Travel business ideas

The business idea of ​​a travel agency, or rather a travel agency, is one of the fastest-paying business ideas on the market.

The travel agency is engaged in the sale of goods that are prepared and accompanied by travel operators. This is the main difference between a travel agency and a tour operator.

The travel agency is a retailer of the products offered by the tour operator

Therefore, the own costs of creating a travel agency are quite low, which makes it possible to make this segment of the tourism market profitable.

To implement the business idea of ​​a travel agency, it is necessary to create sales channels, conduct high-quality marketing research, conclude an agreement with a tour operator, conduct an advertising campaign and start selling.

When creating a travel agency, it is necessary to take into account that the tourism business has a pronounced seasonal character

Beach holidays are the most profitable and popular among the population. People generally prefer to spend their holidays on the warm sea, and this greatly affects the uniformity of the travel agency's income.

However, there are other types of recreation that can even out the income of a travel company and, possibly, become the main direction of its activities. These types of recreation include excursion and business tourism.

Many successful travel agencies specialize in organizing excursions, pilgrimage trips, and other types of educational tourism.

Skillful effective work with corporate clients allows us to ensure a constant influx of clients, practically regardless of the season and climatic conditions.

The direction of business tourism may be even more profitable when a travel agency undertakes to organize business trips for corporate clients and entrepreneurs.

Travel agency provides a wide range of services to the population. This list includes not only making tours, booking hotels, but also purchasing air tickets, working with insurance, obtaining visas, and assistance in preparing documents. The advantage of this line of business is that it requires quite a few investments, and with a competent approach, it will bring high profits. How to open a business according to a travel agency business plan with calculations, read our article.

Market and Competitor Analysis

The segment of the tourist services market in the Russian Federation began to grow and develop since about 2021. All this time, he showed significant growth. It is noteworthy that not only the volume of the market grows annually, but also the revenue of companies operating in it. This suggests that the market is growing not only in terms of quantity, but the quality of services provided to customers is also growing.

The main activity of the tourist services market is to provide assistance to travelers who are going to travel abroad. 90% of these clients go on vacation. Of course, there is a certain percentage of people who are going to immigrate, go to study or go for business, but they prefer to use the services of specialized companies, of which there are also quite a few today.

It should be noted right away that the level of competition in the tourist services market is very high. A high level of demand also gives rise to supply. Annually, the volume of the tourist market in Russia increases by more than 100 billion rubles. This is a very impressive figure. Let's see what exactly is the reason for such growth rates.

  • growth in the level of solvency of citizens;
  • large-scale development of infrastructure for this type of business, clients are presented with more opportunities;
  • attractiveness of the market for investors. Funds are invested not in travel agencies, but in those establishments that directly provide services, that is, hotels, airlines, etc.
  • the opportunity to save money when buying a tour, which creates a high level of demand.

The main service that travel agencies offer is the assembly of tours for citizens. The tour price includes hotel accommodation, flight, insurance. For the client of the company, such a purchase will be much more profitable than purchasing these items separately.

The travel business encompasses the Internet. Today more and more people began to use a new service - online booking services. Thanks to the procedure, time is significantly saved for both the consumer and the travel agent. Thanks to the automation of the process, profitability and profitability are significantly increased. This function should be taken into account when opening your own travel agency.

Among the main competitors of your company are:

  • large tour operators who are known not only in your city, but also in the country as a whole. This is the main competitor that will be difficult to fight with, but you can think about possible cooperation. Today, a large number of different programs are presented, in which a well-known travel agency helps small businesses in this area. As a rule, this assistance is provided for a certain percentage of the profit. In some respects, this is similar to franchising;
  • direct competitors, that is, the networks in your city. You can deal with them quite simply with a competent marketing organization, as well as drawing up profitable offers for customers.

If we talk about the portrait of a potential client, then it will be a person between the ages of 20 and 50, with an average income or an income above average. It can be both men and women. Such clients prefer to spend their holidays abroad.

A more budgetary vacation is possible on the territory of the Russian Federation. It can be preferred by clients with low and medium incomes.

