The tourism sector, despite the fact that it has been experiencing certain difficulties for several years, remains quite profitable. Any person who does not have big savings can do tourism business. In addition, such entrepreneurial activity brings a lot of positive emotions, because it becomes possible to assist people in organizing recreation. However, there are still some nuances that should be taken into account so as not to lose the funds invested in this business. We will tell you about all the intricacies of how to open a travel agency from scratch so that you do everything right.
Features of the tourism business
Before you open a travel agency, you need to understand what a travel agency is, what is the essence of its activities. First of all, it is necessary to understand the meaning of some concepts.
A travel company is an agency that acts as an intermediary between a travel operator and a person who wants to go on a trip. It can fulfill obligations:
- Tour operator - a company that should develop and advertise through the media various tours that are in greatest demand among the population,
- Travel agent - a company that implements travel tours: makes transfers, sells tickets, worries about accommodating clients and organizing excursions for them.
You must also know before opening a travel agency in Russia what will be the responsibility of your company. As a rule, a travel agency provides the following services:
Issue visas to customers in accordance with the requirements of the tour operator with whom the contract is concluded. If something is done wrong, the responsibility for this should rest with the travel agency.
To give customers a full package of documents required for the trip:
- Tickets (air and rail),
- Health insurance
- Voucher for accommodation
- A memo of the state to which the tourist goes
- Book all the services requested by the client
- Make timely payments for the work of a tour operator.
Next, we will present you step-by-step instructions on how to open a travel agency from scratch.
You need to start a tourism business with an idea
The first thing you need is an idea. Believe me, in today's tourism business the competition is incredible. You must be ready to join this fight and take your place in the list of the best travel agencies. Otherwise, you can’t get down to business. In this area of activity there are many factors that are independent of the leader. That is why a third of companies are closed after a year of operation. These are real statistics. If you know how to act, then why not take a chance.
Premises are the foundation of good business
For a travel company in the first place should be the choice of premises. If you don’t have enough money for a normal office, you should postpone the opening of the company until better times. Be prepared for the cost. In particular, you will have to fork out for rent (about $ 1,000 per month). Of course, this amount is very average. For that kind of money, you can organize your office somewhere on the 3-4th floor of a business center in a big city with an area of no more than 15-20 square meters. meters.
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The choice of office must be made taking into account the specifics of the business. For example, if individual customers are being serviced, special attention should be paid to the comfort of employees and tourists. It’s not necessary that the travel agency’s office has a separate exit to the street and is located in the central part of the city.
In the case when the business is focused on serving groups, it is better to give preference to a room near crowded places. For example, metro stations, shopping centers and so on are perfect. At the same time, a separate exit is a prerequisite - this will make maintenance more convenient, and work safe. In addition, a video intercom should be installed at the entrance to the office. In extreme cases, you can hire a security guard.
Finding an office space is troublesome. The easiest way to read ads in newspapers, the Internet, to ask your friends. There is another option - to walk around the city, find some buildings you like and more specifically specify the possibility of renting premises.
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The selection criteria are quite simple - the availability of telephone communications and a dedicated high-speed Internet line. At the same time, you don’t need to live one day - it is advisable to work for the future. That is, the area of the room should be such that in the future it was possible to expand.
A good business plan is where to start a tourism business
Naturally, no activity can do without a good business plan, which should always be at hand. This is important, because in the document on the "shelves" the main and secondary tasks of the entrepreneur. The plan needs to describe the development strategy, customer acquisition program and advertising company, as well as take into account all possible risks. Particular attention should be paid to potential costs. Moreover, all expenses should be multiplied by a factor of 1.5, which will avoid unpleasant situations with a lack of funds.
Cadres decide a lot - choose staff
It is important to choose the right employees. Many beginning businessmen do not pay much attention to this aspect, inviting their relatives, friends and just good friends to work. In principle, there is nothing wrong with that. The main thing is to pay attention to two main criteria of diligence and decency. Of course, newcomers to the tourism business may lack professional skills, but salaries are not too high - about $ 150. In this case, the head should do everything possible to improve the skills of subordinates. Staff training is required.
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If the newly-made businessman has enough money, then you can start recruiting qualified and experienced employees whose salaries will be much higher. You can’t do without a travel agency without an accountant, but only after the business is on its feet. In the first months of work there will be little, so the implementation of all financial tasks can be entrusted to specialized firms.
