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How to start a tour operating company

Updated April 17, 2017

People looking for adventure and excitement will gladly pay to experience something unique while on vacation. Starting a tour operating company can be your way to see new things and make money at the same time. Whether you want to travel the world or just show people around your own town, a few steps are all it takes for you to be open for business.

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  1. Decide what type of tours you will provide. Will they be theme-based, like romance, family, senior or sightseeing? Will you take them internationally or stay local?

  2. Write your business plan. This will help with financing and aid you in determining the feasibility of different tour possibilities. It also serves as a blueprint to help keep your business on track as it grows.

  3. Research any local or national certifications and permits you may require to operate a tour company. Research insurance options and whether to incorporate to minimise personal liability.

  4. Hire how many employees will be necessary to conduct your tours safely and efficiently. If you will travel as part of your business, hire experienced tour guides.

  5. Make contact with tour bus operators, hotels, and other tour-related businesses and establish relationships to get group rates when you use their services.

  6. Promote your tour company. Create a website to show details of different tours. Offer a free newsletter or report in exchange for e-mail addresses to build a list for future e-mail marketing. Hire a marketing agency that specialises in online marketing to drive targeted traffic to your website. Also hand out flyers and brochures in your geographical area.

  7. Tip

    Offer corporate discounts to large companies. Work from home in the beginning to minimise expenses.

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About the Author

Ken McCarron has been a freelance writer for five years. He has written online articles too numerous to mention. He has also written copy for websites, direct mail, sales letters, new releases, brochures and ads.

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