Step-by-step guide to creating a tour operator business plan [template included]

tour operator business plan

By Kevin Tjoe — 13 Jan 2022

Business plan   Business set-up

Updated July 2023 – Ready to take the plunge and launch that tour company or adventure travel business you’ve been envisioning? Before you start welcoming guests, the best first step is always to build a detailed business plan. 

A tour operator business plan is more than just a formality; it is the compass that will navigate your business’s journey. A well-structured business plan for a tour operator provides the framework for transforming your vision into a thriving and sustainable business. It will help you clarify your goals, streamline your operations, and make informed decisions.

Let’s explore the immense value of a clear tour operator business plan as well as the most important elements to consider in this comprehensive document. 

Why create a business plan?

Crafting a business plan allows you to lay the groundwork for your tour operator business effectively. Whether you plan to help travelers make travel plans or to provide amazing tourism experiences, your business plan will serve a couple of key purposes:

  • You can hit the ground running with a plan in place, and goals to work towards in the long term.
  • You’ll have a quality business case to use if you’re applying for loans or grants.
  • You can point your start-up resources, such as cash flow and staff, where they’ll provide the most benefit. This is particularly important if you’re starting with a tight budget.
  • You’ll also have a ‘roadmap’ to help you navigate through the inevitable challenges, obstacles, and surprises in business!

Key elements of a tour operator business plan

In order to understand how to set up a tour operator business, you’ll first need to learn the key elements of a tour operator business plan.

How to set a tour operator business plan

1. Business overview

This section of your tour operator/ tour agency business plan provides a holistic snapshot of your company, offering readers a clear understanding of your business’s identity. Ideally, it should include the following:

  • Business Name: Your business name should resonate with your target audience, conveying the essence of your offerings and the unique experiences you promise to deliver. Ensure it is memorable, evocative, and future-proof.
  • Location: Detail the physical location of your tour operator business. Your location can influence your target market and the types of tours you can offer. Be specific about your base of operations and, if applicable, mention any satellite offices or future expansion plans.
  • History: Describe the story behind your tour company’s inception. Share the passion and inspiration that sparked your journey into the travel and tourism industry, and ensure that it aligns with your brand values. 
  • Ownership Structure: Clarify the legal structure of your tour operator business. Are you a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation? Describe the ownership arrangement and highlight the key stakeholders involved in the venture. 
  • Assets and Debts: Provide an overview of your company’s assets and debts. This includes tangible assets such as vehicles, equipment, and office space, as well as intangible assets like intellectual property and brand equity. If applicable, disclose any outstanding debts or financial obligations that may impact your business’s financial health and ability to grow.

2. Market analysis

Start by defining your target market. Are you catering to adventure-seeking travelers, history enthusiasts, or nature lovers? Consider their demographics, interests, and spending behavior. Research industry trends and analyze competitors to gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify opportunities and potential gaps in the market that your business can fill.

In addition, study the external factors that could impact your business, such as seasonal fluctuations, economic conditions, and any regulatory requirements specific to the tourism industry.

3. Tour offerings

Crafting compelling and diverse tour offerings is at the heart of your tour operator business. Consider the unique experiences and attractions your target market seeks. Develop a range of tour packages that cater to different preferences and budget levels.

sustainable tour operator

Your tours should not only showcase the best of the destination but also provide memorable and immersive experiences. Whether it’s organizing guided city tours, thrilling adventure expeditions, or cultural explorations, your offerings should reflect your passion for travel and your commitment to creating unforgettable memories for your customers.

Use your tour operator/ tour agency business plan to emphasize what sets your tours apart from the competition. Whether it’s exclusive access to hidden gems, knowledgeable guides, or sustainable practices, highlight the value that customers will gain from choosing your services.

4. Marketing strategy

Successful businesses have strong brands, so your business plan should set out branding guidelines . Consider the following key elements when coming up with a strategy that will guide how you should start marketing your tour business:

  • Branding Guidelines: Outline your branding guidelines, including your brand’s visual identity, mission statement, core values, and brand voice. Emphasize consistency across all touchpoints, from your website and social media platforms to your tour brochures and customer interactions. 
  • Advertising Channels: Identify the advertising channels that best align with your target audience and budget. Consider a mix of online and offline channels to reach potential customers effectively. Online channels may include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, display ads, and sponsored content on travel websites. Offline channels could involve partnering with local travel agencies, and tourism boards, or participating in travel trade shows and events. 
  • Social Media Channels: Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with travelers and building a loyal community around your brand. Engage users with captivating visual content, compelling storytelling, and interactive posts that evoke a sense of wanderlust. Utilize platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to share breathtaking photos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to share their stories and feedback on platforms like Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, and your website. Positive reviews build credibility and serve as powerful social proof, enticing potential travelers to choose your tours with confidence. Respond promptly and graciously to all reviews, demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction.

positive reviews

  • Content Marketing: Create valuable and informative content that educates travelers about your destination, highlights unique aspects of your tours, and offers travel tips and insights. Utilize blog posts, videos, podcasts, and downloadable guides to establish your tour operator business as a trusted authority in the travel industry.
  • Partnerships and Collaborations: Consider strategic partnerships with complementary businesses in the travel and hospitality industry. Collaborate with local hotels, restaurants, and activity providers to create enticing package deals that appeal to travelers seeking a holistic experience. This is especially important if you are considering creating an international travel agency business plan, as collaborations can help broaden your reach.

