The travel industry is huge. Research by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) indicates that the travel and tourism industry generates $1.3 trillion in economic activity in the U.S. every year. That’s equivalent to $3.4 billion a day, $148 million an hour, $2.4 million a minute and $40,000 a second. No wonder the opportunities for aspiring travel services business owners abound.
There are many ways you can start travel business:
1. Homebased: If you want to keep your overhead low and your profits high, this could be the type of business for you. Thanks to the internet, homebased agents have at their command all the same tools that used to be available only at a traditional brick-and-mortar travel agency.
2. Independent contractor: If you like working in a traditional travel agency but love the freedom of being your own boss even better, then working as an independent contractor in the travel industry could be the right move for you.
3. Specialty/niche business: Since leisure travel makes up 80 percent of total sales in the travel industry (according to Plunkett Research), there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to offer specialty travel services.
4. Corporate travel: Actually a type of niche travel service, corporate travel has been singled out in this book because of the various opportunities it offers. But beware, it can be difficult to break into this particular field.
5. Franchise: If you like the idea of launching a “plug and play” business that is ready to go right out of the box, then a travel services franchise could be your ticket to success. With a franchise, you purchase the rights to use a tried and true concept, as well as the name recognition and business procedures that come along with it.