Scheduling and Routing on holiday

In May, Tina and I went on holiday to the Greek island of Rhodes.  It was a good holiday, the sort which is taken by millions of people each year.  But we generally don't have that sort of package holiday, flying with a tour company and staying for a week in the same city in a hotel.  So it was a new(ish) experience for us, and we encountered an everyday problem for the tour company which has to be solved every day in Rhodes and in hundreds of other holiday resorts. 

Our plane held between 150 and 200 passengers.  They were staying at 30 or 40 different hotels across the island.  How does the tour company transfer them from the airport to those hotels as efficiently as possible?  To complicate matters, ours was not the only flight arriving that evening, and holidaymakers from several flights, and different countries, were arriving.  So it looks like a delivery problem, such as those solved by parcels companies on a daily basis.  For parcels, read passengers.  For trucks, read coaches or taxis.  But the further problem is that arrivals are spread over several hours, so there are interlinked routing problems, arrivals at 6pm can join the arrivals at 7pm but not later, and arrivals at 7pm can be mixed with arrivals at 8pm etc. 

And the same problem applies in reverse on departure day, with windows of arrival time at the airport to allow people to check-in with a little free time. 

Why is there nothing about it in the O.R. literature? 


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