5. Operations and management

The operations and management section of your tour operator business plan delves into the practical aspects that keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. This nitty-gritty exploration ensures that every aspect of your tour company is well-organized, legally compliant, and focused on delivering exceptional experiences to your customers. 

Here are the key components to include in this section:

  • Business and Legal Structure: Clearly outline your chosen business and legal structure. Whether you are operating as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation, this information provides a framework for your business’s governance and responsibilities.
  • Risk Management and Workplace Health & Safety Plans: As a tour operator, the safety and well-being of your guests are paramount. Detail your risk management procedures and workplace health & safety plans to mitigate potential hazards and ensure a secure experience for travelers. Assess the risks associated with different tours and activities, develop contingency plans, and implement safety protocols that align with industry best practices.
  • Terms and Conditions: Craft comprehensive and transparent terms and conditions for your tour offerings. Clearly communicate cancellation policies, refund procedures, and any limitations or requirements for participants. 
  • Staff Scheduling and Training: Outline your staff scheduling procedures to ensure smooth operations and optimal customer service. Consider investing in staff training programs that equip your team with the knowledge and skills to offer insightful commentary, excellent customer care, and handle unforeseen situations professionally.
  • Reservation System: In the digital age, a robust and secure reservation system like Rezdy is vital for streamlining your booking process for both you and your customers. Invest in a reliable booking software that allows real-time availability updates, secure payment processing, and automated customer confirmations.

purpose of online booking system

  • Distribution Channels and Partnerships: Consider the distribution channels that will help grow your bookings and expand your market reach. Will you collaborate with online travel agencies (OTAs) or travel agents to promote your tours? Explore partnerships with local businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, to create enticing package deals. 
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A well-organized CRM system enables you to build lasting relationships with your customers. Implement CRM software to keep track of customer interactions, preferences, and feedback. Personalize your marketing efforts and start building customer loyalty through targeted promotions and personalized offers.

6. Financial plan

The financial plan is a key component of your tour operator business plan. It outlines your revenue streams, costs, and projected financial performance over time. A well-structured financial plan demonstrates the viability of your business and helps you secure funding if needed.

Start by estimating your startup costs, including equipment, licenses, marketing, and initial staff training. Calculate the expected cash flow, factoring in the seasonality of the tourism industry. Identify the pricing strategy for your tours, ensuring that it covers your expenses while remaining competitive in the market.

Create financial projections for at least the first three to five years, considering both conservative and optimistic scenarios. This will enable you to anticipate potential challenges and make informed decisions that will help you with growing your tour business.

Remember to regularly review and update your financial plan as your business progresses. Monitoring actual financial performance against projections will help you make timely adjustments and stay on track towards achieving your business goals.

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Ready to start building your business plan as a tour operator?

Download the free all-in-one checklist for easy reference.

Getting your tour business off the ground

Now that you have an effective business plan in place, it’s important to ensure your business has the right software.

Online booking software for tour operators like Rezdy is designed to equip your business for success. It includes multiple features integrated into the system, which allows you to reduce your overall admin duties. Some of these tools include real-time availability to avoid double bookings, automatic customer updates and reminders, and secure payment processes.

Furthermore, Rezdy also offers a channel manager platform that connects your business to thousands of resellers instantly. Joining Rezdy Marketplace is as simple as listing your products and setting your commission rates. From there, you can let resellers on the platform promote and sell your services to their customers.

Set your business up for success with Rezdy

Set your business up for success with a FREE 21-day trial or alternatively, book a demo to learn more about Rezdy and our products!

If you enjoyed this article then make sure to follow the Rezdy blog . There are a lot of marketing tools and tour operator tips designed with businesses like yours in mind.

Enjoy a 21-day free trial to take a look around and see if we are a good fit for your business.

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Set-jetting, Forest Bathing, and Hush Trips: 20 Innovative Tourism Business Ideas and Trends for 2023


In This Article: Trends to Inspire Your Tours and Activities

Top tourism trends of 2023.

It’s that time of year again to ask ourselves, “What’s new, cool, and innovative in tourism?”. We’ve compiled a list of new, innovative tourism business ideas for 2023 so you can find your niche. 

The travel and tourism industry is in a state of constant flux, never more so than in the last few years. Every change and new trend brings with it an opportunity for tour operators to deliver what their customers old and new want—as well as add new tours and experiences they don’t yet even know they want. 

