding effects in the long run.. This article has been on the news because there are more other Julius and Emma who have been worrying the same thing once they are about to retire. Starting January 1, 2011, the Baby Boomers turned 65. These Baby Boomers are those generations in American history who were born between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1964. This has been an issue for so many years and now it’s 2011, the Baby Boomers have reached their retirement age. People, especially in the U.S., were already in panic that for the next 19 years these Baby Boomers will push the national government into bankruptcy. This generation has been on a wrong timing since the economy until now is still on the verge of losing everything. (â€Å"In 2011 the baby boomers,† 2010). I chose this article because Canada is not an exception in this crisis. It is significant for the Canadian families because just like Julius and Emma, most of the retirees now are having lots of questions about the reliability of the government and other company pension plans to fund their necessary needs and other expenses in the future. 2. SCOPE OF CANADA PENSION PLAN Canada Pension Plan (CCP) is one of the retirement income systems in Canada that has been mentioned in the article. The CPP is a national pension plan that was established by the government in 1966. This program is a monthly national defined benefit pension plan that is paid to contributors who are at least 65 years old or between 60 and 64 years old who met the earnings and contributions requirements (Monk & Sass, 2009). It is an independent financial institution wherein no political strings attached; its obligations are not government obligations as well as with its a ssets. The governance structure of this pension plan lies in the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act. It has a disclosure policy in which all quarterly and annual financial statements report and its public portfolio holdings must be disclosed to the public in the CPPIB website. Furthermore, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is an organization established to monitor and invest the funds held by the CPP. Independent from the government, the CPPIB was incorporated in 1997 as a federal Crown corporation by an Act of Parliament. In 1999, it made its first investment whose purpose is to maximize returns without undue risk of loss. Usually, the risks associated in applying a defined-benefit pension type of plan are funding risk and insolvency risk. In the first risk, members are concerned whether the employers can fulfill their promised benefits by assuring them adequate assets in the pension fund. On the report of Financial Services Commission of Ontario 2010, there had been a n increase of underfunded plans by 79% in 2009 from 76% in 2008 out of 1,539 defined-benefit plans (cited in Davis, 2011, p. 6). The concern related on the latter risk goes on the employer's insolvency, in which the business assets of the employer would serve as the ultimate guarantee of the pension promises (Davis, 2011, p. 7). Sponsoring employers should avoid being insolvent as possibly as they

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Management Responsibilites with regards to Forensic Accounting Research Paper

Management Responsibilites with regards to Forensic Accounting - Research Paper Example Moreover, they offer litigation assistance to attorneys and agencies of regulations enforcement investigating financial crimes (Abdolmohammadi, pp 13). The management responsibilities can, therefore, be done in regard to forensic accounting. One key management responsibility involves the strategic planning for the business. For the business to succeed, the management should guarantee that they embark on the strategic planning of the affairs of the business. Strategic planning enables a business to formulate the objectives of the business (Emerald Journal). In strategic planning forensic accounting is also included so that the capital invested in the business is correctly used. In case of a mismanagement of the capital then it is noticed at an earlier stage before it creates a severe problem to the management and business. The supervising and evaluation of the overall performance of the business is also a chief management responsibility. The operation of a business includes many performances, which are carried out by different departments of a business. The management does the evaluation of the activities of each branch and management through the supervisors does the monitoring of the operations of the each department. This is to ensure that the operations of the business are done in accordance to the strategic plans. The management further ensures that evaluation is effective through using forensic accounting to make sure that no fund from each department is embezzled. The forensic accounting is majorly used in evaluation at the financial department because this department is responsible for all the assets of the business (Arokiasamy, Koh and Suat, pp 146). The management responsibility is also to ensure that all the employees uphold high conduct standards. The conduct of the employees determines the image that the public has about a business. It is, therefore, significant for the administration to

Friday, November 15, 2019

Analysis of Holiday Tour Operators

Analysis of Holiday Tour Operators Chapter 1: Introduction Outline This research focuses on three UK holiday companies Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel and their marketing strategies. This research is comprised of following chapters: Rationale This study highlights many issues related to marketing of tourism companies; more specifically it will be looking at the three companies mentioned above and will be giving a broad analysis to marketing strategy as a marketing tool. The purpose of this dissertation is to conduct a detailed analysis on three different UK holiday companies which are Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel, who target different segments of the market. I believe that this investigation will broaden my understanding of the tourism marketing as well as the techniques and strategies that they use as a key factor to their success. (Morgan, 2001)Overall I believe that it is an interesting area to study because I can use and demonstrate while conducting this investigation the skills and knowledge that I had obtained while studying my degree. In addition, I have chosen to carry out my dissertation on the following three companies, because I believe that they differ in their market segmentation, however they have a common goal and they are competitors. I would like to introduce the companies that I will be focusing on and provide some brief introduction for each of them. But first of all let us talk about the role of tour operators. (Wang, 2002) Tour operators today play a very important role in creating the images of destinations. In this global capacity, they can significantly influence international tourism flows towards a country hit by safety and security risks. Even decisions of individual tourists on where to spend a holiday very often depend on the attitude and practice of tour operators towards a particular destination. But people have their own choices and preferences. In this paper we are going to analyse Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel tourism and travelling services as this is one of the best tour operator agencies world wide and the first choice of tourists. (Buhalis, 2001) From 1950 to 1998 the number of international tourist arrivals in the world increased from 25 million to 635 million (WTO 1999b), with an average annual increase of 6.97%. Over the past 15 years, international tourism receipts have grown 1.5 times faster than world GDP, with no signs of slowing down. In 1998 international tourism accounted for an estimated 8% of the worlds total earnings and 37% of exports in the service sector (WTO 1999a). According to data from the International Monetary Fund, in 1998 international tourism receipts and passenger transport amounted to more than $504 billion, putting it ahead of all other categories of international trade (automotive products, chemicals, food, petroleum and other fuels, computer and office equipment, textiles and clothing, mining products, etc.). (Driver, 1999) This rapid development of international tourism can partly be explained by the xxpackage holidays promoted nationally and internationally. Indeed, tour operators represent one of the most powerful and most influential entities in the tourism industry. They have a strong influence on international flows from main generating markets to various destinations. According to World Tourism Organization estimates, tour operators nowadays have a share of about 25% in the total international tourism market. This means that in 2000 tour operators organized at least 175 million international tourism trips. Therefore, the success of many destinations depends on whether foreign tour operators include them in their programs. (Buhalis, 1998) Travel Industry As the travel industry consists of numerous sectors and divisions, companies within the industry vary greatly in their activities and the segments of the market they are involved in. Three of them Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel leaders in their respective field and I would like to commence with Kuoni in the following segment. (Riege, 2000) Introduction to Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel Companies Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. oversees one of Europes top five travel and tour groups. