So, are you looking forward to starting a travel agency from scratch?

Thousands of travel agencies close within one year every year because they lack recurring tourists. By following the exact roadmap discussed in this post, you will know how to create a profitable travel agency from scratch. 

You will be able to run a successful travel agency business without any fear of having to close it. The main goal is to build a loyal customer base that books repeat trips through your agency.

Learn more: How to Create a Travel Booking Site in WordPress? (Smart Guide)

This post provides proven strategies for attracting repeat tourists, offering the best deals, and providing top-notch customer service to grow your agency revenues over time.

Steps To Start a Travel Agency From Scratch

Follow these exact steps to create a perfect travel agency from the beginning;

Step 1: Research and Choose Your Travel Agency Niche

The first step you have to do while creating a profitable travel agency is research. Conduct thorough research about the niche. Analyze the demand and market size of your niche properly.

Proper research will help you to understand the business potential overall.

You can use these tools to conduct a thorough research.

ToolsUsed For
Google TrendsAnalyze the trends and demands of products or services.
SEMrushKeywords Research, Competitors Analysis and more.
IBIS WorldIndustry market research, reports and statistics
Answer the publicUser queries analysis, keyword research

These are some of the best tools that can help you with niche selection and keyword research.

Step 2: Develop a Business Plan

One of the prime activities to perform before creating a profitable travel agency is a business plan. A proper business plan is a much-needed thing for any agency before jumping into the next step.

Create a proper business plan covering all aspects like agency objectives, operation management, marketing strategy along financial projections.

To survive and thrive in the long run a proper business plan is a much-needed thing for any business or agency. 

Here are some of the primary areas that you should focus on…

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Analysis
  • Market Demand
  • Focus on Operation and financial projections

Step 3 : Legal Compliances and Permit

As an agency, it’s our moral duty and responsibility to comply with the nation’s rules and policies.

Before stepping into the development process a proper permit needs to be obtained by the agency from the local government or state government to run the business.

Conduct proper research and apply for relevant business licenses and permits for travel agencies.

Here are some basic things to do to comply with the government norms.

  • Research about state or municipality requirements
  • Sales Tax Permit
  • Apply for license and registrations
  • Company registration

Step 4 : Build a website For Your Agency

One of the core components of any business is its website. As it is the face of the agency.

you should put a lot of effort into building an agency website. Create a professional website to promote your agency and book travel. 

You can use a CMS like WordPress to create a professional website along with a plugin like WP Travel. This plugin will help you to create a professional tour booking website with ease.

If you favor video tutorials to create a travel booking website then; the following video can be helpful for you to build a travel agency website instantly.

You can explore a comprehensive Review of WP Travel, including overviews, pros and cons, plans and pricing, compatibility, and performance tests simultaneously.

Here are some of the must have things  that you need to focus before building a travel agency website…

  • Easy Navigation
  • Optimized booking process with WPTravel
  • UI/UX of the site
  • Contact Forms
  • Relevant, Updated Content
  • Trips management and Booking with WPTravel

Step 5: Market your Travel Agency

Implement various sorts of digital marketing campaigns like SEO, SEM, Google ads, Meta ads, and many more. You can also adopt an offline marketing strategy to promote your agency.

Based on your targeted audience you can adopt any sort of marketing campaigns that apply to your business.

Here are some of the marketing channels you can use for your agency.

Digital MarketingTraditional Marketing
SEOPrint advertising
SEMNewspaper ads
Content MarketingTv Commericial
Email MarketingBroadcasting
Google and Meta adsOutdoor Marketing

You can adopt a traditional or digital marketing strategy however if you want to grow fast and reach customers beyond the boundaries then you should go for Digital marketing.

You might be interested: How to Promote Your Travel Business? (10 Creative Ways)

Step 6: Initiate Relationships and Tie-up

Your agency can tie up with airlines, hotels, tour companies, and others to spread awareness and expand the reach of your travel business overall.

Building a relationship with outsiders will ultimately help you to build synergy. Collaboration and building relationships are always flavourful in the long run.

You can consider the following approach to initiate relationships…

  • Take part in industry trade shows and conference to network with potential partners
  • Research and identify target partnership entities.
  • Start small with informal pilot partnerships to test potential fits.
  • Be prompt in addressing partner issues and feedback
  • Participate in relevant LinkedIn groups and forums to connect with potential partner

Step 7: Set Up Operations For Travel Agency

After completing the major tasks one of the prime areas that the agency needs to focus on is  operation.

The operation activities decide the agency’s future that’s why it is important from a business perspective to effectively manage all the operations of the organization.

Execute proper policies and procedures for the smooth operation of the business organization. Get office space, equipment, staff, and systems to support daily operations.

