If I opened a travel agency today: tips for beginners
Have you noticed how fast time flies? Here I am about the same.
It seems like recently I whiled away the harsh Ural winters in the office of my travel agency, sending tourists to distant hot countries. And now I myself live and work in Sochi and help tourists who come here to organize their holidays. Everything flows, everything changes ...
But one thing remains unchanged - tourism is becoming more and more popular. It is still one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy. Although a lot is changing in it, and this must be taken into account. I am glad that I managed to rebuild in time and stay "on the wave".
It is good to judge from the height of the achieved level what was done correctly and what was not. But on the other hand: someone is now where I once was. And this knowledge can be very useful to them.
This article is about what I would or would not do today if I decided to make a living from tourism.
How to make money in tourism today
This is how it happens in life: you walk, you go to your favorite job, and then - bam! and another crisis. And you have no job, no business, no idea of what to do next.
This is exactly what happened to me at the end of 2021. My travel agency business turned out to be like a suitcase without a handle: it became inconvenient to carry, and it was a pity to throw it out ...
Now I understand that if this collapse in tourism hadn't happened then, I wouldn't have lived in Sochi, hadn't posted photos of the snow-capped mountain peaks of Aibga on Instagram in the morning, and green palm trees on the embankment in Imeretinskaya Bay - after lunch.
Such changes in my life did not happen as if by magic. And in order to apply my knowledge in a new life, I had to spend a lot of time, to learn something anew, to give up something.
And to the main question - is it worth doing the tourism business today - I will answer: it's up to you. I can only tell you in what ways this can be done.
Travel agency business: pros and cons
The first option to start a tourism business is to open your own travel agency. This is the same option that I once chose. And then he was, in fact, the only and simplest option for those who started from "zero" and without start-up capital.
Tourism is developing at a fantastic rate in Russia. People began to live better, incomes increased, which means that the field of activity for companies working in this area expanded.
How to start a travel business? Like any other, with planning costs and income. In the article we will tell you about what a travel agency's business plan should contain, how to properly organize a business, form an assortment of tours, and choose partners.
Choosing a direction of work
This is the first thing you will have to face. All currently operating companies can be divided into two groups: those that organize and implement their own tours, in a word, tour operators, and those that specialize exclusively in the sale of offers from domestic and foreign companies, that is, travel agents.
Of course, working according to the first option is more profitable, but the risks are also higher. In addition, the start-up capital is very large. Therefore, it is safer and easier to start activities with the implementation of ready-made tours of reputable tour operators. The organization of a tourist business in this case will require much less investment from you, you can start with a capital of 200 thousand rubles (of course, this is the minimum figure).
A travel agent is a kind of intermediary between a large company and a buyer. But this does not mean that you must sell tours strictly at the price determined by the tour operator. For example, the organizer of a tour to America offered you a route worth 80 thousand rubles for implementation on the condition that you take 10 percent of the tour price for yourself. You sell a ticket in your city, where there are no more similar offers, more expensive, say, for 100 thousand rubles. The benefit is obvious - your income increases.
Tourism business Where to start?
After you have decided on the direction of work, you should register your company. You can create a legal entity, or you can function as an individual entrepreneur. As practice shows, for work in the field of tourism, it is still better to give preference to LLC. The key point in such activities is the trust of clients in the company they choose, and people trust legal entities more than individual entrepreneurs.
A fee of 4000 rubles is charged for the registration of an LLC, you will also have to make a seal (another 400-600 rubles) and certify the constituent documents with a notary (about 1000 rubles). The authorized capital must be at least 10,000 rubles, at least half of it must be transferred to an account opened with the bank (you will also have to pay about 500 rubles to open an account). Upon registration, the company will be assigned OKVED 53. 0 "Activities of travel agencies". Thus, the minimum amount that you will spend on the registration procedure is 6,000 rubles.
License and Tax
What else do you need to open a travel agency? Previously, a license was required, but since 2021, compulsory licensing has been canceled. Therefore, it remains only to choose the object of taxation. The work of travel agencies falls under the USN. There are two objects at your discretion: income (6 percent rate) or income minus expenses (15 percent rate). The second option should only be chosen if a large proportion of the cost is expected.
The active development of domestic tourism provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to open a profitable business on excursions. This requires a minimum of cash investment and a maximum of personal abilities.
In recent years, the Russian tourism market has been undergoing changes. The unstable situation in the world, the growth of the exchange rate and the economic crisis have led to the fact that the number of trips abroad has decreased. Many Russians began to travel within the country or stay at home altogether. Interest in the historical and natural sights of Russia is actively growing, and tourists are increasingly turning to the services of excursion agencies and guides.