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company is particularly strong in both its domestic and U.K. markets, but is also present throughout Europe, especially in Scandinavia, with a rising presence in the United States and Asian markets. Kuoni Travel operates in three primary areas of business: Leisure Travel, which accounts for more than 85 percent of the companys sales; Business Travel, through its BTI unit, which handles travel coordination activities for the small and mid-sized and large-scale corporation markets; and Incoming Services, which provides travel destination services, such as touring and sightseeing packages. (Morrison, 1994)The company markets it high-end tours and travel packages under the Kuoni name. Discount travel packages are offered under the Helvetica brand name. Switzerland remains the companys single largest market, representing slightly less than one-third of its total sales. The U.K. and North American markets together provide less than one-third of sales. The European continent, including Scandinavia, added another roughly 30 percent to Kuonis total sales, which topped SFr 4 billion in 1996. (Schonland and Williams, 1996) Kuoni has been stepping up the pace of its acquisitions at the turn of the century. After being disapponited in its attempt to merge with the United Kingdoms First Choice Holidays Plc, which would have helped the company create a counterweight to Europes market-leading Preussag-Thomson alliance announced in early 1999, Kuoni has changed direction, targeting the Scandinavian, Indian, and North American markets for its future growth. (Weber and Roehl, 1999)Listed on the Swiss stock exchange, Kuoni is led by Chairman Daniel Affolter and President and CEO Hans Lerch. (Bonn and Furr, 1999) A native of Chur, Switzerland, Alfred Kuoni moved to Zurich to open a travel agency in 1906. If the companys nameTravel Bureauwas not all that original, Kuoni quickly established itself as a pioneer in exotic travel destinations. One of the companys first organized tour packages took Swiss citizens on a guided tour to far-off Egypt. (Hu, 1996) In 1925, Kuoni reincorporated as a joint-stock company, with shares remaining within the Kuoni family. Through the years leading up to World War II, Kuoni expanded from its original location to include a number of sales offices throughout Switzerland. Despite its success in its home market, the company recognized early on that Switzerland was too small for its growing ambitions. The company also opened its first international office, in Nice, in the south of France. Further international moves were not realised due to the buildup to and outbreak of World War II. (Baker and Hozier, 1994) Kuonis international expansion began almost immediately after the end of the war. In 1948, the company opened its first international subsidiaries, in Italy and France. Kuoni also continued to venture to new and exotic travel destinations, such as the organization of the first charter flights to Africa. (Pizam and Mansfeld, 1999)In 1957, the Kuoni family established the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation under which to group their holding; much later, with Kuonis public listing, the foundation would became the companys primary shareholder. (Dev and Olsen, 2000) Thomas Cook AG is an international leisure group, created in 2000 by CN Touristics purchase of Britains Thomas Cook Holdings Ltd., with roots tracing back to 1841. (Bitner and Booms, 1982 )The company is represented in the sales markets of Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Egypt, India and Canada, providing products and services in most market segments, including airlines, hotels, tour operators, travel and incoming agencies. Thomas Cook AG is the third largest integrated tourism group in the world, serving some 14 million customers. Thomas Cook AG, encompasses 32 tour operators and around 3,600 travel agencies, selling the groups products worldwide, as well as a portfolio of 76,000 controlled hotel beds, a fleet of 87 aircraft and a workforce numbering some 28,000. Its services also include travel shops and charter airlines. (Koh, 1995) Evidently, the scale of operations of Thomas Cook AG in his respective market, has allowed him to realize economy of scale, affording a strong advantage over competition and in turn benefiting his clients. Because of the large volume of business provided to many resorts by Cook, he currently have excellent buying power, enabling him to negotiate the best possible airfare, hotel rates and transfer rates, which are translated into attractive selling prices, better rooms and overall greater value for his clients. Numerically, Cook has realized triumphs and broken records in his area. In 1993, Thomas Cook AG excels, as it achieved sales of some eight billion Euros and served more that 13 million customers in the 2001-2002 financial year alone. (Ioannides and Debbage, 1997)In appreciation of his expertise and as an acknowledgement of his proficiency in his operations, Thomas Cook AG has both received numerous awards and tributes over the years for a variety of enterprises. For example, th e Mexican government awarded the Best Tour Operator Worldwide Award in 1998. Thomas Cook AG is nominated every year in several categories in the World Travel Awards, as well as having its various subsidiaries and companies receive numerous awards worldwide. (Riege and Perry, 2000) STA Travel, a subsidiary of privately held Diethelm Keller Holding Ltd., markets itself as â€Å"the world’s largest student travel organization helping students travel in over 90 countries.† STA Travel specializes in student travel, a market niche accounting for approximately 20% of all travel bookings. In 2005 STA Travel reported revenues of 215 Million CHF (Swiss Francs) on total transactions of 1,542 CHF, down from 241 on 1539 the previous year. That same year, the firms 2,358 employees working from 375 travel agency offices in 17 countries and through franchises in 83 others, provided travel advice and booking services to approximately 6 million travelers. (Fick and Ritchie, 1991) Founded in 1979, STA Travel had grown and expanded its global reach through a series of mergers and acquisitions. While the brand well known in parts of Europe and Australia, where it had operated for many years, STA Travel’s US brand, born with the acquisition in 2003 of Council Travel, was still less well known. Historically, STA Travel reached its customers through retail travel agencies, many located near or on college campuses. Beginning in the 1990’s, however, the internet brought new online competitors. Among these were Student Universe and Student City as well as less focused on line providers of travel services including Travelocity and Expedia. By 2007 the internet was predicted to account for more bookings than offline alternatives. Aims and Objectives Following are the aims and objectives of this study: Introduction to Kuoni Holiday Company Introduction to Thomas Cook Holiday Company Introduction to STA Travel Holiday Company Marketing strategy of these companies Research Questions The study seeks to answer the following questions: â€Å"An investigation into the marketing strategy of three UK holiday companies who target the different sections of society with reference to their marketing strategy.