06 Feb How to Start Your Own Travel Agency
If you’ve observed the recent travelling trend and dropping air ticket prices, you might’ve thought about entering into the travel business. Tourism continues to grow into a fast-growing and lucrative industry, which makes it a perfect time to start a travel agency. But start how? Let’s find out.
1. Pick a Target Market
Before jumping into the travel agency business, first gauge your interests and strengths. What do you love? If you love the beach, build a business around the surf and sand you so love by selling beach holidays. This way, your passion becomes your job, and your job, your passion.
Next, gauge your knowledge about the market. You may love the beach. But do you also know it well enough to make solid recommendations based on a client’s needs? Remember, clients will look to you for in-depth information about their trip.
2. Approach Travel Operators
As a travel agent, you only sell holidays, not organise them. Tour operators, on the other hand, leave the selling to you, focusing instead on the organising. In short, you’re two sides of the same coin and, thus, need each other.
But when starting your business, you need the operators more. So, approach them, sell yourself, and ask for a competitive commission. But no matter how desperate you’re to get started, don’t undersell yourself.
You could also start gathering key contact information from reps for these operators. Some of them might be more open to being approached that way. However, you have to make sure that the addresses are valid before you do so. A service like theemailfinder.co can help you build a list of contacts and verify the emails so you don’t spend time sending a message to inboxes that are no longer active.
3. Join a Travel Agency Association
When you operate a travel agency without joining a trade association, no one takes you seriously, not even your clients. So, while you may get by, your business never flourishes. In contrast, a trade association membership gives you credibility. And when problems affect the industry, trade associations bargain on your behalf and on that of your fellow agents.
4. Hire or Lease Business Premises
As a startup, you must reach a compromise regarding your location. On one hand, even though prime locations make it easier for you to recruit staff, they cost more. On the other, remote locations, such as your garage, save you money but dent your credibility.
5. Invest in the Travel Agency Software
To ensure your business runs smoothly, invest in the right travel agency software. Using it, you’ll easily make online bookings depending on price, length of stay, day of the week, and room capacity among others. Even better, you can build a list of providers and partners, and allow them to both view and confirm your bookings. The software also creates tours and connects with chartered flights and buses. Finally, it generates itineraries, financial reports, and even catalogues.
Starting a travel agency demands work and dedication but can be done with the proper know-how and expertise. So, make sure you follow the tips in this article if you want to start your travel agency on the right foot.