The first step for any person starting a tour operator business is to sit down and write a business plan.

A business plan for a tour operator shouldn’t just be written to give to banks, consultants, or compliance solutions such as Protected Trust Services. The most important reason to write a business plan is for you. A great business plan will allow you to place your ideas on paper and allow you to reflect and develop different ideas and strategies for your tour operator business to be a great success.

Don’t be intimidated by a business plan for your tour operator business.

We understand that it may seem very formal and intimidating to write a business plan. But, it shouldn’t be, and absolutely doesn’t need to be. This one document is quite simply what it says on the tin, so to speak, – A plan for you and for your business.

A great business plan is always short, concise and to the point.

The true key is to write to your audience – make sure whomever is reading this business plan will fully understand your business plan.

What needs to be included in a business plan when starting up a travel business.

The Executive Summary

This is a concise document summarising what is in each section of the business plan.

Business Overview

This area describes your business, point to include:

Business formation history

The type of business

The legal structure – are you a Limited Company?

Location of the business

Means of doing business – are you internet based, high street based etc

Operations Plan

This area should fully describe how your business will work. How will the business be set up, who will be responsible for different tasks, when will different tasks be implemented and completed – In essence, how will your tour operator business operate?

Market Analysis

Arguably this is one of the most important elements. It is imperative that you understand your competition and your place in the market.

The major questions to answer within this area:

  • Who are your major competitors? Include a little on their history and their success.
  • How much are your competitors charging and how will you price in relation?
  • How much demand is there for your product?
  • Market demand and consumer behaviour towards the products you intend to offer. Who is your target market?

Team and Management

You may have a great idea but the team who will drive your company are the key to true success. In this section describe your team, their roles and also who you will need to hire to fully support an excellent execution of your product.


How are you going to turn your ideas into a phenomenal tour operator business? Within this area you should fully cover your marketing plan, sales plan and also show how you going to measure your success.

Financial Plan

This area is your eyes! Your financial forecast is incredibly important for any startup tour operator business. Every penny going in and every penny going out should be included. This will allow you to see how to price effectively, marketing budgets, cost of sales, staff costs and every element of monies concerning your business.

We have an ideal financial forecast template for travel businesses and also a very simple business plan template for you to follow. Do email us at or call 0207 190 9988 and our consultants will always be more than happy to support you. Our advice is completely complimentary.

For a solid understanding of how to write a business plan do take a look at the following link which is full of extensive explanations that we feel will really help you. How to write a business plan.

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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