How to Start a Tours and Travel Agency With Low Capital

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Most Kenyans love traveling. Whether to tour destinations within the country or abroad, any Kenyan will g for it. Even those who do not love traveling always find themselves in the company of travelers.

You can already guess the impact of this on the Tours and Travel Agency Business.

You will be right to say that the industry has been established and has now grown to be one of the most lucrative businesses in Kenya in 2020.

Though traveling and movement had been restricted in the country for a couple of months, movement restrictions have been eased and you can expect a surge in growth of the business.

It sounds like something you would really want to do, right?

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Let us first understand some basics of how you can start a Tours and Travel Agency, how much they need as capital, the suitable location for their offices, and most importantly, how much they stand to gain in running the business.

What’s the Best Location for a Tours and Travels Agency in Kenya?

The need for an office in operating a Tours and Travel Agency cannot be overemphasized. Bookings, consultation, and other crucial matters need a specific locale dedicated to business.

Did I specify what kind of an office?

Now, the location for your office can either be virtual/online or a physical address.

Whether online or physical, let there be a consultant to settle matters with clients.

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A legitimate business has offices where clients can have their issues sorted anyway. If you don’t have an office, some clients will highly doubt the legitimacy of your business and operations.

A physical office needs to be within reach of your clients. You know which towns your frequent clients usually come from, so reciprocate by putting up offices in such towns or places.

Also Read: How to Start a Profitable Hardware Business with Low Capital

Requirements for putting up a tours and travels company in Kenya.

What specific factors and irreducible minimums must you meet to run a successful Tours and Travel Agency in Kenya? 

  1. Carry out market research – this is a business like any other and thorough market research is inevitable if success will be part of the equation. Find out how the business is doing from those already in the space. Know which places are covered and which are not in a bid to identify an exploitable gap. Inquire from existing businesses if the tours and travel business is as profitable as everyone says.
  2. Partner with a well-established tour company – become a certified partner of an already established tour company so that you don’t need to purchase a fleet of buses, cars, and vans. This is a cost-effective way of doing business if you are to start with low capital. The difference between what clients pay you and what you pay the tour company will be your profit.
  3. Buy your own buses, vans, and cars – instead of partnering with an established tour company, buy your vehicles if you have the money. You will however spend millions to billions of shillings if you choose to go this route. 
  4. Set up an office – Whether virtual or physical, let there be a consultant to settle matters with clients. A legitimate business has offices where clients can have their issues sorted. If you don’t have an office we will highly doubt the legitimacy of your business and operations. 
  5. Obtain a Travel Agency License from eRegulations Kenya in the following steps:

    • Apply for Travel Agency License.
    • Pay Travel Agency Processing fee of Ksh.1,000.
    • Submit Payment Receipt.
    • Inspection of Premises.
    • Obtain a Travel Agency License at Ksh.8,000.
  1. Local or International – decide whether you want to operate a local destination or international destinations or even both.
  2. Build meaningful connections – once you establish the scope of your travel agency, build meaningful connections with service providers like hotels, tour guides, restaurants, and so on. They will be of great help in the destinations you visit because they will host and show you around. Connect so well with them for ease of operations. 
  3. Pre-visit travel destinations – even if only once, it helps you know a lot about such destinations like distance and how long it takes to travel there, gauge if your clients will like them, negotiate packages and costs of food, accommodation, and more. A pre-visit is an important part of the business.
  4. IATA diploma – if you intend to sell air tickets through your tours and travel agency, then an International Air Transport Association (IATA) diploma will be necessary for certification. Only then will you acquire credibility in selling air tickets and advising air travel clients on various issues like air ticket prices and others. This gives you an upper hand over competitors who do not have the diploma.
  5. Market your Tours and Travel Agency Business thoroughly:

    • Use Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads.
    • Get a website and let it be optimized for keywords like “Tours and Travel Agency in Nairobi”, “Tours Company”, “Travel Agency near you” and so on.
    • Make brochures and distribute them in town, offices, schools, churches, and other public places.
    • Invest in good marketing and you will always be in business, smiling all the way to the bank.
  1. Start your Tours and Travel Agency – once you have your clients ready, you can kick off your business. Handle clients with decorum and respect. Listen to and address their needs and you will have a long life in the business.

How to Start a tour and travel agency with Ksh. 100,000 capital.

A small travel agency will not require a lot. Let us have some quick math.

  • License – Ksh.10,000
  • Bus hire – Ksh.20,000
  • Marketing – Ksh.10,000

For your first trip using one bus, you realize that Ksh.50,000 – Ksh.100,000 will be enough. If you plan to start a big one, then you must also know that the initial capital will be way higher, as you’ll have more costs to cater to.

How profitable is this kind of business?

Small tours and travels can make as much as Ksh. 80,000 per trip.

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*Risk warning:

The information provided does not constitute a recommendation to carry out transactions. When using this information, you are solely responsible for your decisions and assume all risks associated with the financial result of such transactions.
 

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