How to Become a Travel Agent: Starting Your Business


If you love traveling and helping people plan their holidays or business trips while dealing with all hassles, you could be a fantastic travel agent. Now you may think that it is easier said than done. Yes, it is easier than you think, especially if you know all those nitty-gritty aspects of starting a business in the travel industry. Just take a look at the following things or tips for more details on becoming a successful travel agent.

  • Conduct Research

This is one of the first and foremost steps to consider when you plan to become a travel agent. It applies to both pro travel specialists and beginners looking to set foot in the travel industry. It helps you discover your niche market and understand the pulse or trends of your target market or audience. This step is inevitable to know who your key competitors are (in the industry) and educate yourself about the fundamentals required to build your travel brand and invigorate its visibility. Here are some practical tips to get this step right:

  1. Make sure your chosen niche is unique, with zero or fewer competitors in the industry.
  2. Assess your passion, skills, knowledge, and confidence level to pick the right niche.
  3. Review the market and demographic factors; i.e., know whether there is demand for what you intend to sell in your niche market.
  • Develop an Effective Business Plan

Once you zero in on your niche or travel specialization, the next vital step is to create a failsafe business plan. In simple terms, a business plan is a document that clearly outlines the business vision and mission statements, along with key details such as marketing and sale strategies, fund sources, and financial forecasts. Most businesses go wrong over time due to the lack of a proper business plan. Yes, an accurate and practical business plan (in place) allows you to avoid several blips and failures along the way. It also minimizes risk factors with manageable business goals.

  • Determine Whether to be an Independent Agent or Part of a Host Agency or Franchise

Depending on your knowledge and experience in the industry, you can choose to be an independent travel agent or join a host agency to grow your travel business. It is great to be an independent travel agent if you are already aware of the market inside-out. Alternatively, if you are a newbie or don’t know the complexities of running a travel business, it is always safe to get the support of a host agency to build your travel business without any stress. This is because they offer all indispensable support to get your business up and running. You don’t have to worry about creating your own product portfolio – they offer you all practical advice, training, technical assistance,instant solutions, and incredible tips to support your business at every step.

  • Find the Right Location

Depending on the nature of your travel business, it is incredibly significant to have the right location to set up your travel agency. Make sure that the site you choose for your business is easily accessible. It is vital to attract both potential customers and the right talent. With that said, you must consider various factors before deciding on your location. While your chosen location should offer growth potential, it is a no-brainer to avoid selecting a site or facility close to that of your competitor (who is already established). Additionally, its rent, operation expenses, etc., must fulfill your budget goals.

  • Alignment of Resources

It indicates everything that is required to get your business up and running. Whether you plan to run an online travel business or launch a brick-and-mortar agency, you will have to align the resources per the size and scope of your travel business. You have to arrange funds (through loans, partnerships, etc.), hire the right employees, choose the perfect location, take care of accreditations / important memberships, and, of course, devise the proper marketing strategies/techniques that would help to reach your services to the potential clients.

  • Complete the Legal Formalities

It is essential to ensure the resourceful and stress-free running of your business. Get the travel agency license as stipulated by the governing authority. Moreover, based on your country, region, and other elements, you must complete a training program or comply with specific rules and regulations to set up your travel business. It also covers aspects such as getting your travel brand logo, tagline, etc., legally registered as per the regional laws. If you find this step perplexing, there are experts to guide you through every step until you successfully launch your travel business.

  • Finally, Set Realistic Goals

Last but importantly, be sure to set achievable business goals! The depth and gravity of a plan vary from one travel business to another. They are determined mainly by your industry knowledge, experience, and, mostly, the interpersonal skills and capability to make things work out in a difficult situation. The golden rule is to stick to set S.M.A.R.T goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. It may sound cliché, but don’t overlook this factor. It ensures you will not lose track at any point while keeping yourself motivated in every circumstance.


Whether you are passionate about travel or simply looking for a career shift, it can be a really rewarding and exciting career choice to start your own business by becoming a travel agent. After all, while there is no lack of giants in the industry, it is probably a good travel agent who gives a personal touch to a travel experience.

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