If you are planning to start a travel business, it is a good idea to understand the field first. There are a lot of online and classroom courses available on tourism and its various aspects.
It is important to remember that travel businesses are seasonal – they do extremely well during certain periods of a year, like festivals, holidays, etc. It would be a good idea to study trends such as these, and use the knowledge to start your business at the right time.
There are many options of business entity for travel agents to choose from. Most choose to have a Private Limited Company as it is used widely and is one of the recognized forms of business in India with its share of benefits. A private limited company is a very good option for business owners who want to offer online services.
Some other business entities like Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or One Person Company (OPC) are ideal for business owners who want to build their business slowly and on a part-time basis.
Legal Requirements For A Travel Business!
A few of the legal formalities to have a recognized travel agency are:
- Register the agency as per the Companies Act.
- Get a GST Registration for your agency.
- Provide an application letter to the Government as well as IATA (International Air Transport Association).
- The minimum office space should be around 100 – 150 sq. ft, depending on the region.
Become An IATA member!
IATA offers training and professional development services for travel agents and helps businesses develop trust in customers. Therefore, it is important for a travel agent to consider becoming an IATA member.
Register For GST!
GST has to be filed if the business turnover exceeds 20 lakhs in any financial year.
GST stands at 5% each for the following service categories:
- Reservation services for transportation
- Reservation services for accommodation, cruises and package tours,
- Reservation services for convention centres, congress centres, and exhibition halls
- Reservation services for event tickets, cinema halls, entertainment, and recreational services.
- Tour operator services
- Tourist guide services, tourism promotion, and visitor information services
- Other travel arrangement and related services.
Become A GOI Approved Travel Agent!
Though registration as a Government of India approved Travel Agent is not mandatory, it is beneficial and provides recognition for the travel agent.
For becoming a Government of India recognized travel agent, the travel agent must satisfy certain requirements on capital invested, the number of staff employed, maintenance of office space, etc.
Further, an application must be given to the Ministry of Tourism in the required format to become a Government of India approved Travel Agent.
Tie-Up With Other Businesses!
A business tie-up can be beneficial in some ways:
- Can lead to an increased client base – The two partners can easily benefit from managing each other’s clients through references and giving discounts.
- Commission – You can get huge amounts of commission for each client you get for the other partner, also if the partner company is a hotel.
- A good market presence – Business tie-ups can lead to an indirect promotion of your company, because of being associated with more organizations.
Market Your Business!
You can market your company even while you are setting up your business, for letting people know about the travel agency that will soon be open to cater to their needs. You can distribute pamphlets, or give an advertisement through print media, and using social media.