  As countries began to ease restrictions, 2022 saw the travel industry rebound from 2021 and 2020. Despite new global challenges appearing during 2022 and continuing into 2023, including the Russian-Ukraine war and the global economic fallout, the most important trend of all is that people still want to travel and are even budgeting for more travel.

As one travel professional interviewed for TravelAge West ’s article on travel trends put it: “It’s almost like travel went from a discretionary spend to an essential spend for a lot of people.”

Despite all that is still happening in the world, around the industry there is a continued air of optimism in 2023. Travel Pulse noted that “ while 2022 was the year of recovery [recovered almost 60 percent of its pre-pandemic levels], 2023 is poised to be the year of reinvention.” research prompted them to label 2023 as a year of “creative imagination of travel.” Skyscanner’s Travel Trends report concluded that “Post-COVID restrictions, travellers continue to prioritize adventures abroad and embrace travel freedoms with relish.”

Here are some of the latest major trends and innovative tourism business ideas to keep an eye on and potentially incorporate into the tours and travel experiences you offer. We’ll also highlight a few of the more unusual and niche trends that could take off during 2023 or in the longer term, or just inspire some “out of the box” thinking when looking at your own products and services.

1. Transformational trips

Group of people on a lake practicing yoga during sunset

A buzz phrase you’ll hear a lot in 2023 is “transformational retreat.” This refers to travel experiences that cater to people who want to undergo a significant personal or spiritual transformation. Retreats and activities include meditation, yoga, therapy, workshops, and other experiential practices. Most promote self-awareness, personal growth, and positive change, typically taking place in a secluded and peaceful setting and led by experienced facilitators or coaches.’s Travel Predictions 2023 report called these trips “peace and pleasure pilgrimages.” The report found that 42 percent of travelers want to focus on their mental and physical health, including retreats to smooth the processes of pregnancy and menopause.” A large proportion of travelers are interested in meditation or mindfulness retreats. Some retreats even take the word “trip” literally, catering to people interested in the potential therapeutic benefits of the controlled and supervised use of “magic mushrooms” and other psychedelics.

Innovative tourism business ideas:

  • Beckley Retreats : Science-backed psychedelic retreats
  • Explorer X : A tour operator dedicated to transformational trips
  • Organic Tuscany : Organic cooking retreats in Tuscany.

2. Forest bathing and digital detoxing

Group hiking through the forest

Not everyone is looking for a transformational outcome from their vacation; many simply want to unwind and enjoy some quality “me time.” Wellness vacations have been a growing tourism business trend for some time, with demand accelerated by the pandemic. Tours that offer people the chance to pamper themselves and generally recalibrate are likely to be extremely popular for the foreseeable future.

Two specific innovative tourism business ideas that look likely to be especially popular in 2023 are “forest bathing” and “digital detoxing.” 

Forest bathing, or Shinrin-yoku , originated in Japan. It involves becoming immersed in nature to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It can be as simple as going for a long walk through a forest, or sitting by a lake and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural surroundings. Research has shown that forest bathing can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and even boost the immune system and reduce blood pressure and heart rate. After the last few years we’ve all been through, it’s no wonder it’s proving popular with travelers.

In a similar vein, many people want to unplug and undertake a “digital detox” where you never need to ask for the Wi-Fi password because there is no Wi-Fi. They could be seeking respite from “doom scrolling” through social media and news feeds on their digital devices, or they just want a break from the glowing screens so prevalent in their day-to-day. Trips that encourage travelers to leave their devices at home will be popular, whether to wellness retreats that ban or discourage digital devices or an out-of-the-way destination that makes electronic communication extremely difficult.

  • Gaia Wellness Retreat : Digital detox packages in a forest setting
  • Sheldon Chalet : A luxury chalet in Alaska
  • Talaysay Tours : A corporate tour to “connect to the forest with all your senses”

3. Off-grid and “survival” travel

Hikers high fiving each other

One way to both commune with nature and unplug from your digital life is to go where no signal can reach you.’s report found that 55 percent of travelers want to spend their vacations off-grid, resulting in an increase in tour operators offering trips to places where you can’t easily be reached. This could be a lodge in a remote part of a country or backcountry camping.

A related trend is the opposite of “glamping.” A growing number of travelers want to challenge themselves to survive in inhospitable conditions (you know… just in case), while learning new skills at the same time. In’s report, 58 percent of travelers want to learn survival skills on holiday—everything from fire lighting and food foraging to the more full-on prepping for societal breakdown. Zombie survival camp anyone?

  • Off Grid Travel : Company offering a variety of off grid accommodation around Europe
  • Docastaway : Offers a desert island castaway experience
  • Black Tomato : Offers a “Get Lost service” for people who want to challenge themselves

4. Hush trips, workcations, and micro-cations

Man taking phone calls while in a pool

Shhh, don’t tell anyone (especially your co-workers and definitely not your boss), but “hush trips” are on the rise. A hush trip is a secret trip taken by an employee without their employer’s knowledge. It’s all linked to the huge rise in remote working. People who work in a different city and country from their employer can theoretically do their work from anywhere. However, a hush trip can be slightly different from a “workcation,” another popular trend in the age of remote working, when an employer’s permission is often sought. On a hush trip, no actual work might be done; the employee wants a real holiday to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and recharge, but they may not use their vacation days to take it. They complete their work and take a day or two off without anyone knowing (they hope,) perhaps logging in now and then for appearances’ sake. Or, they may travel somewhere and continue to work, while enjoying their downtime in a new place, again without telling anyone. 

