How To Start Your Travel Business – Do you have a passion for travel? Do you enjoy planning trips and adventures? Do you love a challenge? Well, if the answer to these three questions is yes then you could well find your chosen career, or business should well be in the travel industry.
Travel is a wonderful industry to work in.
Creating and selling bespoke holidays around the world for your clients – what’s not to love?
For a startup travel business to succeed, strategy, marketing, branding and unique selling points are key points you must nail. The travel industry is very competitive and so if you are looking to simply compete with the big players, Thomas Cook, Jet2, TUI and the likes then you need to consider the starting capital you will need to be able to compete. However, if you were to take a different tack and find a niche area you are passionate about then you will have a USP that clients will love and suddenly your travel business becomes achievable.
Starting a travel business can be very low cost. In fact, our advice at PTS to our new members is “…. the more money you have, the more money you waste!” What we mean by this is that you need to sit down and figure out whether you need swanky offices? Or, can you work from home? Do you need four staff to support you? Do you need a new mac book? Do you need to spend £10k on a new website? The answer is inevitable, NO!
So, let’s break down all the areas you should consider when starting a travel business?
1) Your personal attributes – Do you have what it takes?
To be successful in travel you need to be pragmatic, approachable, forward-thinking, calm and enjoy caring for people. Fundamentally, every travel industry professional has to be able to find solutions to their client’s requests and to care for their clients. By looking after your clients and being able to offer them dream holidays this is the most effective way to grow your business. Recommendations and returning clients are gold.
On the flipside, you need to be a born problem solver and to stay calm in all situations. Suppliers can change booking details, terrorist attacks sadly can happen, flights can be cancelled. When situations like this arise, which they will, you need to be able to find solutions and keep your clients calm and happy.
2) Product Development and USP– Do you have a niche that you are passionate about?
Finding a niche is key to success for a startup tour operator? PTS have a plethora of members that are achieving astounding results and proving to be hugely successful even in their first year of trading. The most successful, whether they have chosen the route of being a home worker, tour operator, or travel agent have researched their market and planned including writing a great business plan.
3) What type of travel business would you like to start?
At PTS we support tour operators, travel agents, flight only companies and homeworkers. Each is very different models yet all fantastic. The choice is purely based on personal preference and your ultimate goals.
A tour operator builds packages to sell direct to the consumer whilst a travel agent sells packages created by a tour operator. So, if you want to create trips then a tour operator model may be more suitable for you. Tour Operator V Travel Agent could be your initial decision.
However, you may just want to partner with a flight consolidator and purely build a business selling flights.
If you want to work from home, create a good income, flexible working hours and just want to work for yourself then the PTS homeworker solution would be more suitable for you.
So, as you can see, there are a plethora of options available to you and many answers on how to start a travel business.
Regulations To Be Aware Of When Starting a Travel Company – Package Travel Regulations
Regulations and laws are specific to territories and countries but the EU is led by the EU Package Travel Directive. Each member state of the EU has a slightly different take on the new Package Travel Directive.
In the UK, the New Package Travel Regulations came into effect on July 1st 2018. In essence, there are regulations for you to follow and consumer protection in travel is key.
The regulations are in place to protect the consumers. They do not prevent you from trading or cause a barrier so please don’t consider PTRs as a barrier to you. This is purely a key consideration when researching how to start a travel business.
In conclusion, setting up a travel company can be a simple process but you must plan and you must put some great thought into how you would like to begin your journey and what product you would like to sell.
We offer free consultations at Protected Trust Services so do call us at any time and we are always here for complimentary expert advice to support you.
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.