Starting A Travel Agency In The Philippines
Tourism, both domestic and international, has a great future in our country. Our incomparable natural resources, natural friendliness of our people and English speaking capability should be strong factors to be optimistic about this industry. Compared to our neighboring countries in South East Asia, we are just reaching the tip of the ice berg in terms of tourist arrivals.
Fortunately for those entrepreneurs who wish to go into this business, it is very easy to set up and the capital is small. Here are some tips to help those interested in going into this venture:
Choose a niche where you could be competitive. Decide on which strategy would be most appropriate for your personality. Do you prefer to just sell to people who happen to walk by your office or would you rather sell directly by going to companies? Much would depend on your personality and inclination.
Look for a suitable location. There are many factors in looking for the ideal location and I would just mention a few. First of all, you need to be near your target market. Second priority would be to find a place that is convenient to you. Third is to be able to get the location at an affordable price.
Register with the Department of Tourism. With so much scams being shown on TV, people are now more careful on where to entrust their payments. It would be ideal if you could show accreditations to inspire credibility. One of the most useful is to register with the Department of Tourism. Among other requirements, to do this you need proof of at least five hundred thousand pesos capitalization.
Have your interior designed for your market. The design of your office should be adapted to what would be the most comfortable for your market. If you make if look too expensive it may scare off customers who come from the lower financial class if that is your target market.
Tie-up with transport and ticket providers. You need to have a working relationships with shipping lines and airlines. You must also tie up with at least three IATA travel agencies so that you can issue tickets at the best price you can get.
Train your staff on the reservation system. Your staff must learn to use computer reservation systems to book airline tickets. The most popular of these are Amadeus and Abacus. You and your staff who will be booking reservations must be well trained in using these reservation systems as even the slightest mistake can result in costly penalties.
Market your services. Find out what promotions would best attract your market. Also, have a website since many people now would doubt your credibility if they could not find your website in the internet. Have an annual marketing plan that would take into account seasonal opportunities and special occasions.
Starting a travel agency is easy but making a success of the business demands hard work and knowledge of its operations.
To know more about starting this business, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts a seminar entitled, “How to Start a Travel and Tour Business.” Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 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, August 18, 2013. 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.