Many hush trips are “micro-cations,” short trips often taken close to home, often at the last minute. The micro-cation trend has continued to grow for the last few years, as people look for quick, convenient, and often budget-friendly getaways that don’t require a lot of planning. 

When you combine the acceptance of remote working among many more employers with a large number of people who left the office behind and didn’t miss it for a second, you have an opportunity to create workcation and hush trip experiences for digital nomads and remote workers.  

  • Selina : Opportunities for people to stay, travel, and work in interesting places around the world
  • Ethos Remote Habitat : Remote working retreats
  • Work from Hyatt : Packages for people who want to work from a Hyatt hotel

5. Traveling for “bleisure”

The travel industry does love a good old word mash-up to describe the latest trend. Hot on the heels of workcations, we have the related trend of “bleisure”—a name coined to describe the trend of business travelers tacking on some leisure time to the end of business trips. Where a workcation is often a longer trip designed around work, the growth of bleisure trips reflects the fact that as business travel bounces back, people still want as much vacation time as they can get. 

Although the economy could affect business travel in 2023 as companies cut costs, it’s worth keeping an eye on the business and conference market to target business travelers who want to carve out some vacation time to explore a destination on their own time.

6. Set-jetting

Hobbit house in New Zealand

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the set of your favorite movie or TV show, you’re not alone. A top travel trend for 2023 is “set-jetting,” when travelers visit destinations primarily because they were featured in a popular movie, TV show, or book. According to research, 39 percent of travelers have booked trips to places featured on shows or movies ( Expedia ). While people have long been drawn to iconic movie locations, perhaps the earliest example of mass set-jetting was New Zealand’s tourism industry getting a huge boost after the country played a leading role in the “Lord of The Rings” movies. Fans of the “Outlander” books and TV series have also been making pilgrimages to Scotland to see the country that provides the backdrop for their favorite show.

People don’t just want to visit the actual physical set and filming location, but also just the cities or countries featured in a particular production. Keep an eye out for popular shows where the location is as much the star of the show as the actors, such as “The Crown” (England,) “Emily in Paris” (Paris,) and “The White Lotus” (Sicily), as they could trigger a surge in demand for particular locations and experiences relating to the shows, such as a themed tour.

  • The Potter Trail : Harry Potter-themed walking tours in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Red Carpet Tours : “Lord of the Rings” set-jetting specialists
  • On Location Tours : TV- and movie-themed tours in New York, Chicago, and Boston

7. Sustainable tourism and electric travel

“Ecotourism” has been on the rise for several years, and continues to be popular. According to’s Sustainable Travel Report 2022 , 81 percent of global travelers say sustainable travel is important to them, and 50 percent are influenced by news reports on climate change when it comes to booking choices. 

So-called “ecotours” let tourists enjoy a vacation while also learning about environmental and sustainability issues in a particular location. Some enable people to do something tangible to help, such as volunteering to plant trees or help to restore habitats. Many travelers these days also seek out “small footprint” or socially-responsible travel. This may not be an eco-tour as such; it could just mean they favor tour companies that take steps to minimize the impact of their tours or incorporate a social responsibility element. 

Many travelers also want to stay in planet-friendly accommodations. According to’s report, 57 percent of travelers prefer accommodation with sustainable certification. Another related trend to watch is road trips or other travel using electric vehicles. Some car rental companies are adding electric cars to their fleets, and VW has even built an electric version of their classic camper van, the ID Buzz. Within cities, travelers might want to do tours on electric bikes and focus on other more sustainable modes of transport rather than the traditional taxi and car hire approach. In the not too distant future, electric air travel may even become the norm thanks to companies like Eviation that are developing electric planes.

  • Jumbari Family Safaris : Eco-safaris in Africa.
  • OneSeed Expeditions : Responsible adventure travel around the world.
  • EV Travel : Sustainable adventures in Iceland

8. Indigenous experiences

Indigenous Touri

Countries around the world are making an increased effort to reverse past wrongs when it comes to treatment of Indigenous peoples, while also empowering Indigenous communities to take a lead in areas like travel and tourism. Canada is one nation going through a period of reconciliation as it faces up to and attempts to make amends for its colonial past. This has resulted in a huge growth in Indigenous-led travel companies, experiences, resorts, and accommodation options. 

Australia and New Zealand are also seeing a growth in opportunities for travelers to support and learn about Indigenous communities, histories, and cultures.

If you are an Indigenous entrepreneur, you may find great opportunities available with an increase in programs that support Indigenous tourism in these countries. For others, there may be opportunities for partnering with or supporting Indigenous-led businesses and organizations in your region.

