The travel industry generates over one trillion dollars every day. This is probably because this is one business where there are no constraints with the time and season of each year. People travel all over the world every day, whether for business or pleasure, and each one is a potential customer. You can be part of this trillion-dollar market and earn about $100,000 each year by becoming an independent travel agent. The earnings can even be a lot more if you start your own travel agency. There is so much potential for financial growth in this business, you may even wonder why you did not think about it earlier. Of course, earning money to keep you happy and financially secure does not happen overnight, more so if you have absolutely no idea about how to run the business. It is vital that you study it carefully before taking the plunge to avoid any unnecessary mistakes that could get in the way of its growth.
There are five different courses that a travel agency would typically follow. See what can work best for you.
- Home-based travel agencies are fast becoming a trend because of their low overhead, making the competition stiff in terms of pricing, compared to the traditional travel agencies. It is not a problem selling travel packages online because consumers are now comfortable buying almost anything from the Internet. If you like working from the comfort of your home and are ready to face the competition to gain more profit, you could choose to have a home-based travel agency.
- Independent travel agencies normally work the traditional way, but occasionally take advantage of online amenities, especially for communication purposes. Owners of these agencies work their own hours and spend time making phone calls, following up on their leads, and meeting up with clients. This can be a very profitable option if you already have a good client base.
- Specialty travel agencies focus on one particular market such as businessmen, luxury travelers, backpackers, adventure seekers, or families. You can create a special package that will cater to your chosen niche and focus on that. Make your choice based on where your interest lies, or choose leisure travel, which is the most profitable niche today.
- Corporate travel agencies work with companies and the big bosses. They set up the perfect vacation or business meeting trips for groups of employees working in either small or big companies. However, this can be a very challenging course to take as most businesses have their own people who take care of travel planning.
- Franchise travel agencies are the easiest to set up because you simply have to practice the same working ethics as the mother agency. It is a given that you need to choose an agency that has already proven itself in the market. The only problem with this course is that you are limited to making use of the franchiser’s business plan only.
- The detailed steps to take when starting a travel agency will depend on the path you choose to take. For instance, home-based travel agencies will not necessarily need the same documents that brick-and-mortar agencies have to process. There will be different marketing strategies as well. Franchise travel agencies will use the same marketing strategies as the franchiser, while corporate agencies maintain a different approach with their working methods.
Whatever you choose, it is always important that your travel agency will have something to offer to various types of travelers. By being diverse, you open up a lot more opportunities to gain added profits for your travel agency.