Tour operator or travel agency: what to choose, how do they differ?

The whole world is available for modern tourists to travel. Today you can admire the Northern lights in Finland, tomorrow you can sunbathe on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and a week later you can participate in an African safari. As practice shows, in order to plan and competently organize a vacation, it is best to contact representatives of the tourism sector. And most often at this moment, novice tourists have a question, from whom exactly to ask for help? It is known that representatives of a tour operator or travel agency can help in the selection of a voucher. Each of them has advantages and features. Today we are looking into the difference between a tour operator and a travel agency.

Tour operator or travel agency: what to choose, how do they differ?


The subtleties of the tourism industry: we understand the concepts of

A tour operator — a company that creates a travel product. Representatives of the operator book hotels, charter planes or buy tickets for flights, sign contracts with transfer companies, hire guides abroad. This is how tour packages are formed. That is, everything that is included in the price of the tour is prepared by the tour operator.The difference between a travel agency and a tour operator is that it is the agency that sells ready-made products to potential travelers.package tours. The travel agency acts as an intermediary between the client and the operator. In parallel, the agency can offer additional services in the form of transfers, excursions and, of course, travel manager consultations 24/7.

Tour operator or travel agency: what to choose, how do they differ?

Who is better?

When we have figured out what a travel agency and a tour operator are, we will answer the question where it is better to buy a ticket. It would seem that the best option is to directly contact the creator of the tourist product. But not everything is so simple!

In fact, a travel operator can most often offer:

  • only certain destinations in which it specializes;
  • a limited list of hotels and tours in general;
  • fixed prices, usually without discounts.

Therefore, when the question arises what to choose a travel agency or a tour operator, it is better to give preference to the agency. The main reasons are that the travel agency:

  • cooperates with several proven tour operators, which significantly expands the choice of tours for travelers;
  • offers various recreation options – beach, ski, wellness, sightseeing, event, children’s and etc;
  • can sell tours with discounts, in installments, and will always find something to offer for an early booking promotion or from burning vouchers.

Tour operator or travel agency: what to choose, how do they differ?

Where is it cheaper?

If you want to save money, it is better to use the services of a travel agency. Although the prices for tours are set by the operator, the agency can sell the ticket at a discount. Sometimes even cheaper than a tour operator. The fact is that the agency does not profit from the extra charge for the client, but a commission from the operator himself. Therefore, there is often no difference in prices on the operator’s and agency’s websites at all!

Summing up, it is important to say that the undoubted “plus” of travel agencies is their interest and concern for customers, while the operator is aimed at the mass sale of vouchers. That is why the sales specialists and consultants of the travel agency work 24/7 and will always help the client from the moment of choosing a ticket until returning from vacation. 

It seems that now, what difference does a travel agency or a tour operator make, is obvious to everyone, isn’t it?

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