If you are looking for successful ways on “how to start a travel business?” then this is the right place to be. There are several opportunities in the tour and travel industry, regardless of your preferred niche. The best is that travel agency start-up costs are very low, and you don’t usually go out of business.
On average, almost 6 million people travel by air every day, while the pandemic has slowed down the air traffic, there are still a lot of people traveling by air. According to a report, the tourism industry worths an estimated revenue of $400 Billion., so if you’re planning to start a new business, this might be the right time for you.
No economic and weather conditions can shut the travel business as long as people like to travel and explore the wonders of nature, architecture, historical places. There are some conditions that can slow down the business such as the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is the same with every other business as well.
In this guide we have tried to solve all your initial queries and doubts and gave you the proper guidelines to set up your travel agency and manage the travel agency startup cost according to your niche.
Pros and Cons of Starting a Travel Business
Each business comes with its fair share of benefits and drawbacks. If you’re looking to start your own travel business, then you need to know the pros and cons:
Pros of a Travel Business:
- Flexible and mobile working hours and location.
- You can get a chance to travel worldwide.
- You can work part-time or full time, you have full control over your hours.
- Variety of job options you can specialize in. (Cruise trips, honeymoons, etc.)
- Good enough revenue option.
- You don’t need to have special training or special education for business.
Cons of Travel Business:
- The job demands can demand too many hours.
- More and more people are booking trips for themselves so less job security.
- Creating and maintaining a reliable business can be tough.
- The internet age has to lead to clear transparency in prices.
Now that you know what it takes to survive in the industry and what benefits your efforts can bring you, you can decide whether or not to start your travel business with a clearer mind.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Travel Agency?
One of the biggest factors in determining whether you want to start a travel agency is how much it will cost to set up the business. Understanding the required costs will depend on several factors.
The first thing you will need to do is to determine your specialization. The second step is to determine if you’ll be working from home or setting renting an office. Your major cost will depend on if you want to rent an office or not. The location you decide to have your business on will also make a difference in the costs.
Starting your own travel agency can cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000 based on the type of agency you are actually starting. Travel agencies that are run directly from home require the least amount of money. If you rent an office, the travel agency startup costs can differ.
Tools Required for Starting Travel Agency Business.
You can’t just decide to start a travel business one day and start with it the next day. You need a wide range of tools and equipment to successfully start and scale your business operation. To make sure you can find the right customers, and build a reputation for yourself, you will need special tools to start a travel agency business.
- Determine your niche (your desired niche can become an area of expertise).
- Choose your location (you need to choose your locations and where you want to set up your business operations, if you are starting a business at home then you can cut back on costs).
- Invest in quality equipment (basic equipment like computer, strong internet connectivity, fax machine, printer, and telephone).
- Get required certificates (each state and state government have their own set of rules and regulations and get the certificates based on local regulations).
- This is a good example of rules and regulations for the UK market. Courtesy of NetLawman website.
- Build good social media profiles (having a strong online presence can help you bring in new customers for your recent business).
How To Start a Travel Business in India?
We are providing you a complete guide to set up your tour and travel business plan from home in 2021.
Travel agency startup cost is quite affordable as you need your skills and contacts to get the work done and you receive the payment firsthand. Today, we are providing you with a travel agency plan PDF on “how to start a travel business?”
Guidelines on “how to start a travel business?” are as following:
1. Start with Selecting Your Niche
The concept of more the merrier doesn’t apply here when you are looking for your way into setting up a tour and travel company. You need to follow your strength areas and focus initially on that to start a travel business. The travel industry has different aspects, and you must choose yours to establish your brand.
Starting a travel industry without selecting a niche is like finding a needle in the haystack. Chances are you already know your niche as it could be the primary reason to start up your own travel agency. Finding your niche in the initial steps can help you build your brand as a niche authority. Here are some of the most common niches:
- Domestic travel
- International travel
- Corporate tours
- Holiday tours
- Corporate employee retreat travel
- Luxury travels
- Destination weddings
- Family travel
- Adventure travel
2. Decide a Name for Your Travel Agency
Once you decide your niche in the travel industry then it is time for you to make a decision on the name of your travel company. Now, whether you want to start a travel business independently or under some host agency or open their franchise. In any case, you will need your own tour and travel agency name. This is the first step to establish your brand value and you can’t do that without a brand name.
Moreover, your business partners such as vendors, hotels, airlines, cruise lines will need your travel agency name in their records, you also need a business name for incorporation of your company. It is also necessary to authenticate your work and for legalities. Starting a travel business online is not easy and the last thing you want is someone claiming your products
3. Find Some Partners
So now you have a niche and a perfect name to set up your travel agency. Your next step should be finding the business partners and I don’t mean the one as a company partner unless you want. In a services industry, you need to collaborate with different partners such as hotels, itineraries, logistics, local vendors, airlines, and so on.