  • Worn Gundidj at Tower Hill : Tours offering the chance to connect with Australian aboriginal culture
  • Road Scholar : Offers a New Zealand cultural experience, learning from local experts  
  • Haida Style Expeditions : Cultural trips on Haida Gwaii on Canada’s west coast

9. Budget-friendly travel

The economic upheaval we saw through 2022 looks set to continue through 2023. Inflation and cost of living rises mean while the desire to travel is still strong, many travelers will still have at least one eye on their budget. This could mean more interest from thrifty travelers in camping, self-catering, and all-inclusive holidays. Activities and vacations that involve renting rather than buying equipment could also be more popular. 

Packlist : Camping gear rentals in Canada

Lazy Days : Camper van rentals in Ireland

Tampa Bay eBikes : eBike rentals on the Gulf Coast

10. Luxury cruises and upscale all-inclusive

Friends jumping off a boat into tropical waters

While there will be a lot of budget-conscious travelers in 2023, there are also plenty of opportunities in the luxury travel market, including two types of travel luxury travelers may previously have turned their noses up at—all-inclusive trips and cruises. The luxury cruise market, as well as the cruise market in general, is set to rebound in style. CN Traveller reported on “ a new breed of luxury yachts from the world’s leading hotel brands,” including  The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection , which boasts  “ the most sophisticated and expensive civilian ship ever built in Spain.” Cruise companies like Scenic and Emerald Cruises are expecting high demand for spots on their luxury ships . If you are on a luxury cruise route, catering your activities to a luxury-seeking clientele, with prices to match, might be worth considering.

Cruises tend to be all-inclusive as standard, but there is also a growth in upscale all-inclusive vacations in general. These experiences offer the best of everything—food, accommodation, and experiences, all for a set (and premium) price. Ikos Resorts will open a new five-star all-inclusive resort in Mallorca in June 2023.

  • Ama Waterways : Luxury river cruises in Europe
  • Windstar Cruises : Luxury small-ship cruises
  • Conrad Maldives Luxury Island : All-inclusive resort in the Maldives

11. Train travel

Passenger train passing through field overlooking mountains

From the “Flying Scotsman” to the “Orient Express,” there are few more romantic ways to travel than by train. However, train travel is also increasingly overlapping with other trends in our list, as it becomes more popular as a way to travel more sustainably by reducing car and air travel, travel slower (unless we’re talking train travel in Japan) and for longer, and travel to more countries on the same trip.

Train travel can also offer scenic views, comfortable travel with spacious seats, sleeping accommodation for longer or overnight trips, and the opportunity to socialize with other travelers, and convenient access to city centres. Piggy-backing the trend toward more immersive travel experiences, train travel also lets travelers see more of a country while mixing with locals. Many countries and rail companies, especially in Europe, offer passes that let travelers visit multiple places in one trip without leaving the ground. If your tours and activities are near a popular rail route, look for ways to capitalize on the increase in train travel by catering to people who may want something to do for a day or two before they move on.

  • Byway : Lets travelers build their own train vacation
  • Intrepid Travel : Offers a range of “Train it” itineraries
  • Glacier Express : Cultural and foodie train trips in Switzerland

12. Glamping

During the pandemic, with international travel off the menu for most people,  RV rentals spiked dramatically . Road trips made it easier for tourists to physically distance from other travelers in a post-COVID world, and “glampervan” vacations became popular. Glamping is still on the rise in 2023; the glamping market is expected to reach US$4.1bn in 2028 ( Stratview Research ). Glamping lets people enjoy sleeping and living in the great outdoors, but with a step-up in comfort from traditional camping. Glampers can stay in everything from classic Airstream trailers to yurts and all manner of other non-tent accommodation.

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

  • Woods on Pender : Stay in a classic Airstream trailer on an island.
  • Huttopia : Glamping getaways in Canada and the US 
  • Under Canvas : Upscale camping in Moab, the Grand Canyon, and other spectacular locations 

13. Go solo or go social

solo traveler in desert

While “travel bubbles” are no longer required for COVID-related reasons, group travel continues to rise in popularity. Hotels and tour companies increasingly cater to family groups or groups of friends who want to take a memorable trip together. For example, Atticus Hotel  in Oregon’s  Bunkhouse room for groups . It’s not just families making up for lost time with “reunion” or “celebration” travel. Tour operator Contiki noticed an upswing in demand for what they call “social travel” from groups of Gen Z-ers who want to get together on a trip to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and other milestones: “Gen Z want to make up for lost time spent together and get travelling.” Another type of social travel piggybacks the rise of “travel influencers” on social media platforms like Instagram. Some popular influencers are pivoting to provide the opportunity for their followers to literally follow them on a trip. People can go on a trip or do an activity with their favorite influencer and a group of fellow followers.