Clients - the "gold" of any business
An important issue in the tourism business is attracting customers, without whom it is difficult to count on the success of the activity. Customers are a very grateful people. If they liked the trip, then they will definitely come back and bring some friends with them. People are not inclined to change. Why take the risk if there is a proven option?
It is important to immediately come up with your own “highlight”, which will distinguish a newly opened travel agency from existing ones. For example, differences can be in the mode of operation, promotions, bonuses and so on. As for the advertising company, at the initial stage there will be enough leaflets, as well as advertisements in newspapers and the Internet.
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Travel business: what documents are needed?
And, of course, when starting a business, you can’t do without completing a number of documents. The requirements of the law must be clarified in the relevant authorities. And most often the list of documents directly depends on the type of activity. You can not do without a license to conduct tourism activities (no one has yet canceled it).
Successful work for you.
The main advantages of the tourism business include:
- It is developing rapidly, which means that you will be able to provide people services not only in Russia, but also abroad, which will also bring you big profit,
- You will have a large selection of travel operator, in addition, you can conclude cooperation agreements with more than one operator, with several at once - this is the first thing you need to open a travel company,
- The flow of people who want to go on a trip is constantly growing, and it does not end all year round,
- Paperwork is simple, done quickly and fairly cheaply.
Now consider a few negative points that you should be aware of before opening a travel company:
- A fairly high level of competition - a lot of start-up entrepreneurs are thinking about how to open a travel agency from scratch, because they understand the profitability of this business,
- If you do not pay enough attention to the advertising campaign to promote your travel agency, you can completely lose customers and be left without orders (in this case, the risk of losing invested funds increases),
- In the warm season, the demand for tourist trips is much higher than in the cold season, but this is a moot point, because there are winter resorts, where people are happy to go to New Year and Christmas holidays.
A travel agency can be registered as a legal company LLC or as a private institution FLP.
To register a new institution in the state register, one resident who can sell tours in the country and abroad is enough.
You will have to get a written commitment from any banking institution that will be charged to pay for the services of a tour operator if a travel agency cannot do this (without this guarantee, no operator will agree to cooperate with the agency). However, the bank will issue an appropriate guarantee only if the founder of the travel agency provides a package of documents that will include:
- Certificate of State Registration
- Current account information
- Copies of contracts confirming the rental of the premises where the company is located (if the premises are personally owned by the owner, then you must provide a document confirming the ownership),
- Copy of the TIN of the head,
- Certificate of registration with the tax service.
It is necessary to develop special client contracts that you will conclude with clients who will order tours from you. Everything must be spelled out in these agreements: the date of payment, the date of issue of the tourist voucher.
It will also be necessary to develop rules for tourists: who will meet them in the country, where they go, accompany, conduct excursions. It is advisable to include these rules in the client agreement, so that the tourist signs the document after reading them.
It is also recommended to conclude a contract with an insurance company, however, this is an optional point. If you want your clients to be insured, it is better to provide them with a medical policy and other types of property insurance (for example, a car).
It recommends concluding a subagent agreement with any airline through which you will buy tickets for your customers. This is very beneficial, because in such cases, airlines offer many profitable bonuses.
Make an approximate business plan on how to open a travel agency to know what expenses await you, how to act, so that they recover faster and turn into stably high incomes.
You can open a travel company in the central area of the city. In this case, it is desirable that:
- The room was not less than 20 m²
- It should be located on the first floor of any apartment building, but still it’s better to select office buildings,
- It is necessary to hang a bright advertising sign on the premises so that people passing by can see what services you provide (the fact that your travel agency is located in the city center will make them believe in your prestige and high level of customer service).
You can open a travel agency in the building of the business center. What you need to open a travel agency in such an institution:
- The room must have a fresh modern repair, so that the agency looks presentable and solid,
- You will be able to serve not only tourists who will come to you from other areas of the city, but also employees of a huge business center,
- However, you won’t be able to advertise in such a territory,
- At the checkpoint in any business center there is a checkpoint system that will repel customers.
