The World Tourism Organization, which tracks travel trends internationally, estimates that by 2020 the number of persons traveling will reach 1.6 billion per year. Though the world’s economy has slowed recently, The World Travel & Tourism Council forecasts a revenue growth in the travel industry to be on average 3.6% per year. Individuals seeking to open a group travel business will find that all-inclusive vacations and tours will be the most desired by economically conscious travelers.
Things You Will Need
Knowledge of Geography
Group Travel Business Model
Create a business plan. This is an important step in starting a group travel business. By going through the process of creating a business plan, aspiring owners will have a clear understanding of the financial, operational and marketing details needed to create a successful group travel business. For help in creating a business plan, contact the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA provides free support for business start-ups.
Choose a travel business model. Group travel business can be established in a number of ways. According to Plunkett Research, e-commerce plays an extremely important role in the travel sector, and consumers often seek out information and prices online. This makes a home-based Internet group travel business an excellent model for those who wish to keep operational costs down. Many companies offer online start-up group tour franchises and services.
Business owners with travel industry experience may wish to organize their own group trips as independent contractors or purchase a franchise such as Britain's Global Travel Group. An organization such as U.S. Tour Operators Association is a good place to start researching which business model is best for you.
Take care of the details. After choosing the group travel business model, owners must attend to certain details. Conforming to government regulations at the federal, state and local level is important, and some state require travel agent licensing. Business insurance is highly recommended. The group travel business is a high liability risk for business owners. Accidents and mishaps can happen on trips, and the chances of being sued are higher. It is important for business owners to establish a corporation to protect their personal assets. If establishing a corporation, an attorney and a tax accountant are vital.
If you are new to the travel business, start out with a local and small group trip until you gain enough experience to expand.
If you have never taken a group trip for a vacation, it is important that you experience it before starting your business. Group trips are different from traditional travel bookings since guides, meals, transportation and lodgings are also included.