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why Economics is important in Business Studies.

You are required to submit an individual reflective portfolio which must demonstrate how you have developed during this course. Your portfolio must include the following:

• Review the Learning Outcomes for this module. What is your understanding of what is to be achieved and how will you go about doing this.
• In your own words, explain why Economics is important in Business Studies.
• What did you learn from the group work?
• What skills have you developed on this module and how will it help you in the future?

Word count or equivalent: 200 each task (800 in total).

Task 1
Travel Agents – UK – December 2011
Broader Market Environment
Key points
● Any optimism over stronger than expected GDP growth for Q3 2011 was quickly squashed by downgraded Bank of England forecasts for the full years 2011 and 2012, the latter from 2.2% to 1%.
● The Pound has so far failed to benefit (in exchange rate terms) from continued eurozone uncertainty.
● Travel agent use as a source of research has increased year on year, however online research – the most likely choice – has also grown.
● The UK’s population is ageing; the 65-74 and over-85 age groups will grow fastest in the five years to 2016.
● Socio-economic groups AB and C2 are forecast to increase most strongly by 2016. ABs are the most likely to consider using an agent in future.

Task 2
Travel Agents – UK – December 2011 Executive Summary

Task 3
Travel Agents – UK – December 2011
Internal Market Environment
Key points
● For every five overseas holidays taken in 2008, four were taken in 2010. For the first nine months of 2011, volume further declined by 0.3% year on year.
● Domestic holidays fell by almost 7% in 2010, however across the first seven months of 2011, holidays in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) rose 4.5%.
● By global region, the ‘other countries’ segment (long-haul excluding North America) was the only one to see growth in holidays from the UK across the 2005-10 period.
● Travel company collapses were less high profile in 2011 than 2010, however in November Thomas Cook’s financial woes became front page news.
● Reports suggest that the company (which has the greatest number of high street agent stores following its Co-op Travel retail merger) may cut up to 200 outlets. Its rival TUI has begun merging its travel agents brands into ‘Thomson featuring First Choice’.
● The implementation of legislation to bring ‘flight-plus’ holidays under ATOL protection has been delayed from 1 January to April 2012.

Task 4

The question is based on the Mintel report relating to the market for overseas holidays booked via travel agents in the UK. You can read the whole report but the three important sections are the executive summary, the internal market environment, and the external market environment. These are on BB and you have also received a hard copy.
The four parts of the question (which are equally weighted 25 marks each) are:
a) What has happened to demand (sales) of holidays in the period 2005 -2009? Provide a quantitative estimate. What has happened to prices? What has happened to the revenues of sellers? (Sometimes we call this “volume” sales and “value” sales – in exactly the same way as in macro we distinguish between ‘real’ and ‘nominal’ magnitudes)
b) What is a ‘staycation’? Why have they become more popular? Why is the concept of cross-price elasticity of demand important? What determines the relative price of staycations and vacations?
c) How can you use the concept of income elasticity of demand to explain the effect of the recession on the demand for holidays?
d) What sort of market structure exists in the market for package holidays? There has been some merger activity in recent years. What is the rationale for this? And what has this got to do with costs? What sort of costs are relevant? Fixed? Variable?


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