† (Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel) Chapter 2: Literature Review Role of Tour Operators The role of tour operators unlike the travel agencies who sell holiday and a range of other travel products tour operators actually assemble the component parts of a holiday, package holidays i.e. the means of travel, accommodation, facilities, transfers, excursion and other services. The famous name which comes into my minds is Thomas Cook for their packages and services. (Field, 1999) If we consider that the travel agents are the retailer arm of the travel business, then the tour operators can be linked to wholesalers, since they buy in bulk from the providers of travel services, such as the hoteliers and airlines, break the bulk into manageable packages and offer the finished product the inclusive tour for sale to the travel agencies or direct to the consumer. (Kaynama and Black, 2000) Peace, safety, and security are the primary conditions for the normal tourism development of a destination, region, or country and thus are the basic determinants of its growth. Without them, destinations cannot successfully compete on the generating markets, even if they present in their marketing campaigns the most attractive and best quality natural and built attractions. Tourism contributes to peace as much as it benefits from it (Savignac 1994). According to Pizam (1999), every minute of every day a crime or a violent act occurs at a destination somewhere in the world. At the same time, it would be difficult to deny that many types of safety risks co-exist in everyones daily lives, and within tourism as well. However, an important difference exists: People are rarely in a position to change their place of living, but nothing can force them to spend a holiday in a place that they perceive as insecure. (Kaynama and Black, 2000)The basic requirement of contemporary demand is higher quality supply and services, and that quality has become the most important factor in the existing climate and development of that demand. But usually do not mention factors which are the condition sine qua non—peace, safety, and security, now generally taken for granted. Any threats to the safety of tourists causes a decrease or total absence of activity, not only in a particular destination, but also very often in neighbouring regions or countries as well. Consequently, since tourism is an important contributor to national economies, host countries will find it necessary to take substantial measures to bring the country hit by crisis back onto the market as quickly as possible. Taking the example of three companies discussed below we further try to explore their role and business strategy. (Medlik and Wang, 2002) Kuoni, Holiday Company Kuoni began looking farther afield in the 1960s. In 1963, the company made its first entry into the Asian markets with the opening of a branch office in Japan. (Medlik and Wang, 2002 )Two years later, Kuoni entered what was later to become one of its most important single markets when it acquired the United Kingdoms Challis Benson Ltd. The importance of the U.K. market to Kuoni was seen at the beginning of the 1970s when the company changed its nameand its U.K. operations nameto Kuoni Travel Ltd. (Buhalis, 1998) The companys listing on the Swiss stock exchange provided fuel for new growth, while opening up the companys shares to new partners, including SwissAir, which built up a 30 percent share in Kuoni. The public listing enabled the company to step up its international growth. After opening a subsidiary in Austria at the beginning of the decade, Kuoni now launched subsidiaries in Germany and Spain, both in 1973, and a subsidiary in Greece the following year. The year 1974 also saw Kuoni step up its position in the U.K. market, when it acquired Houlders World Holidays, based in England. (Buhalis, 1998) While building up its international network, Kuoni also was launching new products. In 1977, the company began marketing its first around-the-world tour. In the 1980s, Kuoni began to acquire properties in many of its most popular destinations, adding a number of hotels, including the Hawksbill Beach Hotel in Antigua in 1981 and the Discovery Bay Beach Hotel in Barbados, bought in 1984. In 1986, Kuoni became the first tour operator to offer around-the-world charter flights on the Concorde supersonic jet. (Morrison, 1996)Although this latter product catered to the companys strong high-end and high-margin clientele, Kuoni also launched a new brand name, Helvetica, to encompass its discount tour and travel operations. The worldwide travel industry remained highly fragmented in the 1990s, with numerous small-scale operators competing against a smaller number of quickly growing industry heavyweights. Kuoni, which had already captured the lead in the Swiss market, was determined to maintain a leadership position as the travel industry headed into a drawn-out consolidation drive leading up to the turn of the century. The company acquired Reiseburo NUR Neckermann in 1987, boosting its position in the Austrian market. Three years later, the company regrouped its Austrian activities, launching the NUR Neckermann Reisen AG joint venture with Germanys Neckermann Touristic. Kuonis part of the joint venture remained at 49 percent. (Morrison, 1996) Back home, the company continued to consolidate its dominance of the Swiss market, acquiring Privat Safaris, the countrys leading operator of tours to eastern Africa, and Reiseburo Popularis, which combined retail offices with direct sales operations marketing discount tour and travel packages. Yet Kuonis strong position in the Swiss market and its growing share internationally soon led it to become the target of a takeover attempt. The sale of SwissAirs 30 percent holding created the opening for Germanys Krauthof AG department store group to acquire a 50.1 percent majority of Kuoni in 1992. (Middleton, Clarke, 2001) Kuoni, through the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation, nonetheless retained majority control of the companys voting rightswhich provided the leverage to the resolution of the takeover attempt. In 1995, the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation bought out Krauthofs stake in the company. The company then changed its name to Kuoni Travel Holding, a move that also reflected a new diversification drive: in 1995 the company acquired Danzas Reisen AG, a Switzerland-based specialist in business travel services. The Danzas acquisition led Kuoni to create a dedicated business travel unit. The company also acquired retailer Kewi Reisen, while integrating its majority share of Railtour Suiss SA, acquired the year before. With its independence assured, Kuoni launched its own acquisition drive in the late 1990s. In 1996, Kuoni added Frances Voice SA, and Scanditours, focused on the Nordic region. (Middleton, Clarke, 2001)The company moved into The Netherlands with the acquisition of Special Traffic that same year. Kuoni also looked to the potentially huge market of India for the first time, acquiring SOTC Holiday Tours, which provided the basis for its Kuoni India Ltd. subsidiary. Two other acquisitions completed the companys busy years, those of Rotunda Tours, expanding Kuoni into South Africa, and CIS Intersport, a Swiss company catering to the growing demand for sports-oriented holiday packages. In 1996, also, the companys Edelweiss Air launched its charter flight operations. (Walle, 1996) Kuonis expansion campaign continued strongly through the end of the century, including the launch of the P O Travel Ltd. joint venture with Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, based in Hong Kong, with offices in Bangkok and Singapore. The 1997 joint venture strengthened Kuonis position in the Asian market, which, despite the austere economic climate in the region at the end of the decade, promised to become one of the worlds stronger holiday markets. Closer to home, Kuoni continued lining up acquisitions, especially Voyages Jules Verne, a U.K. upscale tour operator, and Switzerlands Manta Reisen, which specialized in scuba and other deep-sea holidays. The company also acquired German business travel specialist Euro Lloyd Reisenburo, which it combined with its other German operations into the new subsidiary BTI Euro Lloyd, one of that markets top five business travel companies. Also in 1998, Kuoni launched a joint venture with Italys Gastaldi Tours. The next year Kuoni face a major setback. At the beginning of 1999, the company announced its agreement to merge with the United Kingdoms number three travel operator, First Choice Holidays. The merger, agreed to by both sides, was thwarted by a surprise takeover attempt from rival U.K. operator Airtours Plc, which offered a higher per-share price. When the majority of First Choices shareholders chose to back the Airtours offerwhich itself was blocked by the European monopolies commissionKuoni pulled