Business segment description

The pioneers of the Russian tourist business celebrate their 30th anniversaries. Rose of the Winds, Academservice and those few who were able to go through all the stages of the industry development through the millstones of tough competition, withstood the periods of falling demand and massive bankruptcies, survived all economic collapses and legislative initiatives. The upcoming 2021 may be the year for the tourism industry that will complete the consolidation of the Russian market. The obligatory introduction of electronic vouchers should make the industry absolutely transparent.

Now, when the tourism business is in anticipation of reforms, it is worth remembering how the industry has developed, overcoming in a matter of years those segments of the path on which the Western market spent decades. Each stage in the history of the tourism business in Russia had its own criteria for success.

First Steps

In the early 1990s, the "iron curtain" collapsed and the flow of tourists abroad grew by 40-50% per year. Gone are the monopoly of Soviet state structures - "Intourist", "Sputnik", the Council for Tourism and Excursions of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. They were replaced by private business.

At the rift between the Soviet and market economies, first-generation businessmen, lacking knowledge, experience and technology, mastered this business empirically. Success was determined by the presence of contacts or relatives abroad, banal knowledge of a foreign language and, of course, initiative and creativity, revived in enterprising people in an era of change. In particular, Biblio-Globus was one of the first to open the sale of tours to Cyprus, where members of the founder's family lived.

Many came to tourism, obsessed with the desire to see the world and show it to others. After defending my thesis on "Planning tourist and excursion activities in the USSR" I worked as a senior research fellow at the Central Economic Research Institute, developing regional recreational complexes. The idea to go into the travel business appeared in 1991 after an internship at an American travel agency, which completely changed my understanding of the industry. In the United States, high-tech solutions were already actively used to automate business processes for all participants in the tourism market. I returned to Russia with an advantage in a suitcase - I was carrying a heavy catalog of all the hotels in the world. It was a real asset for starting a business! Six months later, my husband and I mortgaged a one-room apartment and borrowed $ 25,000 to launch our own company "Inna Tour", and six months later we fully repaid the loan.

Agents and Operators

The dashing nineties were not easy for everyone, but the first commercial travel agencies worked in conditions where demand exceeded supply. Travel agencies grew at a hypertrophied pace with the highest profitability by modern standards. The most successful companies felt the need and opportunity to use risky but more profitable block and charter flights. This accelerated the division of the market into tour operators - wholesale manufacturers of tourist products and travel agents-distributors.

Tour operators acted as wholesale purchasers of seats for the season for the airlines at a special rate, assumed the promotion of the relevant direction and 100% responsibility - to pay the carrier regardless of the actual use of the unit. Inna Tour was the first on the market in 1993 to decide to take blocks of seats on Aeroflot flights, opening a "window to Paris" for thousands of compatriots. This helped to become the leading agent of the national carrier for many years.

In the same years, the first charters went up. The history of obtaining permission by Svetal for the first flight to Turkey for shopping tourists could be the subject of a separate article. I will only say that the final "go-ahead" for landing in Istanbul was given when the plane was already in the air. Svetlana and Alexander Golovachev, the founders of the Svetal company, were innovators and recognized leaders of the old market, and for my husband and I they were friends. Alexander passed away at the age of 37 in 1997, on Tourism Day. Svetlana died tragically exactly one year later. This couple was able to influence the fate of the industry.

The travel agency market was structured in parallel. Growing tour operators (Inna Tour, Tez Tour, Sodis, the network of Greenex agencies of Natalie Tours) opened their own retail offices. In the late 1990s, the first franchise network “Kuda. y ”, later the travel agency market was consolidated by dozens of networkers, the largest of which were“ Last-minute voucher shop ”,“ Hot tours ”,“ 1001 tour ”,“ Geography ”,“ Rostur ”and others. Management companies received a commission of up to 14% from tour operators and shared it with the network agencies, promoted a single brand, developed service standards, etc. However, not all network projects survived to this day.

