When choosing to start a travel agency business there are typical steps to follow, which are;
- Check your local or state law
- Develop a Business Plan
- Identify a Target Market
- Anticipate start-up needs
- Calculate projected cash flow
- Be Independent by getting your own accreditation number for your travel agency.
- Use Host Agency
- Join a franchise
- Join a network of travel agencies, host, suppliers and vendors with shared focus
The travels and tourism industry of which travel agencies belong to is a big and profitable industry in the United States of America and of course all across the globe.
The travels and tourism industry provide jobs directly and indirectly to countless numbers of entrepreneurs all over the globe. The opportunities that is available in the industry cuts across service deliveries and product sales et al.
One thing is certain, it is a fact that the travels and tourism industry is not all about tourists but also about all those who travel from one country to another, from one city to another for various purposes and with the help of traveling agencies.
This is why any investor or entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a business in the travels and tourism industry should consider starting a travel agency.
How Do Travel Agencies Make Money?
The norm in this industry is that travel agencies make their money via the commission they get by offering traveling related services such as booking for flight tickets, securing transit visas, booking for shuttle buses / taxi cabs, car rentals, hotel bookings and cruise line bookings amongst many other services.
Travel agencies also generate incomes from selling of traveling related insurance policy covers, sale of travel guide books and through the sale of foreign currencies.
Lastly, one good thing about travel agencies is that there is readily available market for their services simply because people would always have cause to move or travel from one destination to another be it local travels or international travels.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Travel Agency Business
If you decide to start your own travel agency business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established travel agency brand within the same location where yours is located.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on specific market. It could be individual clients or corporate clients’ et al.
Another threat and challenge that you are likely going to face when you start your own travel agency is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape it will automatically affect the purchasing power of the general public and that can impact your business negatively.
So also unfavorable government policies, could as well affect the profitability and growth of travel agencies.
Marketing ideas and strategies for a travel agency business
People and organizations will hire your services as travel agent to help them handle all their travelling needs if they know that they are going to get value for their money which is why you should have done your proper homework about the travelling product your intend marketing.
Thus, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your travel agency, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company’s profile.
Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to helping people handle their travel needs from the planning stage through the trip and back to destination.
This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for contracts from corporate organizations.
Please note that when you bid for contracts from corporate organizations, you will be called upon to defend your proposal, which is why you must add presentation skills as part of your marketing skills.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your travel agency business;
Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations and businesses in your Country ( if you are just starting out as an independent travel agency, you may want to concentrate on individual clients) Promptness in bidding for contracts
Advertise your business in relevant travels and tours magazines, radio stations and TV stations (make yourself available for travels and tourism related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radios)
List your business on local directories / yellow pagesAttend relevant travels and tours expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets
Leverage on the internet to promote your business (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your travels and tours, people will consider you an expert in the field and would want to do business with you)
Join local chambers of commerce around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you especially if you can afford it.
Tips for Running a Travel Agency Business
Successfully The truth is that, irrespective of the kind of business you run, your ability to get all the members of your team on same page at all times is one of the keys you would need to successfully run the organization.
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Photo Credit HON. Yvonne Nelson