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How Much Does it Cost To Start A Travel Business?

In the days before the internet, the only option for a travel business was a high street presence.

You needed a bricks-and-mortar shopfront and rows and rows of colourful brochures that people could leaf through, before sitting down in front of an agent to find the ideal break.

Now, the travel business has been turned on its head, and while there’s no denying some people do still like to visit an actual agency, it’s just as easy to get that personal touch with an independent travel agent.

Here, we delve into the costs associated with starting up a travel business and look at the things you might not have considered

What will I need at first?

Firstly, you need a name. Then, you need to consider some general travel agency start-up costs. Luckily, many of these aren’t going to cost you the earth.

Many of the essentials you will need for starting up a travel agency are the same as for any business:

• A phone
• Social media accounts
• Some marketing materials
• A marketing plan
• A website

You may even want to splash out on some merchandise to give away to help promote the company.

As previously mentioned, if you decided to sign up to be a consultant with an existing company, then they will provide most everything you need. Of course, you would then be working independently but for someone else and that may not be what you are looking for.

Don’t forget about ensuring you’re covered by organisations such as ATOL – particularly if you’re going to offer package holidays, as it’s actually a legal requirement.

How much do travel agents make?

Let’s face it, you have chosen to move into an industry where there’s a lot of competition and a huge amount of well-established businesses.

But that’s not to say that you can’t find a nice niche for yourself, although be realistic about how much you may make in the first year.

If you don’t have a track record and you’re starting from ground zero, then you will need to start building up a client base. The good news is that if someone does have a good experience, they are likely to come back to you again.

Payments are usually commission based and, in most cases, you don’t get paid until the person travels, so don’t expect to make a fortune overnight.

At the same time, you need to brush up your sales skills because that’s going to be a huge asset in helping you win customers, striking that fine balance between being friendly but not too pushy.

Be prepared for a wait before the cash comes in, but if you can survive the early years, then you can create a very nice income.


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