out of the merger talks. The First Choice merger might have allowed Kuoni to become not only a major player in the U.K. travel market but to boost its position to the top ranks in all of Europe. After the collapse of the merger, however, Kuoni redirected its strategy to other markets. Three markets in particular were to receive its attention: the United States, Scandinavia, and India. In 1999, Kuoni acquired upscale travel company Intrav, based in St. Louis, Missouri; the Intrav acquisition, which cost Kuoni $115 million, gave it a strong opening into the booming U.S. market for luxury vacations. The following year, the company acquired T Pro, an incoming services specialist based in New York and the number three incoming services provider to the U.S. market. The year 2000 saw Kuoni not only strengthen its hold on the Swiss travel markettaking a 49 percent share in ITV, Switzerlands third largest tour group and subsidiary of Germanys Preussagbut also expand its presence in its new target markets of Scandinavia and India. The first was served by the acquisition of 49 percent of Apollo Resor, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and then boosted by the acquisition of Denmarks Dane Tours. In March 2001, the company announced its decision to restructure most of its Scandinavian holdings into a single subsidiary. Thomas Cook Holiday Company Thomascook.com has pledged to bring in a quarter of sales through its website in 2006 and appointed a new digital agency to plan and buy all online media.The move will include an increase in online advertising spend of around 50% and will see an integration between traditional campaigns in print and outdoor with online marketing. Harvest Digital will take on all online media planning and buying through existing travel portals, plus drive a new strategy with the likes of Metro.co.uk, GM.TV and the Lonely Planet websites.Head of online marketing at Thomas Cook, Manuel Mascarenhas, said: â€Å"We selected Harvest Digital because they have delivered on an imaginative plan, using competitions, contextual advertising and sponsorships against tight CPA targets. They have a core audience of repeat bookers and want to ensure we continue to acquire new customers online. The new marketing strategy will target what has been labelled the lucrative and web-savvy audience of 35 to 45 year olds that several holidays a year, including packages, flights, ski holidays and cruises. Harvest Digital partner Emma Wilson added that Thomas Cook is the oldest name in travel but has a very contemporary approach within its sales channels. Also Thomas Cook Signature has won the award for Best Long Haul Operator at last years British Travel Awards, receiving 31% of the vote, while in 2002 Thomas Cook India Ltd has been awarded the Institute of Directors prestigious Golden Peacock National Award for excellence in corporate governance, awarded for transparency, excellence in conducting business at various levels of management, social and environmental responsibility, ethical business practice and consistent creation of value for all the stake holders. Thomas Cook Group has acquired Elegant Resorts, the Chester-based luxury travel firm with 160 staff and gross assets of  £22m. Thomas Cook acquired Hotels4U.com from Centurion Holiday Group for an initial  £22m. This company closed 150 travel shops and six offices throughout the country with the loss of up to 2,800 jobs, affecting sites in Rochdale, Manchester, Rawtenstall and Denton; not only this but Thomas Cook based 40 head office jobs in London following its merger with Mytravel, but this is not expected to affect the jobs at its existing headquarters in Peterborough. Apart from this, Thomas Cook of Peterborough merged with MyTravel of Rochdale to form a combined holidays business with more than 32,000 staff, Thomas Cook is to conduct a strategic review of its UK tour operating business, prompting speculation that it will seek buyers for Club 18-30, Style villa holidays, Neilson skiing and Sun World. Accenture has won a  £110m 10-year contract from Thomas Cook to set up an IT and finance service centre, which will involve the transfer of about 400 Thomas Cook staff. Thomas Cook has launched a branded digital TV channel, which features its full range of holidays and other travel products; also reduced costs in its European travel business by shedding 2,600 jobs, closing 100 shops and grounding four aircraft. Today, Thomas Cook is a leading travel company and one of the most widely recognised and respected brands in the world. Employing over 11,000 staff, Thomas Cook operates throughout a network of 616 locations in the UK and overseas. The company is wholly owned by Thomas Cook AG (formerly CN Touristic AG), which announced its acquisition of Thomas Cook in December 2004 and was granted EC approval in March 2005. (Marvell, 2005) Thomas Cook AG is now the second largest travel group in Europe and the third largest in the world. One reason for the companys longevity and continued success is its commitment to providing exceptional service. Thomas Cook once described himself as the willing and devoted servant of the travelling public. Today, 160 years after his pioneering excursion, these words remain a fitting epithet to the company he founded. (Bloch and Segev, 1997) Thomas Cook, a major UK Tour Operator, has signed an agreement to pilot AXS-Ones new AXSPoint(R) electronic invoice delivery service to travel agents. The new AXSPoint service, which has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a UK regulatory body for use by tour operators holding an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL), will eliminate the need for tour operators to issue hard copy invoices to travel agents, thereby providing tour operators such as Thomas Cook Holidays with potential savings of up to 80 percent on their annual invoice distribution costs. For travel agents involved in the Pilot program, invoices will now arrive electronically on the same day as dispatch. The AXSPoint service will offer travel agents the ability to automatically match and reconcile invoices to bookings, thereby reducing administration costs and allowing quicker turn-around of invoices to the agents customer. (Richer and James, 1998) The AXSPoint service will significantly enhance the service we provide to our travel agent customers and the service they provide their customers in turn, commented Manny Fontenla Novoa, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (UK). The speed and efficiency of electronic distribution will reduce our costs considerably while benefiting agents and customers alike. Commenting on the development, Mark Donkersley, Managing Director, AXS-One UK, said: While Thomas Cook is the first tour operator to pilot this system, we are receiving strong interest from other tour operators and travel agents. The issuing of paper invoices has been expensive to tour operators and agents alike in terms of money, time and customer service. Today, this activity costs the regulated tour industry over $25 million per year and we are currently working with the leaders of this sector to bring them on board our system. By providing these services electronically, and securely, we save them a considerable amount of money, while at the same time adding value to each part of the distribution chain and generating recurring revenue streams for AXS-One. (Richer and James, 1998) Superficially, the differences between Thomas Cook AG and other agencies are evident, as one is a national tour operator, while the others are global travel conglomerates. Nevertheless, if we examine deeper below the surface and truly analyze other companies, we can appreciate the great difference between Cook and others’ services. All the agencies have become trusted and highly respected in their markets, as well as being among the best-known names in them, but Cook’s services is most appreciated by his customers. This is the reasons his company is the most preferred one. Thus, we can infer that Cook has the same presence and effect in his comparative market, it being tour operation in the U.S. for other companies and the world for Thomas Cook AG. (Trochim, 2001) STA Travel Company To be responsive to their globally dispersed and culturally diverse customer base STA Travel sought to â€Å"delegate as much autonomy, responsibility and authority as close to the action as possible,† while using a single integrated information system â€Å"to provide global support and solutions when that can improve their experience.