Every tour operator business is different, either by the types of clients they are attracting, the products they offer, or even the time of year the clients will travel. PTS have been involved in helping clients starting as a tour operator since 2008, and in this time we have noticed a few similar requirements which all tour operators must meet. This includes: –

  • Tour operators will also usually need to identify their own selected group of chosen suppliers – which can be vitally important when starting out!
  • Whether you are starting as a tour operator or you are an existing tour operator, you will also need to meet the Package Travel Regulations.
  • You will need to be able to take debit and credit card payments, both over the telephone and online via your website
  • You will require some supporting software to assist you in managing your inquiries from the point they enquire, to the point where they become a booking and then travel
  • If you are looking to offer flights you will also require an ATOL (the application fee for ATOL through PTS is £740.00, paid directly to the CAA – Civil Aviation Authority)

PTS offers a complete solution and assistance along every step of the way to obtaining the complete set of tools you require to fully support you when starting as a tour operator. The PTS membership application fee is £999.00 + VAT. We deal with many tour operators offering niche tours as diverse as trekking in Albania, yoga retreats in Sri Lanka, open water swimming holidays, photography tours in Northern Canada, family ski holidays, and more! We find that the best way to support our members is to meet them, so if you would like to either come to the PTS offices or meet at a suitable location then we would be pleased to do so, either before you become a PTS , during your application process, or once you are fully signed up.

We will support you throughout your membership and it is important to us that you have all the tools necessary to start up as a tour operator and to make your business a huge success. PTS offers a free consultation, business plan, cash flow forecast, profit & loss and marketing analysis to all new tour operators. These are all used to assist in applying for PTS membership, along with applying for your merchant services. One of our experienced travel consultants will help you collate all of this, so don’t worry, it’s as easy as can be! Below is what we will work with you and produce: –

  • PTS Application Form (includes your Business Plan, Cash Flow Forecast, Profit & Loss, and your Opening Balance Sheet)
  • Proof of ID – your passport or driving license
  • Proof of home address – utility bill for example
  • Website and T&Cs
  • Proof of Business Bank Account
  • Once your application for PTS membership has been approved by the PTS Risk Team, we will forward your merchant application to one of our merchant providers. The merchant provider will be in direct contact with you to set up your card services with fees typically ranging from 1.0 – 1.3% for credit cards, and 0.25 – 0.35% for debit cards. The agreement between the merchant provider is direct with you – the PTS member – so you will have a direct relationship with them.

A Opayo payment gateway will then set up for you to process your card payments from your customers. PTS liaise with Oayo and provide you with user access once this has been set up. PTS will also provide you with the integration guide from Opayo so you can build your payment page (like a shopping basket) on your website. This ensures that taking card payments from your customers is as smooth as possible.

The next step is for PTS to set up your company on the PTS software. We have developed a software system that is ideally placed to support both new tour operators and trading tour operators alike. Linked to the software are merchant services, ATOL, package travel compliance, and a bespoke client itinerary. The software allows you to manage your inquiries, bookings, suppliers, customer itineraries and more, all in a live online environment, and available via secure login from anywhere where you can get a secure internet connection on any device. The PTS travel software is fully responsive. One of our dedicated admin team will train you to ensure you know how to use the PTS travel software. We also provide YouTube tutorials and screen share sessions to all members, all of which is included in your monthly fee of £99.00 + VAT.

Membership of PTS costs £999.00 + VAT as an application fee and £99.00 + VAT per month thereafter. We charge on a per transaction basis for both incoming client credits (£0.45 – £0.75 per transaction), and supplier payments (£1.00 – £1.75 per transaction). Our unique pricing mechanism allows PTS to offer a complete product for tour operators at a low-cost base so that you can concentrate on your sales and marketing whilst retaining 100% of the profit on your bookings.

If you’d like to discuss this further, please get in contact with one of Protected Trust Services’ (PTS) lovely staff members by calling 0207 190 9988. Or, you can visit our member support and travel trust account pages to learn more about how we protect you.

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