If you always wanted to get into the travel space in the Philippines, here’s a detailed guide on how to start a travel agency in The Philippines along with a few tips.
In the post-pandemic world, the travel industry has bounced back and expanded to reach uncharted horizons.
The tourism industry in the Philippines is one of the leading and developing industries in the country. It is also one of the main sources of income. Infact, the sector is growing rapidly due to increase in demand, and expansion of the hotel and resort industry there. Hence, it’s a great time and opportunity to start a travel agency in the Philippines now.
Here are quick steps and trip for you to start your own travel agency in the Philippines.
10 Tips To Start A Travel Agency In The Philippines
1. Find Your Niche
If you are thinking of starting a travel agency in the Phillippines, then it might not be a bad idea to think about a niche that you can serve better than others. But do remember, there’s a fair amount of money that can still be made from being a lot of things to a lot of people. So a niche helps with word-of-mouth growth, but having a wide service helps in getting more repeat business from the same customer.
So, you must focus on your strengths as well as weaknesses and find out what works for your agency. And above all: you must know the nitty-gritty of your niche to gain the trust of your customers. For instance, a couple from Uttarakhand who loved to travel to offbeat locations renovated an old home and opened the much-loved Doi Homestay. Similarly, a young traveler started sharing his travel stories online and now takes people on treks.
2. Get An Accreditation
In the Philippines, travel agents have to get accreditation to be able to sell domestic or international tickets on behalf of airlines. You can either choose to be accredited by IATA (International Air Transport Association), or non-IATA agents. IATA accreditation can be a little more expensive since it’s the international regulator of airlines, passenger sellers, and cargo agents, but if you have the required capital, you should go for IATA accreditation.
3. Determine Your Travel Services
Before you do anything, you must figure out the travel services you’d like to provide to your customers. If you are daring, you can start off with holiday packages – a segment where you book hotels, flights, transfers, activities, and more!
In case that’s too much, you can offer basic services such as airport, railway and bus station transfers as well as car rental services. Other essential services offered by a travel agency include bureau de change, travel insurance as well as consistent medical assistance.
When you’re learning more about how to start a travel agency in the Philippines, this is a step that is of prime importance. While you can expand your services in the future, getting it right the first time is imminent.
4. Create a Website
An optimized website is necessary for any contemporary travel agency that wishes to reach its target audience organically. Your website is your portfolio that displays all the trips you have arranged till now, the packages you are offering as well as what your customers think about you.
Having a business website is also an astute way to let your customers know what you stand for. In the age of immersive travel experiences, your customers want to know if your travel agency is just covering those tourist attractions that are swarmed with tourists all year long or if you believe in allowing the travelers to get a complete insight into the culture and traditions of a destination and unraveling its soul.
If you want to start a travel agency and are wondering where to begin, you’re in the right place! Pathfndr is an AI-powered travel operating system. What this means is that with the help of Pathfndr, you can not only create a well-designed travel website, but also sell packages, hotels, and tours. Since it’s affordable and provides great customer service, you can get started in no time at all.
5. Find Partners
If you are wondering about the next step of starting a travel agency in the Philippines, then we are here to guide you. As a young agency, it can be difficult to establish your presence in the industry and attract customers.
In this case, finding partners or organizations to collaborate with can be a good idea. There are several travel companies in the Philippines that invite travel agencies to collaborate and list their packages on their platform at nominal rates and gain organic leads from their websites.
6. Build an Online Social Media Presence
When starting a travel and tourism business, it is important to build a strong online presence. Your social media presence is as important as your offline activities. By maintaining a social media account, you can give modern-day travelers a glimpse of the picture-perfect trips you arrange for your customers.
Not only is social media a wonderful way to invite travelers on a trip virtually, but it also allows tech-savvy travel agencies to keep a track of what is creating the most buzz in the community.
Wondering where you should take your customers next? Perhaps, the clue lies in your most-liked Instagram photos.
7. Finalize a Business Structure
Once you have decided to start your travel agency, it’s time to figure out the structure of your travel business. Finalize a name for your business & then, if you are a sole proprietor, register your business name with the DTI. If you are a corporation, register your business name with the SEC.
Get a barangay clearance before you obtain a mayor’s permit. And then register your business with the BIR. You may want to be accredited with the Department of Tourism for better marketing in the future.
8. Choose Your Base to Expand Your Travel Agency
Another important step in the process of ‘how to start a travel agency in the Philippines’ is to choose the base from where you would expand your travel agency. Considering today’s day and age, you can always keep your entire business online and run a travel agency from your home.
If not that, you can set up shop right in the heart of a popular tourist destination or metropolitan. You can also travel far and choose to run things from the outskirts. Regardless of the location you choose for your base, if you want to make a travel business happen, it will happen!
9. Create Attractive Travel Packages
The next step regarding how to start a travel agency in the Philippines is to create travel packages that are not only profitable but can also offer an unparalleled experience to your customers.
From basic packages that include excursions to breathtaking destinations to adventurous packages that include outdoor activities and experiences, you can plan a variety of packages that may cover a broad range of customers or a narrow target audience.
10. Make Customers Happy
For most travelers, the journey matters as much as the destination. So, you have to make sure that your customers are getting the best value for money. Make sure that you are consistently in touch with your customer from the origin point itself and listen to what they actually need. A travel agency must develop its empathy levels if they wish to deal with various kinds of travelers.
Moreover, do not forget to ask for their feedback. It not only shows that you care about what your customers think, but it would also help you to develop a more personalized travel experience that is the demand of the 21st century.