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How to Start a Travel Agency Business

Leapreneur · 5 · 2900


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on: Jan 23, 2017, 10:19 AM
How to Start a Travel Agency Business

There are individuals who are born to travel. They are the wanderers who go either abroad or to local areas to feed their souls with amazing scenery and extreme adventures. They are the people who are consumed by wanderlust.
In the Philippines alone, there are over a thousand of islands which travel bugs can visit. That is why there’s no doubt a number of travel agencies are now operating in the country.  Travel agencies are more than just ticketing offices that prepares the itineraries and do tours – they actually make our trips hassle free. And the significant growth of the market (especially during summer vacations) has prompted more entrepreneurs to go into the same business. Here are some tips on how to start a travel agency business, from Ms. Aurora Soriano of Pinoy Travel:
1. Register your Business
Like any other businesses, you cannot start a travel agency business without applying for the right set of licenses or permits.
A travel agency under sole proprietorship, should register the business to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Otherwise, if the business is run by partners or a corporation, it must be registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Refer to these links for the steps on how to register your business:
DTI: link here
SEC: link here
Note that there are only two types of travel agencies that caters to airline trips recognized in the country. This is based on the accreditation of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the regulating body  for airlines, passenger sales agents and cargo agents):
IATA agents –  these are agencies that are accredited by IATA, and are authorize by airlines to issue tickets, directly oversee the rebooking, reissuance, or revalidation of tickets issued.
non-IATA agents – these are agencies that are not accredited by IATA, and are not authorized to issue tickets.

2. Identify Your Capital for the Business
A travel agency business requires less investment compared to other businesses.
Although a financial plan statement should have already been a part of your overall business plan, it is worth noting your start-up capital which answer on the following questions:
What will be the recurring expenses and how much it would cost?
What equipments do you need for the business?
How long does it takes to get the ROI?
Travel agencies gain profit via commission they get for every booking they get. They also make money from selling travel insurance policies, sale of travel guide books, as well as sale of foreign currencies.

3. Determine the Scope of Your Service and Your Target Market
Competition is nothing new in any business. Even travel agencies are not exempted to this.
With the existence of so many competitors, businesses are bound to be better than the other — while others target a market or an uncontested market. But first, it is important to really know the scope of what your business, what services you will provide, and who will be your target. Determine whether your business will offer travels across the country or across the globe. Or whether your business could offer hotel or resort reservations, car rentals, tour packages, etc.; befitting your target market who are either leisure travelers or business travelers.
4. Get Affiliated
Even for a sole proprietor, the nature of a travel agency business is not done solo.
Joining in associations is more than just meeting other business owners. It opens a lot of opportunities for new entrepreneurs, like partnerships, client leads and mentoring.  You will not only expand your business network, but you also learn from their success. Here are some of the Travel Associations you can join:
a.) Philippine IATA Agents Travel Association, Inc. (PIATA)
PIATA is a organization of all IATA Travel Agent in the Philippines. It promotes good relations and encourage professionalism among IATA appointed travel agents in the Philippines.
b.) National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS)
NAITAS is the biggest and the largest travel association in the Philippines recognized in the international tourism community. The association is very active on issues that concern the tourism industry, as well the adaptation od wellness tourism in the country.
c.) Philippine Marine Travel Agents Association (PMTAA)
PMTAA is a Filipino association of  IATA travel agents that specializes in marine traffic. It was formed in  September 2001 and was incorporated a month after.  PMTAA is the prime mover in the development of the Philippines as the leading marine – travel agency center in the world.
5. Create Competitive Promo Packages
Creating competitive packages requires you to understand the costing of the entire promotion. You have to decide whether you really want to forgo profit to gain market traction. And once you pursue the idea of offering promo packages, make sure that you set the limits and mechanics very clearly. Always go back to your budget, so that you wouldn’t end up losing so much in the actual amount you planned.
Also, always think of your market. Don’t duplicate your competitors — be unique instead.  Talk to people — ask what they are looking for and offer it. This is the simplest yet the most effective way of creating competitive promo packages.

Comment below if you have additional tips and insights.

« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2017, 10:23 AM by Leapreneur »


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Reply #1 on: Feb 01, 2017, 05:16 PM
Share your thoughts here.


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Reply #2 on: Mar 11, 2019, 11:59 AM
I attended Travel Depot seminar last year. Maganda yung topics and magagaling yung speakers. Their seminar will open your eyes talaga with the trade secrets ng travel agency business especially yung super low rates!  Check their facebook, meron yata sila seminar ng March 23 sa Baguio and April 13 sa Tagaytay.


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Reply #3 on: Jun 06, 2019, 01:28 AM
Nice topics, thanks for such a very detailed sharing. Starting a travel agency business is not something that many people have shed light on, so I believe this will help aspiring business men and women. To emphasise on promo packages, one should know that how you present yourself to potential clients will determine how they treat your business. Market yourself and let the world know your presence and associate your business with success, convenience and beauty


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Reply #4 on: Oct 09, 2019, 08:55 PM
Nowadays, everything is possible in online marketing. It's a huge market where you can point with old ideas, also with totally new establishments. But the biggest mistake is for entrepreneurs in the online travel business, that they are thinking, it's easy in comparing with travel business to start something on the net. It doesn't matter if you are the focus on building construction sector or travel business, if you are selling food or shoes, giving consulting or writing any blogs. Each business needs the same careless and attention. Yes, the travel business getting more and more profitable.Visit our Best Travel Blogs for more detail about travel business.


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