† They described this philosophy, ‘as local as possible, as global as necessary’. An evolving business strategy called One Company sought to â€Å"align business operations with customer needs across the world†. Global teams were charged with developing and delivering â€Å"a single supplier strategy, one service standard, one set of operating standards and guidelines for management of our corporate identity†. To support that model the company was providing BLUEe, â€Å"a single sales and booking system to every STA Travel point of purchase backed by a single network, infrastructure, finance, and reporting syst em.† (Trochim, 2001) To ensure they remained â€Å"as local as possible,† each major country maintained its own sales and marketing arms. While most country’s home web page was consistent in look and feel, country marketers were each free to design their marketing campaigns including methods to harness the internet. The US office, for instance had run a successful viral marketing campaign called â€Å"body shots,† intended to promote spring break in the U.S. They had also initiated advertising on Facebook and Myspace, two sites popular with the demographics desirable by the firm. The STA Travel U.S. website, itself was a popular destination, registering some 600,000 unique visitors each month. Over 400,000 customers and prospective customers also contact the U.S. Division each month by email. The STA Travel’s North American division’s had initiated development of STATRAVEL193.COM, a highly interactive web site featuring video reports from STA customers about travel destinations. (Gall Borg, 2003)They had also been the first division to explore the possibilities of Second Life as a marketing tool. The idea had received a welcome endorsement, and a matching investment, from STA Travels headquarters in the U.K. Craig Hepburn, STA Travels Global Webmaster, was responsible for the content management system that fed the various country websites and that was being rolled out throughout the world. His team had also supported development of personalized travel blogs, that allowed STA Travel customers to document their travel. Hepburn was enthusiastic about SL as a marketing channel, but knew it would be met with resistance by the marketing departments in other countries. The initial strategy STA Travel had conceived for their web presence had two prongs. The first element was to create several destination islands to attract prospective travelers. For instance, one idea was to create an island featuring the great wall of China. The second element of the plan was to hold a machinima competition among current Second Life residents. Machinima, a style of movie making, uses avatars as members of the cast; the movie is then filmed in the context of a virtual wor Analysis of Holiday Tour Operators Analysis of Holiday Tour Operators Chapter 1: Introduction Outline This research focuses on three UK holiday companies Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel and their marketing strategies. This research is comprised of following chapters: Rationale This study highlights many issues related to marketing of tourism companies; more specifically it will be looking at the three companies mentioned above and will be giving a broad analysis to marketing strategy as a marketing tool. The purpose of this dissertation is to conduct a detailed analysis on three different UK holiday companies which are Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel, who target different segments of the market. I believe that this investigation will broaden my understanding of the tourism marketing as well as the techniques and strategies that they use as a key factor to their success. (Morgan, 2001)Overall I believe that it is an interesting area to study because I can use and demonstrate while conducting this investigation the skills and knowledge that I had obtained while studying my degree. In addition, I have chosen to carry out my dissertation on the following three companies, because I believe that they differ in their market segmentation, however they have a common goal and they are competitors. I would like to introduce the companies that I will be focusing on and provide some brief introduction for each of them. But first of all let us talk about the role of tour operators. (Wang, 2002) Tour operators today play a very important role in creating the images of destinations. In this global capacity, they can significantly influence international tourism flows towards a country hit by safety and security risks. Even decisions of individual tourists on where to spend a holiday very often depend on the attitude and practice of tour operators towards a particular destination. But people have their own choices and preferences. In this paper we are going to analyse Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel tourism and travelling services as this is one of the best tour operator agencies world wide and the first choice of tourists. (Buhalis, 2001) From 1950 to 1998 the number of international tourist arrivals in the world increased from 25 million to 635 million (WTO 1999b), with an average annual increase of 6.97%. Over the past 15 years, international tourism receipts have grown 1.5 times faster than world GDP, with no signs of slowing down. In 1998 international tourism accounted for an estimated 8% of the worlds total earnings and 37% of exports in the service sector (WTO 1999a). According to data from the International Monetary Fund, in 1998 international tourism receipts and passenger transport amounted to more than $504 billion, putting it ahead of all other categories of international trade (automotive products, chemicals, food, petroleum and other fuels, computer and office equipment, textiles and clothing, mining products, etc.). (Driver, 1999) This rapid development of international tourism can partly be explained by the xxpackage holidays promoted nationally and internationally. Indeed, tour operators represent one of the most powerful and most influential entities in the tourism industry. They have a strong influence on international flows from main generating markets to various destinations. According to World Tourism Organization estimates, tour operators nowadays have a share of about 25% in the total international tourism market. This means that in 2000 tour operators organized at least 175 million international tourism trips. Therefore, the success of many destinations depends on whether foreign tour operators include them in their programs. (Buhalis, 1998) Travel Industry As the travel industry consists of numerous sectors and divisions, companies within the industry vary greatly in their activities and the segments of the market they are involved in. Three of them Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel leaders in their respective field and I would like to commence with Kuoni in the following segment. (Riege, 2000) Introduction to Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel Companies Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. oversees one of Europes top five travel and tour groups. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company is particularly strong in both its domestic and U.K. markets, but is also present throughout Europe, especially in Scandinavia, with a rising presence in the United States and Asian markets. Kuoni Travel operates in three primary areas of business: Leisure Travel, which accounts for more than 85 percent of the companys sales; Business Travel, through its BTI unit, which handles travel coordination activities for the small and mid-sized and large-scale corporation markets; and Incoming Services, which provides travel destination services, such as touring and sightseeing packages. (Morrison, 1994)The company markets it high-end tours and travel packages under the Kuoni name. Discount travel packages are offered under the Helvetica brand name. Switzerland remains the companys single largest market, representing slightly less than one-third of its total sales. The U.K. and North American markets together provide less than one-third of sales. The European continent, including Scandinavia, added another roughly 30 percent to Kuonis total sales, which topped SFr 4 billion in 1996. (Schonland and Williams, 1996) Kuoni has been stepping up the pace of its acquisitions at the turn of the century. After being disapponited in its attempt to merge with the United Kingdoms First Choice Holidays Plc, which would have helped the company create a counterweight to Europes market-leading Preussag-Thomson alliance announced in early 1999, Kuoni has changed direction, targeting the Scandinavian, Indian, and North American markets for its future growth. (Weber and Roehl, 1999)Listed