Most people think that a travel agency and a tour operator are the same things. The truth is that these are separate and they will handle different journey parts. We can say that the biggest difference that can be noticed stands in the services that are being offered. The difference between the two started to be obvious from 1992. That is when the travel companies started to be liable based on the part of the travel process that they are handling.
What do the tour operators do?
The tour operators are those that offer more services and that are usually more liable in the event that something bad will happen. The travel agents are basically going to obtain a commission for referring you to a tour operator. We can say that the travel agents are similar to real estate agents that are selling properties. The scope stands out as the biggest difference between tour operators and travel agencies. A travel agent will offer specific services and will act as an intermediate service between travelers and airlines.
Agents will never have anything to do with how a tour runs and will never be attached with any actual service or facility.
We can also notice a difference between tour operators and travel agencies in the way in which they will be paid. Agents will receive commissions for all services and the money that they will receive is not much as compared to the tour operator.
Where to go to?
As you can clearly see, the tour operator will simply do a lot more than the travel agent. This basically means that it is a much better idea to go to a tour operator. However, the entire situation is quite tricky. This is due to the fact that a travel agent might have connections with different tour operators. The tour operator will have contracts with different hotels in various parts of the world but the services will be different than what another tour operator would offer. The travel agent will usually have many more offers since they are currently working with many tour operators. This basically means that for people that are looking for diversity, it is necessary to visit a travel agent. However, the best prices are going to be obtained when directly contacting the tour operator. The entire situation might seem to be complicated but it all boils down to personal wishes and needs.