How to Put Up a Travel Agency
The Travel Agency Business Basics
A travel agency is one of the most popular business opportunities because many people have a passion for travelling. Since we are still a developing country, it is probable that demand for travel will increase as more people become financially capable of indulging in travel.
However, to succeed in the travel agency business in the Philippines, you need to recognize the key success factors and avoid the blunders. For those who are just about to start, here are some of the basic things you need to learn about starting a travel agency:
Focus on a market niche that is not too competitive. With limited resources, you are unlikely to succeed against the leading agencies if you try to meet them head on in their main market. Study where you can offer superior service or where there is more profit. Usually, these are the smaller customers that the big companies in the industry do not give enough attention to. However, what may not be desirable to the large travel agencies can prove very profitable to a smaller agency with less overhead.
Utilize Internet marketing. Although this advice is applicable to virtually all businesses, this is especially crucial for a travel agency as many people now use Google to look for a travel agency after browsing the net for beautiful vacation spots. Internet marketing does not just mean putting up a website. You must also exert effort so that people will visit your site. One of the fastest growing fields in Internet marketing is social media, especially since a large percentage of people now have a Facebook account. People often decide on what travel agency to pick by reading reviews and comments of other people on the Internet.
Establish your business first before enjoying the perks. Most people who go into the travel agency business enjoy travelling. Part of the reason why is they think they get to travel more for free, or, at least, with hefty discounts. While this is indeed possible once you reach a certain level of success, as a start-up, you must forget this at first and focus on growing your business before enjoying yourself.
Have sufficient capital to afford the needed bonds. In estimating the capital needed, people often forget to account for the bonds usually demanded by transportation providers. These transportation providers are the airlines and shipping companies. Note that these bonds are quite substantial and must be factored in to compute the minimum capital requirements.
Factor in a budget for training your personnel on the computerized reservation systems. Travel agencies use computer reservation systems to book airline tickets. The most popular of these are Amadeus and Abacus. It is critical that you and your staff who will be booking reservations be well trained in using these reservation systems as even the slightest mistake can be very costly.
The travel agency business has a promising future as more people are spending their leisure time travelling. Nevertheless, if you plan to start in this venture, you must try to learn more about its operations.
To know more about the business, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts a seminar entitled, “How to Start a Travel and Tour Business.” Contact (2) 727-5628/8860, (915) 205- 0133 or visit www.businesscoachphil.com for details.
Click here to view details of the seminar: How to Start a Travel and Tour Business »
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, December 9, 2012. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.