on the Swiss stock exchange, Kuoni is led by Chairman Daniel Affolter and President and CEO Hans Lerch. (Bonn and Furr, 1999) A native of Chur, Switzerland, Alfred Kuoni moved to Zurich to open a travel agency in 1906. If the companys nameTravel Bureauwas not all that original, Kuoni quickly established itself as a pioneer in exotic travel destinations. One of the companys first organized tour packages took Swiss citizens on a guided tour to far-off Egypt. (Hu, 1996) In 1925, Kuoni reincorporated as a joint-stock company, with shares remaining within the Kuoni family. Through the years leading up to World War II, Kuoni expanded from its original location to include a number of sales offices throughout Switzerland. Despite its success in its home market, the company recognized early on that Switzerland was too small for its growing ambitions. The company also opened its first international office, in Nice, in the south of France. Further international moves were not realised due to the buildup to and outbreak of World War II. (Baker and Hozier, 1994) Kuonis international expansion began almost immediately after the end of the war. In 1948, the company opened its first international subsidiaries, in Italy and France. Kuoni also continued to venture to new and exotic travel destinations, such as the organization of the first charter flights to Africa. (Pizam and Mansfeld, 1999)In 1957, the Kuoni family established the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation under which to group their holding; much later, with Kuonis public listing, the foundation would became the companys primary shareholder. (Dev and Olsen, 2000) Thomas Cook AG is an international leisure group, created in 2000 by CN Touristics purchase of Britains Thomas Cook Holdings Ltd., with roots tracing back to 1841. (Bitner and Booms, 1982 )The company is represented in the sales markets of Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Egypt, India and Canada, providing products and services in most market segments, including airlines, hotels, tour operators, travel and incoming agencies. Thomas Cook AG is the third largest integrated tourism group in the world, serving some 14 million customers. Thomas Cook AG, encompasses 32 tour operators and around 3,600 travel agencies, selling the groups products worldwide, as well as a portfolio of 76,000 controlled hotel beds, a fleet of 87 aircraft and a workforce numbering some 28,000. Its services also include travel shops and charter airlines. (Koh, 1995) Evidently, the scale of operations of Thomas Cook AG in his respective market, has allowed him to realize economy of scale, affording a strong advantage over competition and in turn benefiting his clients. Because of the large volume of business provided to many resorts by Cook, he currently have excellent buying power, enabling him to negotiate the best possible airfare, hotel rates and transfer rates, which are translated into attractive selling prices, better rooms and overall greater value for his clients. Numerically, Cook has realized triumphs and broken records in his area. In 1993, Thomas Cook AG excels, as it achieved sales of some eight billion Euros and served more that 13 million customers in the 2001-2002 financial year alone. (Ioannides and Debbage, 1997)In appreciation of his expertise and as an acknowledgement of his proficiency in his operations, Thomas Cook AG has both received numerous awards and tributes over the years for a variety of enterprises. For example, th e Mexican government awarded the Best Tour Operator Worldwide Award in 1998. Thomas Cook AG is nominated every year in several categories in the World Travel Awards, as well as having its various subsidiaries and companies receive numerous awards worldwide. (Riege and Perry, 2000) STA Travel, a subsidiary of privately held Diethelm Keller Holding Ltd., markets itself as â€Å"the world’s largest student travel organization helping students travel in over 90 countries.† STA Travel specializes in student travel, a market niche accounting for approximately 20% of all travel bookings. In 2005 STA Travel reported revenues of 215 Million CHF (Swiss Francs) on total transactions of 1,542 CHF, down from 241 on 1539 the previous year. That same year, the firms 2,358 employees working from 375 travel agency offices in 17 countries and through franchises in 83 others, provided travel advice and booking services to approximately 6 million travelers. (Fick and Ritchie, 1991) Founded in 1979, STA Travel had grown and expanded its global reach through a series of mergers and acquisitions. While the brand well known in parts of Europe and Australia, where it had operated for many years, STA Travel’s US brand, born with the acquisition in 2003 of Council Travel, was still less well known. Historically, STA Travel reached its customers through retail travel agencies, many located near or on college campuses. Beginning in the 1990’s, however, the internet brought new online competitors. Among these were Student Universe and Student City as well as less focused on line providers of travel services including Travelocity and Expedia. By 2007 the internet was predicted to account for more bookings than offline alternatives. Aims and Objectives Following are the aims and objectives of this study: Introduction to Kuoni Holiday Company Introduction to Thomas Cook Holiday Company Introduction to STA Travel Holiday Company Marketing strategy of these companies Research Questions The study seeks to answer the following questions: â€Å"An investigation into the marketing strategy of three UK holiday companies who target the different sections of society with reference to their marketing strategy.† (Kuoni, Thomas Cook and STA Travel) Chapter 2: Literature Review Role of Tour Operators The role of tour operators unlike the travel agencies who sell holiday and a range of other travel products tour operators actually assemble the component parts of a holiday, package holidays i.e. the means of travel, accommodation, facilities, transfers, excursion and other services. The famous name which comes into my minds is Thomas Cook for their packages and services. (Field, 1999) If we consider that the travel agents are the retailer arm of the travel business, then the tour operators can be linked to wholesalers, since they buy in bulk from the providers of travel services, such as the hoteliers and airlines, break the bulk into manageable packages and offer the finished product the inclusive tour for sale to the travel agencies or direct to the consumer. (Kaynama and Black, 2000) Peace, safety, and security are the primary conditions for the normal tourism development of a destination, region, or country and thus are the basic determinants of its growth. Without them, destinations cannot successfully compete on the generating markets, even if they present in their marketing campaigns the most attractive and best quality natural and built attractions. Tourism contributes to peace as much as it benefits from it (Savignac 1994). According to Pizam (1999), every minute of every day a crime or a violent act occurs at a destination somewhere in the world. At the same time, it would be difficult to deny that many types of safety risks co-exist in everyones daily lives, and within tourism as well. However, an important difference exists: People are rarely in a position to change their place of living, but nothing can force them to spend a holiday in a place that they perceive as insecure. (Kaynama and Black, 2000)The basic requirement of contemporary demand is higher quality supply and services, and that quality has become the most important factor in the existing climate and development of that demand. But usually do not mention factors which are the condition sine qua non—peace, safety, and security, now generally taken for granted. Any threats to the safety of tourists causes a decrease or total absence of activity, not only in a particular destination, but also very often in neighbouring regions or countries as well. Consequently, since tourism is an important contributor to national economies, host countries will find it necessary to take substantial measures to bring the country hit by crisis back onto the market as quickly as possible. Taking the example of three companies discussed below we further try to explore their role and business strategy. (Medlik and Wang, 2002) Kuoni, Holiday Company Kuoni began looking farther afield in the 1960s. In 1963, the company made its first entry into the Asian markets with the opening of a branch office in Japan. (Medlik and Wang, 2002 )Two years later, Kuoni entered what was later