Starting a Travel Business

Thinking of starting a travel business? Entering the most exciting, most glamorous and by far the biggest industry on the planet? Love the sound of a home based travel business (or beach based:p)? Think you can compete with Expedia?

Bit of a bummer that last one… Expedia. There are hundreds of big brand names out there all battling it out for the travel business. Expedia alone sinks millions into advertising and brand awareness. In the UK, we’re seeking at the moment “Everyone Must Go!” billboard and newspaper adverts to capture the last minute bookers for this summer season – but already this year I must have seen at least a hundred Expedia adverts.

Does that doom the individual wanting to get into the travel industry?

No way, josé! In fact, it helps it. By Expedia (I’ll use it as a generic now-onwards) creating this big brand bravado and selling millions of dollars worth of travel each year they distance themselves from the client – people like you.

It’s a well known phenomenon that people buy from people they trust, right? So why not leverage that. But there’s one other secret from the industry that you have and Expedia doesn’t – something buyers value!

That secret is simply your travel experiences. Expedia cannot tell it’s many million clients who is the best baker in a small village in France, or the best time of day to stroll down the beaches of Anguilla or even the best thing to have off the menu in a B&B off the beaten track. Perhaps you think of that information as worthless, but that’s precisely what visitors are looking for and loving!

You can break into the travel industry and own a niche – perhaps there’s a destination (or three!) which you simply know inside out- somewhere no ‘expedia travel guide’ will be able to match your knowledge and experience. Why not market that? A niche you know and love?

Of course, there’s the big question; how?

Well marketing by word-of-mouth may well be very effective; you could market your destination to people you know – the trust and credibility factor would already be there. But this may take up a lot of time, and there is only a certain number of times that your best friend will go with you to Mauritius! (or whatever your dream destination might be)

Consider perhaps writing an destination guide or producing a DVD that illustrates your best recommendations from your pool of experience (you can use to get these produced when and where you need them – so you’re never carrying any excess stock!) and then sell these via Amazon Marketplace or tourist boards.

But again this limits you – so why not try the internet?

Frightening perhaps (how can you possibly steal business from the likes of Expedia?) but it is perfectly possible. Stick to your guns – your wealth of knowledge and experience about one particular niche – and then chase that dream of starting a travel business. Leave Expedia to do what it’s good at, and focus in on what you’re good at.