Of course, not everyone has a posse to travel with or wants to travel with others. Solo travel continues to be very popular and has moved from a niche to a mainstream market. A Skyscanner report found that 40 percent wanted to travel solo for mental health wellness reasons, while singles and divorcees ranked highly for being ready to take a solo trip. The report concludes: “There is no longer any stigma attached to taking a trip on your own, and many tour companies cater specifically to this market.”

  • Flash Pack : Small group adventures for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s.
  • On the Go Tours : Pre-designed tours for private groups.
  • My Life’s a Travel Movie : Join social media influencer Alyssa Ramos on a trip

Watch this space: Unusual and niche  tourism trends to track in 2023

14. flat pack hotels.

In a move that reflects the growing interest in responsible and sustainable travel, hotel company Habitas have opened a number of flat-pack hotels around the world for “like-minded people seeking connection, inspiration and a better future together.”

15. Crypto trips

A number of tour operators and travel companies now offer travelers the ability to pay with cryptocurrency. Some examples include Borrow a Boat , Soneva Resorts  and Get Your Guide . 

16. Dark tourism

There has been a rise in so-called “dark tourism,” when people travel to places or sites associated with disasters and darker historical events. Famous examples include Pearl Harbour, Alcatraz, and Hiroshima. If this is the first you’ve heard of this term, it can sound a bit ghoulish. However, travelers who explore these sites generally do so to pay their respects or learn more about important historical events that hopefully will never be repeated.

17. Sober travel

Sober travel has been around for a while, but it mostly catered to people in recovery. In 2023, sober travel is a subset of wellness travel. Travel companies like Travel Sober and  Sober Outside have pivoted to target anyone who wants a sober vacation.

18. Virtual travel

Forbes Magazine thinks 2023 will be “the year that tourism in the metaverse takes off.” Travel companies can use VR to give potential customers a taste of the experience they can expect from a tour or location. VR can be accessible through web browsers or people can enjoy a much more immersive experience using VR headsets.

19. Nostalgic travel’s 2023 travel predictions found that 88 percent of travelers want to go on a “nostalgic getaway,” whether that’s theme parks we went to as kids, nostalgic movie locations, or other trips down memory lane. 

20. Sleep tourism

Everyone likes a good night’s sleep, especially on vacation, and the travel is waking up to the opportunities offered by a rise in “sleep tourism.” The Park Hyatt New York now offers a stay in their  One Bedroom Sleep Suite by Bryte , while Swedish bed brand Hastens opened a branded Sleep Spa . Good night, sleep well.  

How to take advantage of innovative tourism business ideas

Illustrations of ideas being locked away

The key to taking advantage of these innovative tourism business ideas and other tourism industry trends is to always be thinking of your next profitable business opportunity. Here are a few ways to keep on top of what’s new and interesting in the travel business:

Maintain an ideas file

Include those “out there” trends that seem absurd the first time you hear them. Think about some recent innovations that would have been dismissed with a laugh not that long ago: Self-driving cars, passenger space travel, drone deliveries… Even that Holy Grail of futuristic inventions, the personal jetpack, is getting closer to reality. All but the most outlandish trends are worth tracking in case there’s a germ of an idea for a new business opportunity in there.

Listen to your audienc e

Hang out in online travel discussion forums, on social media, and in other places where travelers gather to swap notes and ideas or express needs and dreams. You might uncover a new business idea no-one else has come across yet.

Follow your competitors

Monitor what your direct competitors and others in the tourism business are up to. Subscribe to every industry newsletter you can, including those of your competitors, to keep up with emerging trends and help with your business idea generation.

Solicit customer feedback

Be proactive in asking your customers for feedback. Don’t just ask them what they liked and didn’t like about their experience with your company; ask them if there’s anything they would like to do that they currently can’t. 

Invest in the right booking system

It goes without saying that every tour operator should offer online booking and take a mobile-first approach. Not doing both of those things makes taking advantage of the above trends very difficult. The customer experience starts the moment they enter your website. Online booking enables them to easily browse, book, and pay for tours anytime and from is anywhere. Learn more about how Rezgo booking software is tailor-made for adventure companies.

At Rezgo, we always have our ear to the ground when it comes to the latest tourism trends and business opportunities. The Rezgo booking system is a comprehensive platform that enables you to become a more profitable business. It can also help you future-proof your business so you can develop and grow as the tourism industry changes.  Book a demo today or  sign up for free and start using Rezgo

Wondering what to read next? Here are our suggestions: The Future of Tourism: 10 Things Tour Companies Need To Prepare For in 2022 A Guide to Branding in the Travel and Tourism Industry Low Season Strategies to Prime Your Tour and Activity Company for Success

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Written By | Rob Mathison

Rob Mathison is a Vancouver-based freelance writer focusing on tech, travel, digital marketing, and education. He is a co-author of The Complete Resident’s Guide to Vancouver.

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Travel Tour Agency Sample Business Plan

Start-up your travel tour agency with a business plan similar to this detailed example..

ExpertHub Staff

Related Topics

Car wash business plan, event planning sample business plan, coffee shop business plan.