to become one of its most important single markets when it acquired the United Kingdoms Challis Benson Ltd. The importance of the U.K. market to Kuoni was seen at the beginning of the 1970s when the company changed its nameand its U.K. operations nameto Kuoni Travel Ltd. (Buhalis, 1998) The companys listing on the Swiss stock exchange provided fuel for new growth, while opening up the companys shares to new partners, including SwissAir, which built up a 30 percent share in Kuoni. The public listing enabled the company to step up its international growth. After opening a subsidiary in Austria at the beginning of the decade, Kuoni now launched subsidiaries in Germany and Spain, both in 1973, and a subsidiary in Greece the following year. The year 1974 also saw Kuoni step up its position in the U.K. market, when it acquired Houlders World Holidays, based in England. (Buhalis, 1998) While building up its international network, Kuoni also was launching new products. In 1977, the company began marketing its first around-the-world tour. In the 1980s, Kuoni began to acquire properties in many of its most popular destinations, adding a number of hotels, including the Hawksbill Beach Hotel in Antigua in 1981 and the Discovery Bay Beach Hotel in Barbados, bought in 1984. In 1986, Kuoni became the first tour operator to offer around-the-world charter flights on the Concorde supersonic jet. (Morrison, 1996)Although this latter product catered to the companys strong high-end and high-margin clientele, Kuoni also launched a new brand name, Helvetica, to encompass its discount tour and travel operations. The worldwide travel industry remained highly fragmented in the 1990s, with numerous small-scale operators competing against a smaller number of quickly growing industry heavyweights. Kuoni, which had already captured the lead in the Swiss market, was determined to maintain a leadership position as the travel industry headed into a drawn-out consolidation drive leading up to the turn of the century. The company acquired Reiseburo NUR Neckermann in 1987, boosting its position in the Austrian market. Three years later, the company regrouped its Austrian activities, launching the NUR Neckermann Reisen AG joint venture with Germanys Neckermann Touristic. Kuonis part of the joint venture remained at 49 percent. (Morrison, 1996) Back home, the company continued to consolidate its dominance of the Swiss market, acquiring Privat Safaris, the countrys leading operator of tours to eastern Africa, and Reiseburo Popularis, which combined retail offices with direct sales operations marketing discount tour and travel packages. Yet Kuonis strong position in the Swiss market and its growing share internationally soon led it to become the target of a takeover attempt. The sale of SwissAirs 30 percent holding created the opening for Germanys Krauthof AG department store group to acquire a 50.1 percent majority of Kuoni in 1992. (Middleton, Clarke, 2001) Kuoni, through the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation, nonetheless retained majority control of the companys voting rightswhich provided the leverage to the resolution of the takeover attempt. In 1995, the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation bought out Krauthofs stake in the company. The company then changed its name to Kuoni Travel Holding, a move that also reflected a new diversification drive: in 1995 the company acquired Danzas Reisen AG, a Switzerland-based specialist in business travel services. The Danzas acquisition led Kuoni to create a dedicated business travel unit. The company also acquired retailer Kewi Reisen, while integrating its majority share of Railtour Suiss SA, acquired the year before. With its independence assured, Kuoni launched its own acquisition drive in the late 1990s. In 1996, Kuoni added Frances Voice SA, and Scanditours, focused on the Nordic region. (Middleton, Clarke, 2001)The company moved into The Netherlands with the acquisition of Special Traffic that same year. Kuoni also looked to the potentially huge market of India for the first time, acquiring SOTC Holiday Tours, which provided the basis for its Kuoni India Ltd. subsidiary. Two other acquisitions completed the companys busy years, those of Rotunda Tours, expanding Kuoni into South Africa, and CIS Intersport, a Swiss company catering to the growing demand for sports-oriented holiday packages. In 1996, also, the companys Edelweiss Air launched its charter flight operations. (Walle, 1996) Kuonis expansion campaign continued strongly through the end of the century, including the launch of the P O Travel Ltd. joint venture with Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, based in Hong Kong, with offices in Bangkok and Singapore. The 1997 joint venture strengthened Kuonis position in the Asian market, which, despite the austere economic climate in the region at the end of the decade, promised to become one of the worlds stronger holiday markets. Closer to home, Kuoni continued lining up acquisitions, especially Voyages Jules Verne, a U.K. upscale tour operator, and Switzerlands Manta Reisen, which specialized in scuba and other deep-sea holidays. The company also acquired German business travel specialist Euro Lloyd Reisenburo, which it combined with its other German operations into the new subsidiary BTI Euro Lloyd, one of that markets top five business travel companies. Also in 1998, Kuoni launched a joint venture with Italys Gastaldi Tours. The next year Kuoni face a major setback. At the beginning of 1999, the company announced its agreement to merge with the United Kingdoms number three travel operator, First Choice Holidays. The merger, agreed to by both sides, was thwarted by a surprise takeover attempt from rival U.K. operator Airtours Plc, which offered a higher per-share price. When the majority of First Choices shareholders chose to back the Airtours offerwhich itself was blocked by the European monopolies commissionKuoni pulled out of the merger talks. The First Choice merger might have allowed Kuoni to become not only a major player in the U.K. travel market but to boost its position to the top ranks in all of Europe. After the collapse of the merger, however, Kuoni redirected its strategy to other markets. Three markets in particular were to receive its attention: the United States, Scandinavia, and India. In 1999, Kuoni acquired upscale travel company Intrav, based in St. Louis, Missouri; the Intrav acquisition, which cost Kuoni $115 million, gave it a strong opening into the booming U.S. market for luxury vacations. The following year, the company acquired T Pro, an incoming services specialist based in New York and the number three incoming services provider to the U.S. market. The year 2000 saw Kuoni not only strengthen its hold on the Swiss travel markettaking a 49 percent share in ITV, Switzerlands third largest tour group and subsidiary of Germanys Preussagbut also expand its presence in its new target markets of Scandinavia and India. The first was served by the acquisition of 49 percent of Apollo Resor, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and then boosted by the acquisition of Denmarks Dane Tours. In March 2001, the company announced its decision to restructure most of its Scandinavian holdings into a single subsidiary. Thomas Cook Holiday Company Thomascook.com has pledged to bring in a quarter of sales through its website in 2006 and appointed a new digital agency to plan and buy all online media.The move will include an increase in online advertising spend of around 50% and will see an integration between traditional campaigns in print and outdoor with online marketing. Harvest Digital will take on all online media planning and buying through existing travel portals, plus drive a new strategy with the likes of Metro.co.uk, GM.TV and the Lonely Planet websites.Head of online marketing at Thomas Cook, Manuel Mascarenhas, said: â€Å"We selected Harvest Digital because they have delivered on an imaginative plan, using competitions, contextual advertising and sponsorships against tight CPA targets. They have a core audience of repeat bookers and want to ensure we continue to acquire new customers online. The new marketing strategy will target what has been labelled the lucrative and web-savvy audience of 35 to 45 year olds that several holidays a year, including packages, flights, ski holidays and cruises. Harvest Digital partner Emma Wilson added that Thomas Cook is the oldest name in travel but has a very contemporary approach within its sales channels. Also Thomas Cook Signature has won the award for Best Long Haul Operator at last