In recent years, domestic tourism has been actively supported by the state and is developing. Thanks to this, people began to travel more often in Russia, visiting interesting places. In such conditions, it is a good idea to open your own excursion business. Firstly, competition in this area is insignificant (with the exception of million-plus cities and resort areas). Each city in our country is interesting in its own way. If you love your city and know everything about it, and there are many interesting places with history and unusual sights in the district, then starting an excursion business is a promising option. Secondly, with competent work, the project pays off in a matter of months, and thanks to the popularity of such social networks as Instagram, such services are easy to promote.
You need to understand that business on excursions is not suitable for everyone. This idea is for those who like to work with people, travel, tell a lot; those who are interested in history, have organizational, oratorical and creative abilities. Only then should the idea be taken seriously.
Work on a project in the field of excursions should begin with an assessment of the tourism opportunities of a city or region. Explore what historical and cultural monuments are nearby, what natural places and interesting objects can attract the attention of tourists. Analyze the demand for various tours and excursions. Study the offers of competitors to form your unique offer at a favorable price. Choose the format of excursions and tourist attractions with which you will work. There can be many options.
If you live in a city that has a story to tell and you know its history, you can make money on individual tours for tourists. It is not necessary to live in a city with a population of over one million, which attracts tourists from all over the world. You can also organize an interesting excursion for visitors in a small town. And if you offer an unusual form of excursion, you can also attract city residents.
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The success of a business depends entirely on your abilities. The important thing here is the ability to hold the listener's attention, speak correctly, and create a mood. After all, people go on an excursion not so much for some knowledge as for emotions. For them, it is a cultural form of entertainment. Therefore, a mournful listing of historical facts is unlikely to pass for an interesting excursion.
But if you think over a route, add elements of a quest, turn an excursion into a game, take you to unusual places of the city, show the most photogenic places, tell urban legends and, most importantly, evoke positive emotions, you will get a good service, for which they will be willing to pay.
Material on the topic: "Travel business ideas" with full explanation and justification.
Tourism business from scratch
How to open a travel agency? Step by step instructions
Before starting any activity, it is advisable to develop a business plan, evaluate the market of competitors. The travel business is a fairly profitable type of activity, the payback period is from one year. No licenses or additional permits are required. A detailed marketing research of the tourism market can be found here.
Initially, you should cover those areas of tourism activities in which you have knowledge, partners and connections. It is necessary to define your niche in the service market. We recommend that you use one-way tactics at first, for example, specializing in tours to Eastern countries or organizing extreme vacations in the wild.
Nowadays, every company literally fights for every client, everything should be at the highest level in your office, from renovation, decor and ending with friendly staff. Make sure that there is an opportunity to offer the client tea or coffee, put interesting magazines or photographs in a prominent place, create a corner with souvenirs from different countries. Every visitor should get the impression that they have ended up in a decent, successful company. Furniture should be fashionable and comfortable; a leather sofa or comfortable armchairs are well suited for the place of stay of clients.
Develop a system of discounts and rewards for regular customers. Alternatively, making club cards will do. Discounts can be provided based on seasonality or customer loyalty.
The travel business is divided into tour operators and travel agents.
Tour Operators. Directly involved in the creation of tours (organize air travel, book hotel rooms).
Travel Agents. They sell ready-made tours developed by a tour operator. On average, travel agent commissions range from 10 to 15% of the tour cost.
Today, over 40% of tourist destinations abroad are financially inaccessible to the population of Russia. New business ideas in tourism will help to stay afloat and successfully develop the tourism business in the country.
The idea of a tourism business should not only be interesting, exciting, but also financially feasible. Opening a travel agency should start with the embodiment of original business ideas. Examples:
- online tourism;
- hotel on rails;
- camping, or all-inclusive hike;
- tourism for people with disabilities.
Profitable travel business ideas and instructions on how to apply them can be found in the material of this article.
Domestic tourist business: disadvantages and advantages
The cost of successfully implementing the idea of a tourist business in the Russian Federation is significantly overstated. The stereotyped nature of tourism and the low quality of its presentation are currently considered the main factors repelling the tourist flow of compatriots.
In this regard, we advise you to control the mechanisms of a tourist business idea yourself. Firstly, this is the only way to guarantee the comfort of the route. Secondly, if you plan your business idea correctly, you will significantly save the company's budget. In addition, leftover funds can implement supporting tourism business ideas.
Noting the disadvantages, one should not forget about the advantages of tourism development in the Russian Federation:
- risks with tourism partners are minimal;
- financial losses of a business idea are minimized;
- dependence on foreign currency is absent; <
- a wide range of climatic zones for the implementation of business ideas;
- there are no territorial or climatic restrictions.
In addition, the range of demand for tourist services today is not limited and extends from excursion programs to extreme tourism.
The modern rhythm of life dictates its own rules. Online travel is not only a great alternative for tourists, but also an innovative business area.