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   Sample Travel Lesson

SAMPLE LESSON PLAN: Academy of Travel and Tourism

Member programs of the NAF Network have online access to a library of lessons and courses, which can be downloaded, printed or uploaded to a handheld computer. Teachers also have the freedom to edit lessons through NAF's online development tools, as well as create and submit new lessons to NAF for review and validation. Below is a sample lesson from the AOTT Travel Destinations course.

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Specialty Travel



    1 hour


    How can the travel professional enhance the client's stay in a country by booking specialty travel components?


    • explain the value of specialty tours
    • differentiate specialty tours from mass tourism
    • identify target markets for specialty tours.


    Many travelers want to get away from the "been there, seen it, got the T-shirt" mode of travel but they are not always aware of other options available. Specialty tours offer the travel professional the opportunity to match the client with a unique activity or interest in a way that can make a travel experience more personalized to the individual's specific tastes. Specialty tours are available for nearly every individual interest imaginable, from wine tours to ballooning to more traditional sporting tours such as biking, backpacking, and hiking. To the travel professional, specialty tours offer the potential to add value and increased revenues by helping tourists get more out of their travel experience.

    This lesson is designed to be a research activity in which students use the Internet and other more traditional resources such as travel guides, library books on travel in Europe, and other resources to report on a particular type of specialty travel. Students will write a travel article about a specialty tour they have selected and make a brief oral presentation on their topic using presentation software.

    Web sites of interest include:

    Here are some Web sites that contain complete tutorials for using PowerPoint or other presentation software. Some of these sites are free for teachers. The teacher is free to copy and distribute the tutorials. It is recommended that the teacher download this information for the students.


  • Reading 1: Specialty Tours (TD. 
  • Reading 2: A Specialty Tour (TD. 
  • Reading 3: Do's and Don'ts of Presentations (TD.


    >>>> You are a travel professional who books clients in Europe. Maria, another travel professional in the office where you work, also books many of her clients in Europe. However, Maria's clients tend to stay at their destinations in Europe about twice as long as the clients you book, even though they seem to fit the same profile. What might account for this key difference?

    [Student responses.]

    >>>> Suppose you want to increase your travel business to be more like Maria's business. How can you get your clients to stay in Europe for a longer period of time in a way that benefits both them and citizens in the areas where tourists go?

    [Student responses.]

    >>>> You e-mail Maria and ask her to give you guidance as to how to increase your clients' booked days in Europe. She responds to you with two words: "Specialty tours."

    >>>> What do you think she means by this?

    [Student responses.]


    Write on board:

    Specialty Tour

    >>>> What is a specialty tour?

    [Answer: A specialty tour involves a particular activity/interest as the focus of the travel. A bicycle tour is an example of a specialty tour.]

    Distribute Reading 1. Allow students time to review the information.

    >>>> As a travel professional, who do you think would be interested in specialty tours? What market would you seek to attract? Explain.
    [Student responses.]

    Distribute Reading 2. Allow time for students to read.

    >>>> This is an example of one kind of specialty tour. What type of clients do you think this type of tour might draw?

    [Student responses.]

    >>>> Does the tour seem expensive or inexpensive to you? What are some of the steps involved in setting up a tour like this?

    [Possible answers: renting bicycles, having bike repair equipment and expertise, hiring a guide, arranging lodging and food, advertising, paying commissions to booking agents, insurance, etc.]

    >>>> Calculate the total income for each tour assuming maximum occupancy.

    [Answers: 12 people x 2400 = $28,800; 10 people x 3000 = $30,000; 10 people x 3000 = $30,000]

    >>>> Suppose the estimated cost per person per day was $250. This would include food, lodging, bike, and the cost of the guide. How much profit would the tour company make?

    [Answer: 12 people x 8 days x 250 = $24,000, leaving $4,800; 10 people x 10 days x 250 = 25,000, leaving $5,000]

    >>>> This profit has to pay for the time you spent setting up the trip and for the advertising. As a businessperson, where is your revenue coming from? High profit per tour sale or from volume sales?

    [Answer: volume sales-the tour company needs to sell a lot of tours]

    >>>> Suppose you tried to cut back on costs by supplying cheaper food and lodgings. What risks are you running?

    [Answer: Customers won't like it and your business may receive a lot of negative comments that could lead to further loss of business.]

    >>>> What happens if you raise the cost of the tour?

    [Answer: If it is too high, no one will want it.]

    >>>> What other risks are you running?

    [Answer: bad weather; slowdown in tourist business in general; suppliers may suddenly raise prices, etc.]

    >>>> Even though specialty tours have high costs and high risks, it is a booming business. What type of specialty tour do you think you might enjoy taking?

    [Student responses.]

    >>>> Chances are that there is a specialty tour out there that would meet your needs. And chances are that there are other people like you.

    Research Activity
    Direct students to use traditional or Internet resources to write a 1- to 2-page travel magazine article featuring a specific type of specialty tour. Students may choose any type of specialty tour available in Europe. In their report, students should focus on how both tourists and travel professionals can realize greater value as a result of the type of specialty tour they chose.


    >>>> How do specialty tours add value to your client''s experience? How do they add value to you as a travel professional? Explain.

    [Student responses.]


    Do you think niche marketing to one specific age group is an effective marketing tool for specialty tours? Why or why not? Explain.

    [Student responses.]

    >>>> Can you think of any examples where the tourism industry may be doing this already? Explain.

    [Possible answer: While tours may not specifically say what age group they are aimed at, to some extent you can tell by the types of activities involved. Also, advertising brochures may show a particular type of person, although this can be almost purposely misleading at times.]


    Complete a computer-based presentation (10 to 15 slides) about specialty tours in Europe for presentation to the class. Reading 3 offers guidelines for preparing a presentation.

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