Here are some of the prime areas to focus on in order to set-up proper operation activities.

  • Office design and layout
  • Proper staffing
  • Accounting and Finance system
  • Customer service protocols

Step 8: Increase Recurring Revenue For Travel Agency

Your travel agency can offer various incentives for referrals and repeat bookings. You can simply build loyalty programs to grow recurring sales overtime.

Time will also help to improve your business overall. Providing personalized service will ultimately create a positive image of the brand in customer’s eyes.

Here are some of the strategies that you can follow to increase recurring revenues:

  • Loyalty programs
  • Referral rewards
  • Customized trip packages
  • Membership option
  • Promotional offerings
  • Reward repeat customers.

Things To Know Before Starting a Travel Agency

Creating a travel agency is a difficult task. But here we are to navigate and help you to get success from your travel agency.

These are some of the things to know before starting your travel agency…

Areas Considerations
DomainUse a popular CMS platform like WordPress and choose a fast and secure web host.
Website PlatformTry to choose TLD i.e top-level domains like .com, and .org these will help you to rank better outside of your country Geolocation as well. From an SEO Point of view, it’s important to select the perfect domain name.
Design and BrandingTry to choose TLD i.e. top-level domains like .com, and .org these will help you to rank better outside of your country Geolocation as well. From an SEO Point of view, it’s important to select the perfect domain name.
Booking CapabilitiesInstall an SSL certificate for HTTPS, and use an effective plugin like WPTravel for booking authentications.
Content StrategyCreate targeted pages for SEO. write optimized content to rank in search engines.
SecurityCreate a suitable brand image of the theme. Optimize images for the web, and pick perfect color patterns.
TestingIntegrate booking plugins like WPTravel for effective and easy booking trips process.

Travel Agency Start-Up Cost

Many travel agency owners who are curious about the total cost to start up the travel agency need a concrete cost to estimate their overall operation cost as well as start-up cost.

These lists will give you a brief idea of business start-up costs…

Type of AgencyLocationEstimated Cost RangeKey Cost Elements
Home-based agentUnited States$2,000 – $5,000Training, certification, computer, phone, printer, marketing materials, website, licensing
Home-based agentUnited Kingdom£1,000 – £5,000Training, certification, computer, phone, printer, marketing materials, website, licensing
Home-based agentIndia₹50,000 – ₹2,00,000Training, certification, computer, phone, printer, marketing materials, website, licensing
Independent brick and mortarUnited States$10,000 – $60,000Lease, renovation, furniture, equipment, licensing, inventory, marketing, staff, working capital
Independent brick and mortarFrance€5,000 – €25,000Lease, renovation, furniture, equipment, licensing, inventory, marketing, staff, working capital
Independent brick and mortarAustraliaA$10,000 – A$100,000Lease, renovation, furniture, equipment, licensing, inventory, marketing, staff, working capital
Franchise brick and mortarUnited States$100,000 – $350,000Franchise fee, lease, renovation, furniture, equipment, inventory, marketing, staff, working capital
Franchise brick and mortarMexico400,000 – 1,500,000 pesosFranchise fee, lease, renovation, furniture, equipment, inventory, marketing, staff, working capital
Online travel agencyGlobal$50,000 – $500,000Domain, website development, licensing, marketing, staff, working capital, WPTravel Plugin cost
Corporate travel agencyGlobal$500,000 – $5,000,000Staff, technology, software, office space, travel inventory, marketing

Conclusion

Starting a successful and profitable travel agency takes careful planning, preparation, and execution across a variety of steps. From conducting market research to launching marketing campaigns and building partnership programs, new agencies need to lay the right foundations and focus on providing an amazing customer experience in order to thrive. 

There are also emerging technologies like AI chatbots and virtual assistants that can help travel agencies improve customer service and operational efficiency. By using these innovations, travel agency owners can build an agency for long-term growth.

FAQ’s

How much does it cost to start a home-based travel agency?

Around $2,000 – $5,000 for training, computer, phone , marketing ,website and licenses.

Can I start a travel agency at home with no money?

You can start with no money. You can use plugins like WPTravel to automate your travel business activities.

How can I start an online travel agency from home?

Make a booking website with WordPress using plugins like WP Travel. This allows you to easily add tours, booking, and payment functionality.

What’s in the travel agency business plan?

Goals, target customers, operations, marketing, financials, funding needs, and growth milestones. Outline niche, services, and use of WP Travel

What’s needed to set up a travel agency?

Licenses, permits, tax IDs, travel agent certification for your state/country

You can get WP Travel Pro to start creating your travel and tour booking website within minutes without any hassle of coding.

get WP Travel pro