Do you think you can start your travel agency from home? Do you think this is the right time to start a new travel agency? We believe it is the right time, and starting fresh is possible. Read along on how you can start your home-based business now!
The tours and travel industry are lucrative, consistently growing, and the demand is ever increasing. People love to travel for various purposes, such as business, recreation, pilgrimage, etc.
Due to our innate willingness to explore new regions and gain new experiences, we travel all across the world.
But, since the outbreak of Covid-19, the travel industry has suffered most since November 2019.
The World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) annual research shows that the Travel & Tourism sector not only accounts for over 10% of global GDP but one in ten jobs on the planet, and one in four new jobs created globally in the last five years. COVID-19 has dramatically altered life as we know it, and the Travel & Tourism sector is uniquely exposed. As we consider the crises' impact, we realize it could fundamentally alter the Travel Agency business's future.
But people will continue to travel after this short break, maybe with new normals. The travel agency business's long-term prospect is positive, with emphasis on the advisors who know their clients and provide expert consultation and support, making travel easier, more enjoyable, and more accessible.
All stakeholders in the travel industry such as Airlines, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants are adapting to new realities post Covid-19 and preparing themself to make sure travelers have a safe space to start their voyage again.
The rise and fall of travel agencies
Pre Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, numerous travel agencies mushroomed and provided attractive traveling packages and schemes. People either book these packages or else customize their trip with their help.
These agencies book tickets, hotels, and other amenities for the tourists. It's not just that; they also provide an entire experience for which people pay more money.
They give expert opinions and suggestions about the places and regions that are their niche to decide which place they would like to visit.
But, many of them closed or temporarily suspended their operations. Some may able to return to business; others may never come back.
But people will travel again!
Post-pandemic, once the vaccines are available and countries started opening their doors for tourism, the priority will be safety. People will prefer traveling alone or in tiny groups. Strictly with know people rather than with strangers. It will take at least a year to build confidence.
Consumers are anxious about traveling again and are looking to professional travel advisors for information on what is safe, what is open, which hotels have implemented enhanced hygiene measures. They want to know if something happens before, during, or after their trip.
With these new realities, tour operators need to be extremely creative to restart the business. But the new normals will bring individual tour guides and travel enthusiasts to start their own business from home.
In this blog, I will try to write some of the top tips to start your own travel agency from home.
Travel agency from home
If you are a travel enthusiast or individual tour guide and want to start your travel agency from home, then tighten your socks and get to work. Today is the right day, and this is the right time to get ready.
It is unnecessary to work in a 9 to 5 travel agency job; you can start your own travel agency! The best part is that you can do it from your home too.
How to start a travel agency from home?
Before you enter this segment of the market, you need to decide whether you want to start your independent agency or sign on with a well-renowned host agency.
If you like to conduct business under the umbrella of a parent company, you can do that. Your responsibility would be to book reservations using their contacts and clients. For every trip you book, you get a commission.
Several companies have agents under them who work from home. You can negotiate your commission and start your business from home.
Advantages of working under a well-established agency
- You do not have to work on marketing yourself and getting clients as the company provides you with their existing clients.
- You do not have to work on getting a license. All travel agencies need travel-specific licenses and permits to run their business. If you work under a well-established agency, you do not have to worry about it.
- You have a fixed income despite the company's sales. On top of that, you get a commission on each ticket you book plus an extra allowance according to your monthly performance.
- You do not have to worry about getting partners in different countries to work with you. All the partnerships with airlines, hotels, trains, other tourist attractions are already done.
- Some agencies might also provide you with laptops and other necessary hardware to work from home.
- You won't own a company. You will be working under someone else.
- The company might give you deadlines or guidelines such as in every month you have to book tickets for 50 clients at least. If you fail to meet the expectations, you may have to take a pay cut.
- You have to make calls and continuously talk with their clients and other people to get maximum tourists to your agency.
- You have to work the hardest during the festive season as people like to travel during the holidays.
- Sometimes you might have to work and market regions and tourist attractions which you do not like. You have to study those regions in-depth to give proper recommendations to tourists.
- The company can fire you anytime if they feel that you are not performing well enough.
But what I can see is post Covid-19, these big brands themself may struggle for some time. People may turn back on them for safety concerns. They will prefer local small businesses to customize their tour requirement and get the best deal. They will choose to explore less crowded local places or less traveled international places.
Starting your home-based agency
For starting your agency first, you need to decide which niche and segment of the industry you are targeting, whether it is beaches, hill stations, pilgrimage sites, whether it is within your own country or abroad. Less traveled places, nature, adventure travel, or something very different.
You need to study those areas in detail and know it inside out, because more than bookings, people want your opinion on which places to visit.
Get your licensing done.
Start your travel agency website to educate people about your service and schemes. Remember safety first.
Suppose you have no technical knowledge about making a website, no need to worry. You can use easy to use website builders like Budo that will help you create your website quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently.
Stand out among the crowd.
With tons of competition in every segment, you need to market yourself so that people choose you above all.
It would be best if you created a personality for your agency. As you are new, you have to partner with many hotels and other services across the places you are dealing with.
Think of a business plan
It would help if you had a proper business model. As you are new in the market, your sales might not be consistent. So, you need to invest your money correctly.
Your target should not be to maximize your profit, but it should provide safety and a good experience. If tourists like your service, they will book again and recommend their friends and family.
Bad reviews in the initial period can cost you a lot of business. Hence make sure to make your client's trip worth the money.
By the time people start traveling again, grab your laptop, and start working.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels