Tips on How to Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines
The internet is a wonderful place to be able to share your moments with friends and family. This is especially good for those who love to travel. All around the web (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) there is no shortage in showcasing the wonders of the world.
Even if you are not that kind of traveler, and would prefer a vacation, there will be a lot of things you need to do before you are able to land in Bali. You would have to make an itinerary of the places you will go, then search for the best prices available. But seeing that you need a vacation, you are probably not the type of person to have time to do these things.
This is not to exclude business people who are always on the go and are travelling from country to country for meetings with various companies that may require immediate scheduling.
Which is why a travel agency is made! Yes, there is a business out there that makes quick work for you as they are used to the type of bookings that you need with experience of handling multitudes of clients. A travel agency is still a profitable venture amidst the creation of booking applications on smartphones. An app can not compare to the capable hands of a travel agency when it comes to juggling multiple clients with sudden commitments to a schedule.
If you are a keen entrepreneur and interested to start a travel agency business in the Philippines, then you should continue reading to give you tips before you make it big!
Know what type of travel agency you will operate
Currently, there are two kinds of travel agencies that you can run:
IATA Agents – These agencies are accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA is an international regulating body for airlines and their related departments. Although optional, being credited by them provides you a credible reputation that says that you are a trustworthy agency to issue tickets to customers.
Furthermore, you are granted access to reissue, rebook, and revalidate tickets.
Non-IATA Agents – These agencies are the opposite end of the spectrum. Essentially, they can not book tickets themselves but instead buy them from respective IATA-credited agents or through the airline itself.
Remember to register your business
Any kind of business must always go through the process of registration to properly legalize your operations and validate that you are compliant with all the requirements needed.
If you are the sole proprietor of the business, then you can head to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For partnerships and corporations, you must head to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
You also have to obtain a barangay clearance, mayor’s permit, and BIR certificate at the barangay and city where your business is located.
Optionally, you can further your validity and credibility as a travel agency by being accredited by the Department of Tourism (DoT).
Acquire the essential equipment that you need
A travel agency is basically an office. It needs to do transactions through online websites and thus an internet connection is needed alongside a computer. The computer does not need to be the top of the line and can be a basic package that can handle day to day operations.
A phone line is also handy for handling inquiries, as well as a fax machine to get request to clients information when it cannot be made online.
Sometimes you deal with customers who would rather engage in less formal conversation through applications such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, or WhatsApp. As such, an office smart phone should always be available to accommodate these kinds of customers.
Hire the right people
As you start your business, the travel agency can be run just by yourself. As your business grows, however, you should consider hiring people to take care of the accounts, inquiries, and ticketing services of your business.
At most, there should be two available staff at the office at any given time to answer inquiries and manage walk-in visits to the office.
A good employee should be screened first for any excellent background that they may have, preferably those with a degree in tourism and a knack for using a computer for reserving tickets.
Market your business
A brand and logo should always be timely and relevant so as to minimize the change throughout the years and make people remember your business.
Flyers and signages should be utilized to its potential by being put up at the best locations possible such as malls and media such as newspapers sections.
Festivals are also a good way to promote travelling using your travel agency as there are likely a number of people present who are interested in touring around the world.