Starting your own travel tour agency but don’t know how to compile your business plan? Here’s an example of a dummy company’s business plan to get you thinking about how to create yours.

Travel Tour Agency Business Plan

1. executive summary.

The tourism industry has undergone rapid growth of unsurpassed nature over the last several decades. This has mainly been due to the advent of a ‘borderless’ world and increased information dissemination about the majestic sceneries throughout the world, with the southern African region being no exception.

We are on the brink of penetrating a lucrative market in a rapidly growing industry. The current trend towards an increase in the number of tourists entering the country presents an opportunity for Sephats Tours to penetrate the market.

An opportunity for Sephats Tours’ success exists because the national tourism industry is growing at a rapid pace annually.

Sephats Tours is poised to take advantage of this growth and moderate competition in the city travel portion of the industry, with a dedicated and experienced staff, excellent networking, and effective management and marketing. Sephats Tours intends to provide travel and adventure packages to tourists primarily in the Southern region, but also the whole of Botswana.

Services and products provided by Sephats will initially include pre-arranged tours, custom packages according to clients specifications, travel consultation, and as time progresses making reservations for lodging amongst other related services. Sephats Tours seeks to differentiate itself as the premier adventure mobile operator in the greater Gaborone area.

Our services will be positioned very carefully: They will be of extremely high quality, comfortable, informative and tailored to the clients needs such that they will enable individuals to have a greater appreciation of the natural environment and its intricacies.

Our marketing strategy will be based mainly on ensuring customers know about our existence and the service(s) we fulfill. Hence our intention is to make the right information available to the right target customers. This will be done through implementing a market penetration strategy that will ensure that we are well known and respected in the tourism industry.

We will ensure that our prices take into consideration peoples’ budgets, that these people appreciate the service(s), know that it exists, and how to contact us. The marketing will convey the sense of quality in every picture, every promotion, and every publication.

Our promotional strategy will involve integrating advertising, events, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing and the Internet, details of which are provided in the marketing section of this plan.

It is important to recognise that we do not intend to just take individuals on sightseeing excursions, but also to ensure that they appreciate nature through informative briefings on objects’ origins.

This element will assist in differentiating us from our competitors and contribute towards the development of a sustainable competitive advantage.

Hence we need to engage the right people in the right place at the right time if we are to ensure optimum growth. We intend to develop our team so that our people can grow as the company grows – a mutually beneficial relationship.

We project sales to increase from more than P350,000 (Botswana Pula [P]) the first year to more than P556,500 the second, and P630,000 in the third year.

In a nutshell, we do not just intend to market and sell our service, but to market and sell travel solutions and a total-quality environment. This will ensure we establish a reputable corporate image.

1. Objectives


Our business strategy will revolve around the need to provide quality service to our various target customers, in the process fully satisfying their needs. This shall be undertaken through recruitment of a professional team and the provision of good quality custom-designed travel packages, catering to the client’s particular needs.

With time our marketing campaign will increase the awareness of our services in the various market segments we shall be targeting. This is particularly so with the organisation looking at establishing a clear advantage(s) in an increasingly competitive market.

We will provide clients with the opportunity to focus on their core activities whilst their transportation side needs are fully satisfied. Marketing material shall be professionally done so as to be reflective of our intended image and reputation.

We shall position ourselves as a quality commercial transportation operator that provides customer-need fulfillment, enjoyment, reliability and a good image. We intend to establish a good rapport with all the relevant stakeholders, especially hotels and travel agents.

We also intend to have well-designed brochures and other promotional material that will enable clients to have an understanding of the types of services we offer and advantages of utilising them.

In addition well-done, informative brochures, fact sheets and business cards often have a triggering effect on clients contemplating utilising our services. Hence this will undoubtedly generate increased sales of our service.

In summary we intend to attain the following objectives:

  • Continuously provide enjoyable quality excursions/trips on time and on budget.
  • Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.
  • Establish a market presence that assures short-term and long-term profitability, growth and success.
  • We are fully committed to supporting growth and development in the tourism and overall economy of Botswana.
  • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.

Internally we intend to create and nurture a healthy, exuberant, respectful, and enjoyable environment, in which our employees are fairly compensated and encouraged to respect the customer and the quality of the service we intend to provide.

In addition follow-up will be mandatory so as ensure customer satisfaction and make any improvements as recommended by the customers in future.

We seek fair and responsible profit, enough to keep the company financially healthy for the short and long term, and to fairly remunerate employees for the work and effort.

3. Keys to Success

The keys to Sephats Tours success will undoubtedly be effective market segmentation through identification of several niche markets and implementation strategies.

Along these lines the company intends to implement advertising, personal selling and direct marketing strategies to the target markets.

Our personal selling marketing strategies will rotate around keeping in touch with hotels and travel agencies for major customers, and advertising for more individual customers.