years British Travel Awards, receiving 31% of the vote, while in 2002 Thomas Cook India Ltd has been awarded the Institute of Directors prestigious Golden Peacock National Award for excellence in corporate governance, awarded for transparency, excellence in conducting business at various levels of management, social and environmental responsibility, ethical business practice and consistent creation of value for all the stake holders. Thomas Cook Group has acquired Elegant Resorts, the Chester-based luxury travel firm with 160 staff and gross assets of  £22m. Thomas Cook acquired Hotels4U.com from Centurion Holiday Group for an initial  £22m. This company closed 150 travel shops and six offices throughout the country with the loss of up to 2,800 jobs, affecting sites in Rochdale, Manchester, Rawtenstall and Denton; not only this but Thomas Cook based 40 head office jobs in London following its merger with Mytravel, but this is not expected to affect the jobs at its existing headquarters in Peterborough. Apart from this, Thomas Cook of Peterborough merged with MyTravel of Rochdale to form a combined holidays business with more than 32,000 staff, Thomas Cook is to conduct a strategic review of its UK tour operating business, prompting speculation that it will seek buyers for Club 18-30, Style villa holidays, Neilson skiing and Sun World. Accenture has won a  £110m 10-year contract from Thomas Cook to set up an IT and finance service centre, which will involve the transfer of about 400 Thomas Cook staff. Thomas Cook has launched a branded digital TV channel, which features its full range of holidays and other travel products; also reduced costs in its European travel business by shedding 2,600 jobs, closing 100 shops and grounding four aircraft. Today, Thomas Cook is a leading travel company and one of the most widely recognised and respected brands in the world. Employing over 11,000 staff, Thomas Cook operates throughout a network of 616 locations in the UK and overseas. The company is wholly owned by Thomas Cook AG (formerly CN Touristic AG), which announced its acquisition of Thomas Cook in December 2004 and was granted EC approval in March 2005. (Marvell, 2005) Thomas Cook AG is now the second largest travel group in Europe and the third largest in the world. One reason for the companys longevity and continued success is its commitment to providing exceptional service. Thomas Cook once described himself as the willing and devoted servant of the travelling public. Today, 160 years after his pioneering excursion, these words remain a fitting epithet to the company he founded. (Bloch and Segev, 1997) Thomas Cook, a major UK Tour Operator, has signed an agreement to pilot AXS-Ones new AXSPoint(R) electronic invoice delivery service to travel agents. The new AXSPoint service, which has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a UK regulatory body for use by tour operators holding an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL), will eliminate the need for tour operators to issue hard copy invoices to travel agents, thereby providing tour operators such as Thomas Cook Holidays with potential savings of up to 80 percent on their annual invoice distribution costs. For travel agents involved in the Pilot program, invoices will now arrive electronically on the same day as dispatch. The AXSPoint service will offer travel agents the ability to automatically match and reconcile invoices to bookings, thereby reducing administration costs and allowing quicker turn-around of invoices to the agents customer. (Richer and James, 1998) The AXSPoint service will significantly enhance the service we provide to our travel agent customers and the service they provide their customers in turn, commented Manny Fontenla Novoa, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (UK). The speed and efficiency of electronic distribution will reduce our costs considerably while benefiting agents and customers alike. Commenting on the development, Mark Donkersley, Managing Director, AXS-One UK, said: While Thomas Cook is the first tour operator to pilot this system, we are receiving strong interest from other tour operators and travel agents. The issuing of paper invoices has been expensive to tour operators and agents alike in terms of money, time and customer service. Today, this activity costs the regulated tour industry over $25 million per year and we are currently working with the leaders of this sector to bring them on board our system. By providing these services electronically, and securely, we save them a considerable amount of money, while at the same time adding value to each part of the distribution chain and generating recurring revenue streams for AXS-One. (Richer and James, 1998) Superficially, the differences between Thomas Cook AG and other agencies are evident, as one is a national tour operator, while the others are global travel conglomerates. Nevertheless, if we examine deeper below the surface and truly analyze other companies, we can appreciate the great difference between Cook and others’ services. All the agencies have become trusted and highly respected in their markets, as well as being among the best-known names in them, but Cook’s services is most appreciated by his customers. This is the reasons his company is the most preferred one. Thus, we can infer that Cook has the same presence and effect in his comparative market, it being tour operation in the U.S. for other companies and the world for Thomas Cook AG. (Trochim, 2001) STA Travel Company To be responsive to their globally dispersed and culturally diverse customer base STA Travel sought to â€Å"delegate as much autonomy, responsibility and authority as close to the action as possible,† while using a single integrated information system â€Å"to provide global support and solutions when that can improve their experience.† They described this philosophy, ‘as local as possible, as global as necessary’. An evolving business strategy called One Company sought to â€Å"align business operations with customer needs across the world†. Global teams were charged with developing and delivering â€Å"a single supplier strategy, one service standard, one set of operating standards and guidelines for management of our corporate identity†. To support that model the company was providing BLUEe, â€Å"a single sales and booking system to every STA Travel point of purchase backed by a single network, infrastructure, finance, and reporting syst em.† (Trochim, 2001) To ensure they remained â€Å"as local as possible,† each major country maintained its own sales and marketing arms. While most country’s home web page was consistent in look and feel, country marketers were each free to design their marketing campaigns including methods to harness the internet. The US office, for instance had run a successful viral marketing campaign called â€Å"body shots,† intended to promote spring break in the U.S. They had also initiated advertising on Facebook and Myspace, two sites popular with the demographics desirable by the firm. The STA Travel U.S. website, itself was a popular destination, registering some 600,000 unique visitors each month. Over 400,000 customers and prospective customers also contact the U.S. Division each month by email. The STA Travel’s North American division’s had initiated development of STATRAVEL193.COM, a highly interactive web site featuring video reports from STA customers about travel destinations. (Gall Borg, 2003)They had also been the first division to explore the possibilities of Second Life as a marketing tool. The idea had received a welcome endorsement, and a matching investment, from STA Travels headquarters in the U.K. Craig Hepburn, STA Travels Global Webmaster, was responsible for the content management system that fed the various country websites and that was being rolled out throughout the world. His team had also supported development of personalized travel blogs, that allowed STA Travel customers to document their travel. Hepburn was enthusiastic about SL as a marketing channel, but knew it would be met with resistance by the marketing departments in other countries. The initial strategy STA Travel had conceived for their web presence had two prongs. The first element was to create several destination islands to attract prospective travelers. For instance, one idea was to create an island featuring the great wall of China. The second element of the plan was to hold a machinima competition among current Second Life residents. Machinima, a style of movie making, uses avatars as members of the cast; the movie is then filmed in the context of a virtual wor