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Starting a Travel Agency

If you are contemplating starting a business within the Travel & Tourism Industry as a Retail Travel Agent, Tour Operator, online operator or other provider of tourism products, there are a number of considerations that AFTA recommend you research to provide your business with the best head-start.

Specifically, we have outlined the things you should consider when developing your business plan. This is only to be used as a general guide and will vary depending on the nature of your business.

Considerations for a start-up business in travel

Top 4 Considerations

Develop a comprehensive Business Plan
Developing a comprehensive business plan should always be the first step when deciding to open a business. A plan gives your business direction and helps you prepare for what you may need to overcome in the future.

AFTA has a Business Planning & Advisory Service to assist you in both business strategy and business planning.

Alternatively a comprehensive range of business resources are available from www.business.gov.au.

A business plan should include the following:

  • Clearly describe a viable concept
  • Clearly define a market and market segments the company will be targeting
  • Display a competitive edge
  • Outline the company control and management of the product or service/s
  • Define skills and experience of staff
  • Proprietor seed funding (outlining how much is required for the first 12 months of operations
  • Thought-out and obtainable objectives for getting started and
  • Operational financial forecasts that are supported by the business plan for minimum of 12 months

Qualifications in Travel
If you are looking to start a career in travel or tourism or perhaps continuing your professional development, a formal training qualification is the best head-start to further your career.

In fostering an industry of highly qualified and trained staff, AFTA endorses seeking a Certificate III in Travel as the entry level qualification required for any travel agent consultant or front line travel selling staff. Read more on qualifications.

Become ATAS accredited
The AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) is an industry accreditation scheme that sets the benchmark of quality for the travel industry.
AFTA is committed, through ATAS, to elevating travel industry standards in Australia by driving increased and continued participation by travel intermediaries in ATAS and raising consumer awareness of the benefits of booking travel through an ATAS accredited agent. Read more

To become ATAS accredited, a new travel business (start-up) is required to have at least 30% of staff in a travel selling position to hold a Certificate III in Travel or equivalent or have at least 2 years’ experience in a travel selling position. Additionally, you must supply a copy of your business plan and projected operational budget for the first year of trading.

Read more on becoming ATAS accredited.

Business Insurance Protection
It is best practice for all businesses to have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance policies to protect you and your business, should the need arise.

To understand the difference between the two insurances and why they are both important, we recommend to watch our webinar recording hosted by Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers, titled 'Insurances for Travel Agents & Intermediaries'.

To become an AFTA member or ATAS participant, both Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance are mandatory. There are a number of optional insolvency insurances now available in market through Gow-Gates, more information under our FAQs from Q33.

Electronic payments & surcharge changes

The RBA have recently announced changes to the regulation of electronic payments in Australia including surcharging. Find out more >

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2017 NTIA NOMINATIONS OPEN SOON

2017 National Travel Industry Awards nominations open Monday 23 Jan >

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AFTA 2017 WEBINAR SCHEDULE

Join our free monthly webinars. View 2017 webinar schedule here >

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