The tourism business, despite constant difficulties, is a rather attractive area. It gives you the opportunity to start your own business with little investment. For organizing tours as a business to bring not only pleasure, but also income, you need to competently approach the stage of opening an agency.

Travel business - where to start

Before opening a travel agency from scratch, a future entrepreneur should study the specifics of this business in Russia, analyze the structure of the tourism market in the region where the company plans to operate.

Features of the development of the tourist services market in Russia:

  • agencies offer similar or identical products on popular destinations, which creates a high level of competition;
  • dominance in the market of independent companies, no more than 8 strive to organize a franchise business -10% of entrepreneurs;
  • about 30% of newly created entities are closed within the first year of operation;
  • due to increased competition, market leaders use dumping, artificially lowering prices for popular tours;
  • business is highly dependent on external factors - seasonality, various championships, festivals, popular mass holidays, natural disasters, political and military actions, terrorist threats.

Before opening a travel agency, you should analyze the competitive environment and target audience. If we are talking about a large city, such as Moscow or St. Petersburg, it makes no sense to study it in its entirety, it is enough to evaluate the region of interest. When analyzing a niche, you need to find out which agencies are already working nearby, what they offer, what are their competitive advantages and differences.

Tip! The most effective competitor analysis method is to visit the best firms as a mystery shopper.

Step-by-step instructions on how to open a travel agency from scratch

Before starting your own agency, you need to study the specifics of the industry. The most effective way to gain the necessary experience is to get a job as a travel agent in a large network travel agency. The ideal period is spring-summer, because there is always a shortage of employees during the season and even those who have no experience are hired.

The next stage is to develop independently or entrust the professionals with the preparation of a travel agency business plan with all financial calculations and procedures.

Format selection

Before you open a travel agency from scratch, you need to decide on the format of the activity. A future travel agent can choose 1 of 4 business formats:

  • An offline office or an independent company is the most common format that involves renting an office and finding personnel. The option requires additional expenses for repairs and advertising. But, if you choose the location correctly, an additional number of visitors will simply come from the street.
  • Home travel agency. For full-fledged work, you only need a phone, laptop or PC with Internet access. The format requires the least investment, but is suitable for those who have a wide range of contacts and experience in a travel agency.
  • Online travel agency. It is enough to develop your own website and sell tours of different tour operators from anywhere in the world through it.
  • Franchise is one of the most popular formats, as it offers the franchisee a ready-made business plan of a travel agency with an accurate list of actions and calculations. Additionally, franchisors train personnel, provide software, legal and advertising support.

Investments: from 140,000 rubles

Payback: from 3 months

A lot of businesses have come to us from the West in recent years. This has become the business of organizing travel to order. For more than 20 years, private travel agencies have been widespread in Europe and America, which create individual tours. People have a need to spend vacations, weekends, honeymoons on vacation. You can help them and earn money on this.

Business Concept

Everyone has heard that the client's desire is the law. In this niche, this rule works 100%, because the work of an organization is based on the desires and preferences of people. Travel agencies and similar companies should not be confused. Tour operators offer painfully beaten routes, and tailor-made travel arrangements involve creating a unique itinerary for each person. Each journey is rich in something of its own.

A person comes to a similar company, expresses wishes (travel time, budget, number of travelers). The firm, in turn, quickly picks up options (1-2 days), creates travel routes and offers a ready-made list to the client. If the client is satisfied with everything, then the payment is made, which includes:

  • accommodation ;
  • travel ;
  • excursions (if any in the route);
  • entertainment;
  • the firm's commission (this is the earnings of the organization that made the route).

Travel can be organized both within the country and abroad. The client should come to the firm, being sure that all organizational issues will be solved for him.

Potential customers of the routes are completely different people. These can be school classes going on an excursion to a neighboring city, a family of retirees, newlyweds, etc.

What is required for implementation?

You don't need any special skills to be successful in this area. All you need is the ability to work with a computer, telephone, Internet and be fluent in English.

Market analysis is an important task at the start. It is possible that there are already competitors in the city, district, it is important to research them, find out which areas are in great demand, who makes up the client base.

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