You need products or packages to sell to your customers and you can’t arrange everything at a reasonable cost without collaborating with these vendors. They are your extended or overseas partner that will make the stay of your clients eventful, enjoying, and relaxing. They are the ones who will deliver the services you have promised while selling the package. Without efficient and responsible partners, you can’t stand a chance to survive in the tourism industry.
4. Research About the Industry and Your Niche
Before you approach any clients or practice your elevator pitch to your potential clients or start with marketing of your travel agency. You need to do a thorough search about your company. You need to know about the target customers, potential market, demands of the customer and services offered by your competitors and cost of the package and preferences of destination, and so on. These are some of the factors that can affect your performance in a great way. It is better to deal with them in advance before you give anyone to collaborate with you or pitch your potential customers.
This research will inform you of all the ups and downs in the industry, the peak time of the season, and tactics to attract them to choose your tour and travel business plan over others. When you have enough knowledge of your industry you will have a better understanding of dealing with them It will also boost your confidence.
5. Select Your Business Structure
The nature of your business structure is very crucial. If you are a sole owner or in partnership if you want to establish an LLC or a corporation. The cost of investment, registration requirements, tax liabilities, legalities, insurance work, and even product description depends on the structure of your business.
Your outcome will also change. For example, if you are a sole owner then all the profits will be yours for the decision you make and losses too but if it’s a partnership firm then you have to make every decision together and share your profit and loss as well. The cost of incorporating will be expensive and so is insurance. Every structure comes with its advantages and disadvantages, and you need to choose yours.
6. Create Your Tour and Travel Business Plan
Once you have made a decision regarding your business structure, your next step involves making a tour and travel business plan. A business plan is an important document where you write your goals, the funding you have or need from investors. Steps to achieve your future goals and so on. Basically, it’s a rough plan for starting a travel business.
When you go asking for a loan from banks or other financial institutes or open your business account or looking for insurance, they might ask for your business plan. It is a personal list of goals that will keep you motivated and push you towards your goals until you achieve them.
7. Register Your Company
Now you are done with all your initial planning to start a travel business of your own. It is now time to officially register your company with the government of your state or nation. It is a license to start your business legally. You are now a legitimate tour and travel agency, and you can start your business officially at a national and international level. Registering your company will open the doors for the investors or to get government loans to open a small-scale business.
8. Set Up Your Finances
Now you legally and officially own a tour and travel business. It is time to provide the fuel for your business to run smoothly. You need to set up a separate business account for accounting and financial purposes. You can ask banks for loans or ask private investors and financial institutions for a loan to start a travel business.
It is also time to separate your personal and business assets and liabilities. Your tax account will be separate from yours and all the payments of bills and initial advances for booking will be done from your business account only. It is very important to set your books clean to avoid any financial difficulties.
9. Build Your Place in The Market
It is the time to start your business. Initially, the sale process will be low and slow. But to build your place in the market you have to shout louder than your competitors. Now, how can you do that? I have just one word for you, Marketing! You need to adapt both modes online and offline.
Create a business website and business accounts on several social media channels to gain popularity. It will also help you to get organic traffic and soon your business will start running smoothly with continuous demand. You can offer the discounted packages and promotion codes to improve the sales graph in the beginning. A strong content marketing strategy can help you to build your brand value and rank high on google.
10. Reviews Matter
Reviews can attract new customers at every stage of your business. They also help to build the credibility of your band. Even when the business is slow initially ask your clients to leave the reviews on your website in detail.
You actually don’t have a product to show firsthand. In the service industry, people buy people and positive reviews can build your reputation overnight whereas negative can destroy your years’ worth of effort. That is the power of social media, therefore, never underestimate the power of reviews and suggestions.
11. Build Trust and Encourage Repetitive Business
There is still a lot to do to become a reputed tour and travel agency in your niche. To boost your sales and improve your brand value. You need a continuous marketing strategy, reviews, or short online experience videos from real customers with their pictures. To get more response from your current or potential clients ask for their reviews and suggestions and don’t forget to work on them.
Make sure your social media accounts and websites are always responsive and there is something new for everyone because no matter what your niche is your customers will come from every section. Your response will encourage repeat business and your demand will increase eventually. To get the repeat business make sure you deliver no less than what you promise otherwise a single bad comment can tarnish your brand image before establishing.
So now you have our 11-step guide on “how to start a travel business?” We understand the journey to becoming a reputed tour and travel agency online is not easy, but we hope our guidelines will help you to keep going further and create an opportunity to become the authority in your travel business.
If you will follow these steps to start a travel business in India, your chances of success will become more positive quickly. These steps will help you to set up your own tour and travel business plan online and guide you in the right direction without losing your focus. We wish you good luck!