Not only has transportation advanced but also the capacity of many people to buy cars due to more compensated holiday and passive income. This increase in consumers’ income was apparently a positive development for tourism. Moreover, the invention of the Internet and other computer technologies made the booking system easier (Sharpley 2006). For instance, the global distribution systems (GCDs) were recognised in the 1980s as a computer reservation technology (Singh 2008). However, this advances in technology depressed the traditional operations of the travel and tourism industry as well as the importance of human travel agents. The benefits of these developments to the industry are hence relative to one’s point of view.
A general differentiation is usually made between the different specialisations of tour operators: first is mass-market or mainstream, and second is specialist or niche. Mass-market or mainstream tour operators, such as My Travel, TUI UK, First Choice, etc., are those that create a substantial fraction of their revenue by selling a popular product such as the 4S product (sex, sand, sea, and sun) to a broad market segment. On the other hand, niche or specialist tour operators serve a smaller market segment with frequently highly specialised products. In an effort to thrive in a highly competitive environment of tourism, tour operators, specifically small independent ones, are incessantly searching for niche markets to develop.
From the point of view of the customer, with less leisure time and more severe stress, services offered by tour operators are important for maximising valuable time. Moreover, the operator gains better transactions from the producers by buying in bulk, which enables them to bid low prices for the whole produce and/or service, which are quite difficult to acquire by the individual customer. Due to these factors, price and time, the services of tour