You can choose a room for the company in a shopping center. We will give you some basic recommendations on how to start a tourism business in such an institution:
- Choose a boutique where there are always a lot of people (it’s better to consider departments where clothes, shoes or electronic equipment are sold),
- You need to be prepared for the fact that in such an institution you have to pay a high price for the rent.
You can open a travel company in a residential area of your city:
- A large crowd of people who can become potential clients of your agency is always concentrated here.
- You don’t have to pay a lot for rent,
- In such an area there will not be much competition.
Room and interior equipment
The premises of your company should always be clean and comfortable. This is necessary so that your clients, coming to the office, can completely relax and relax in it. This is especially true for situations when a line of people is going. You need to put on the tables different magazines, catalogs, coffee makers. Also hang on the walls various interesting things that will inspire your customers to travel.
To open a travel agency from scratch without work experience, you need to purchase furniture and necessary equipment. It is not necessary to choose expensive models, an economical option is also suitable, if only it all looked decent and beautiful. You will need:
- Computers with printers and the necessary software,
- Office tables, chairs,
- Soft sofas,
- Armchairs and coffee tables,
- Air conditioning,
- Coffee makers with appropriate utensils,
- When renting a room,
- For the purchase of appliances and furniture,
- With an advertising campaign,
- To pay a fee if you decide to open a franchise travel agency.
It is important to consider that the answer to the question of how much it costs to open a travel agency depends more on what city you live in. After all, if you live in a metropolis, then the rent for premises will be higher than in the provinces. In a month, only 30-60 thousand rubles will have to be spent on rent.
In order to put the selected room in order (it must meet certain standards), buy the necessary furniture, appliances and fill out all the necessary documents, you will need to have about 200,000 rubles in your possession.
To promote your travel agency, you need at least 100,000 rubles. However, we note that this amount is relative, it depends more on the channel that will carry out the advertising campaign.
Also, discussing the question of how much it costs to open a travel agency, you need to know that you still have to pay wages to your employees. As a rule, it should be 15 thousand rubles stably and another 20% of the monthly income of a travel agency.
Keep in mind that the next 6 months after you open an agency, it will not bring you any profit. Therefore, you need to have in stock some financial means through which you can build a business.
If you learn to implement more than 500 permits per year, then your travel agency will make a profit of 50-100 thousand rubles a month. This is enough to establish itself as a popular segment of the tourism business. The more you sell the tour, the more you can earn. If you are happy with such arrangements, then do not hesitate for a long time whether it is worth opening a travel agency, and immediately get down to business.
Business payback periods
The second most important question for those who decided to open a travel agency in 2018 from scratch, for how long it will pay off. Here you need to be aware that this moment is more dependent on how you start. If you will create a large turnover of tours from the first days, then during the first year of work you will earn 600-800 thousand rubles, which means that you will return the invested personal funds.
However, experienced entrepreneurs who have long been around in this area argue that the payback period of a travel agency is 2 years, at least. But we do not advise you to be equal to someone else's achievements. If you seriously approached the question of how to open a travel agency from scratch in Russia, then you will find a way to quickly get started in order to regain your investment and start making a profit.
Conclusions and Tips
At the end of this article on how to open a travel agency, we want to give you some useful tips on how to quickly promote your business and get a consistently high income on it:
- Если вы задались решением вопроса, как открыть турфирму на дому, то для раскрутки вам потребуется всего лишь иметь в распоряжении официальный сайт, через который вы и будете осуществлять всю работу. Открыть турагентство с нуля на дому гораздо проще и экономнее. По крайней мере, лишние 200 000 рублей сможете сэкономить. Лучше часть этих денег вложить в создание уникального сайта. Consult with experts on how to open a travel agency at home, so that your activity is official and in demand,
- Create a very memorable and colorful name for your company. This does not apply to those who decide to open a franchise travel agency,
- Think of a system of promotions and different bonuses for the first customers of your agency to attract them. Create several accounts on social networks where you will promote your entrepreneurial activity and advertise various tourist trips.
Devote yourself to a fully selected business to succeed in a short time. Believe in your strength and do the maximum that depends on you!
Open travel agency
Travel agencies sell ready-made tours in which everything is already provided for: flight, hotel accommodation, airport transfers, insurance and so on. You do not need to worry about organizing the trip, but only offer a suitable ticket to the client. In your pocket you put the difference in the cost of the service. The standard agent fee is 10 percent.
