How To Become A Travel Agent in India?
Travel and tourism Business is quite huge in terms of scope. Be it products or services, it has to offer a lot of things, to make the Travel agent business successful. If you are thinking about how to become a travel agent in India, then you have to consider what services and products you will provide.
Actually, when you think of Travel niche to start a business then it is a vast area. In this business, there is a huge potential for profit. But you will have to give quality in services and products that you offer to your customers. Because the customer you have served earlier can refer you more customers. And this goes on increasing, growing.
There is a lot of growth in the online travel sector. The reason behind this is faster growth of the Internet, a rise of e-commerce, smartphone penetration, increase in household income, and better travel options.
So, it is very important in the Travel Agency Business to focus on customer happiness and satisfaction.
The World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated ₹16.91 lakh crore (US$240 billion) or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 and supported 42.673 million jobs, 8.1% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to ₹32.05 lakh crore (US$460 billion) by 2028 (9.9% of GDP).
India is making progress in the travel and tourism business and is ranked number 12 in the world’s countries list. The travel and tourism market in India is expected to grow USD 418.9 billion by the year 2022.
This article shows you the rules and regulations on how to become a travel agent in India.
Make A Business Plan
To start a travel agency business you have to make a business plan and scope of the business. If you don’t have an idea about how to make a business plan, then read this detailed article on how to make a business plan. And then read further.
The travel agency business has many options to offer to your customers, nowadays.
So, you have to create a business plan, that fits perfectly in your vision and mission to start a company.
Start a company
You have to choose between the business entity types which are considered legal in India. Most of the travel agencies choose Private Limited Company. It also offers wide business benefits while running a private limited company.
Still, there are other options available. You can start a Limited liability Partnership Company(LLP), One Person Company(OPC) or proprietorship Company. Each company type has its own benefits and compliances to follow every year.
Goods and Service Tax Number
After you form a Company, you need to apply for GST(Goods and Service Tax) Number online from here.
Taking GST number gives authenticity and weightage to your company in the competitive market. As these are mandatory compliances, you have to follow them.
Become Govt. Approved Travel Agent
As this formality is not compulsory, but it is advised to register your company as a government approved travel agent. Your company must follow the norms and criteria provided by the Govt.’s ministry of Tourism. You can find detailed rules and regulations in detail at Ministry of Tourism Portal here. Download the PDF, read it carefully, apply and make your agency as per norms.
Become An IATA Agent
You can register your agency with the International Air Transport Association or is popularly called as IATA. It is Air transport trade association for the world’s airlines. It represents more than 230 airlines around the world.
IATA has its own training and professional development programs. The training is considered the best in the industry.
IATA accreditation is very important for the quality of your services and products you provide to customers.
Therefore, it is important for the travel agent to become an IATA member.
Hire a Professional Staff
It is truly important to have a professional staff, which is specially trained in Tours and Travel agency business. It is because, this business depends on the care, courtesy, and professional behavior of the staff. If you can hire a certified professional person with experience, then you don’t have to train them. These people can guide you in the travel agency business.
Create Offers for Regular Travellers
You can create the best of the offers to those travelers who travel frequently with you. Create a cashback offers, or low-cost package, or discount on accommodation and food and provide these offers to such customers. The customers will surely be delighted to accept the offers. This one of the best way to give them more with offers and discounts.
Use Latest Technology
With the advancement of the internet, you can use the latest technologies to make yourself available in the competition. Create the logo and website design for travel agency. Make use of digital marketing techniques such as Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Social Media to market and brand your agency. You have to find the best service provider in Website Design and Digital Marketing who caters the services at an affordable cost.
Many individuals who wish to become a travel agent, can use the franchise model.
There are a lot of franchise models available in the market. There are a number of benefits when you use franchise of any other established brand. Actually, these brands have a well-structured business model and support team. This business model and support team will provide you the better marketing and technical support to promote your agency.
Some of the travel franchise available in the market are :
- Cox & Kings Franchise
- SOTC Franchise
- Thomas Cook Franchise
- Kuoni Travels
- Akbar Tours & Travels
- Make My Trip
- Ease My Trip
Cost and Expenses
Now, this is the most important factor, when it comes to establishing a travel agency. You have to invest in significantly moderate amount in the travel agency. Because there are different types of costs like setup, company registration, franchise model deposit, IATA & Govt. Registration, etc. Plus there are extra recurring costs like employee salaries, training, rent and franchise fees. But the benefits and ROI is far better than the investments.
The travel and tourism business is never ending business model. But you have to be customer focused and service oriented. You have to be more professional when it comes to products and services. Investing the business can give you better returns in the long term.
If you have any other idea with you do comment below.
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