Updated: May 15, 2019
It’s fun to travel. And with social media showcasing a lot of wonderful destinations, who wouldn’t be tempted to travel, right? I actually know someone who has his travel agency on speed dial in his mobile phone!
As you may know, traveling is not just about fun and leisure. A lot of people also travel for business. And this market will be your primary customers if you’re running a travel agency business in the Philippines.
Establishing a travel agency can provide you with a steady income as it is always in demand. Additionally, you actually don’t need a lot of capital to start this business.
If you’re interested to put up a travel agency business, then here are five quick tips that can come in handy.
1. Determine what type of travel agency you will be.
According to the travel industry in the Philippines, there are two types of travel agencies.
First, there is IATA Agents or the Accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). They are the international regulating body for airline and airline-related departments.
Having this kind of accreditation will let your customers know that you are reliable and trusted by airlines to issue tickets. You also have the power to rebook, reissue, or revalidate tickets if needed.
Second, is the Non-IATA Agents. These agencies are not accredited by the IATA, and are therefore not allowed to issue tickets.
The way they do business instead, is to buy tickets from the airline directly or an IATA-accredited travel agency. Setting up this type of agency is easier, but your profit will be smaller. It’s recommended for those with little capital.
2. Have both online and offline presence.
People are now comfortable with buying plane tickets online. This means most travelers will almost always check online first if they need a travel agency.
Have a website and maintain a social media account to serve as your sales and marketing channels online.
However, aside from the online presence, you must also have an office. Most corporate accounts will want to deal with an agency with a physical business address.
3. Market the destinations.
It’s important to provide quality service and competitive prices to your customers. But when it comes to your marketing strategies, your focus should be in promoting the destinations that you offer.
Especially in social media, you can do content marketing on popular tourist spots. This way, if the need arises to travel to that destination, your target market will remember your business first.
Creating packages for these destinations will also be helpful. If you can partner with hotels, then that would be advantageous also, particularly for group travelers and business travelers.
4. Register your business.
Register your travel agency business early on and don’t operate as a fly-by-night travel agent because you will not get corporate clients this way.
Before going through the usual process of registering a business, check first with the permits and licensing office in your city. Ask them about the requirements of a travel agency business.
Each city in the Philippines can have different processes, that’s why this will be your first step.
Lastly, it is optional but it would certainly be helpful if you can apply and get accreditation from the Philippine Department of Tourism. This will boost your credibility as a travel agency business.
5. Have the necessary equipment.
Travel agencies require minimal equipment to operate. The most important are a computer with an internet connection, preferably two phone lines, a scanner, a printer, and a fax machine.
When it comes to the aesthetics of your office, be sure to have comfortable chairs for clients. And showcase high-quality photos or posters of your destinations to attract visitors.
I hope you find these five quick tips helpful.
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