The most important thing is to cooperate only with trusted operators so as not to expose customers and their reputation to risk.
Therefore, do not try to sell the cheapest tours - if you are let down by a tour operator, you can put a fat cross on your career.
Give customers discounts - this will help you get around your competitors. And do not count at first on large commissions.
How does an agent organize a tourism business? First of all, choose reliable partner operators. And there is no single recipe. Try to find out which of your potential partners has accreditation in foreign embassies. This information is open, and is contained on the websites of the embassies themselves.
The main costs that you incur will be image-building: advertising, a decent office in a decent area, presentable and credible managers.
In the office for work you will need a minimum set of equipment: a computer with the Internet, an MFP, a telephone, and a fax. Do not forget that employees - secretary, manager, accountant, cleaner - need a salary. Unless, of course, you are not going to occupy these positions yourself.
In addition, you will need to register a company: as practice shows, people do not really trust individual entrepreneurs, preferring to deal with a solid letter combination of LLC.
Registration costs include the actual registration of a legal entity, making a seal, opening a bank account. You will also need to put a minimum amount of 10 thousand rubles on the account.
Another reason why you should immediately open up as a legal entity is that if you suddenly decide to continue working as a tour operator, you will not need to change anything, and the reputation earned by the sale of permits will serve you well in the new business.
The tourism business suffers from seasonality - the peak of vacations falls on the May holidays, summer and New Year. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the dead season and have a cash "airbag".
In addition, with the development of Internet technologies, an increasing number of tourists prefer to travel on their own, without overpaying for intermediary services. Therefore, as soon as you gain a little experience in this field, it is better to start developing your own routes.
Business Tour Operator
To open a tourism business from scratch, choose one direction and try to make your offer unique.
What do you prefer to do? This can be beach tourism or the organization of fishing and hunting, health tours, tours for young people, couples with or without children.
Choose your target audience. And think about what you can offer them. Ideally, it would be nice to have experience traveling to the countries where you want to invite customers.
If travel agencies can still choose how to register, then the tour operator has no choice - only a legal entity can carry out this activity. Despite the fact that the license is canceled, it will be necessary to fulfill some conditions in order to get into the Unified Register of Tour Operators, and financial support will also be required.
In order to engage in international tourism, you need to have insurance for 30 million rubles.
To be insured for such an amount, you will have to pay an insurance company about 100-120 thousand. For inbound tourism, this amount will amount to 10 million rubles, and for domestic tourism - five hundred thousand.
Get ready for the cost.
The organization of rest is a rather responsible matter, because customers pay for the fact that you will take all the chores on themselves, leaving them only to relax. Therefore, there should be no surprises. But traveling, big or small, is always a risk. You can let the carrier, weather, exchange rate. Therefore, the business plan should be pre-set costs to resolve various conflict situations with dissatisfied customers.
Is it worth buying a ready-made business
If finances allow, it is quite possible to acquire an existing company. The advantages are obvious: you don’t have to spend valuable time on registration, preparation of various documents, employees are already recruited and ready to work, and most importantly, the company already has a client base, and many probably know the name.
Cons: perhaps the company is mired in litigation, has debts to the tax or completely ruined its reputation with a scandal with a client. Therefore, before paying your own money, be sure to check if the company has skeletons in the closet.
Will the crisis not hurt
How much can the economic crisis hurt the tour operator? It is no secret that the Russians, who have joined foreign holidays in recent years, are now forced to limit their spending. Indeed, a decrease in sales is an expected occurrence, but only for mass destinations such as Turkey or Egypt.
Recall that, according to the Pareto law, 80 percent of all trips are made by 20 percent of the wealthiest people. They are not very interested in economy offers, so exclusive expensive trips with a high level of service and big tips will be used. So the emphasis should not be on the mass client, but on VIPs, who will provide you with a solid reward and the opportunity to earn on a piece of bread and butter.
Now let's look at the estimated income and expenses of a travel agency
Estimated income is also easy to calculate. It is difficult for a beginner travel agency to count on the sale of more than 50 passes per month. A larger and more famous agency can serve 200 or more customers in high season. Calculating from the average cost of the permit - $ 400 (10% of the commission - $ 40), we get the average income - from 2,000 to 8,000 dollars.