Hence our key success factors will include the following:

  • Excellence in fulfilling the promise: We intend to offer completely enjoyable, comfortable and informative travel excursions that will ensure that travelers are thoroughly satisfied and appreciative at the end of their trip.
  • Timely response to customers’ requests: We cannot afford to delay our clients for whatever reason, as this will have a negative bearing on our image and reputation, including future business. Hence we need to be continually communicating with the client, including hotels and lodges so as to ensure that we are constantly available to the client meeting their expectations.
  • Solid and fruitful strategic alliances : Considering the nature of our services and our relative infancy on the market, we realise the importance of establishing and maintaining fruitful strategic alliances with various stakeholders, including hotels, lodges, and travel agencies, amongst others, so as be assured of a constant flow of customers, fulfilling their needs at every opportunity.
  • Marketing know-how: As a relatively new company on the market there will be a need to aggressively market our business and the services we provide so as to be continuously at the top of our prospective clients minds. This will also act as a temporary deterrent for companies contemplating entering our market. Advertising shall be undertaken on a regular basis.

2. Company Summary


Sephats Tours intends to provide individual and group travel to leisure clients.

Services and products provided by Sephats will initially include pre-arranged tours, custom packages according to clients specifications, travel consultation, and as time progresses making reservations for lodging amongst other related services.

Sephats Tours seeks to differentiate itself as the premier adventure travel company in the greater Gaborone area.

As it grows it will take on people and expand into related markets and services. It will also look for additional leverage by establishing relationships and representations with appropriate strategic allies.

1. Company Ownership

Sephats Tours is a Private Limited company incorporated at the Registrar of Companies through the foresight and vision of Mr. X and Mrs. Y. It is a 100% wholly owned Botswana firm.

2. Start-up Summary

Thus far the directors have contributed one hundred and sixty seven thousand pula (P167,000) to purchase a Mercedes Benz mini bus currently in its possession and P30,000 for cash expenses. Total start-up expenses covered (including legal costs, business plan compilation, license costs and related expenses) come to approximately P5,000.

3. Company Locations and Facilities

At present the company offices are located at Plot Number 28338, Block 3, Belabela road opposite Gaborone Television Station, near Hill Crest Primary School.

However, as time progresses the intention is to move into more accessible and attractive offices in a prime area. This regardless of the fact that our type of business is not too dependent on office location and size.

3. Services


Sephats Tours is a travel company that intends to deliver leisure travel excursions to customers. Sephats intends to guide customers in selecting a trip(s) based on pre-defined vacation criteria. This analysis will be based on user profiles, set by the consumers, which includes preferences such as:

  • Activities sought
  • Destination, and
  • Time of Travel

A traveler will hence be able to select areas of interest based on their preferences and subsequently identify destinations to visit.

The intention is to provide customers with access to exclusive travel destinations, service to fully appreciate destinations through information packages, not just sight-seeing, and access to special interest travel according to the group’s/individual’s preferences.

1. Competitive Comparison

There are presently few competitors offering services similar to ours. However considering the pace of change and current growth rate of the tourism industry luring many companies into the sector, this may be short-lived.

Hence there will be a need to not only firmly establish ourselves on the market, but also strongly differentiate ourselves from these other businesses. However on a broader scale our competition comes in several forms:

The most significant competition are hotels and travel agencies offering travel excursions to their clients. They undertake this service in order to establish a competitive advantage over their competitors.

However, instead of directly competing with them we intend to establish good working relationships in the form of strategic alliances such that we are able to offer the service for their clients and thus enabling them to concentrate on their core activities whilst ensuring customers are fully satisfied.

Our key advantage in this regard will be our specialty of the service and hence wide knowledge ensuring customer satisfaction at all times as well as flexibility in providing the service. Existing hotels, lodges and travel agencies may identify the opportunity to diversify into our intended services utilising their current client database.

Naturally, existing clients will be inclined towards utilising these familiar companies due to the fact that a good relationship may have already been nurtured over the years during their business dealings.

This presents a potential challenge to us, as we need to aggressively market our services and expertise in the field. Existing safari operators that mainly focus on the remote environs such as Maun and Kasane are at times able to compromise, offering excursions in and around Gaborone, though very rare. Hence we intend to focus on this market. An analysis of competition is provided in the Market Analysis section of this plan.

2. Service Description

Sephats Tours intends to offer the service and knowledge a discerning leisure traveler seeks whilst on vacation, with the intention of seeing and appreciating the numerous sights in the area.

Keeping in mind the comforts of a tourist, our fleet shall be very well maintained and designed as per customer standard and expectations. However not wanting to limit ourselves we intend to be open to special hire by churches, organisations, groups, schools and sports teams, amongst other related groups.

The game reserves and lodges that we intend to be our main destinations are:

  • Mokolodi Nature Reserve
  • Goborone Game Reserve
  • Gaborone Dam
  • The Oodi and Mochudi Craft Villages
  • Kolobeng and Thamaga
  • Khutse Game Reserve

Below is a briefing of several places of interest and their various attractions.

  • Mokolodi Nature Reserve: Set in a wide valley just 10 minutes drive from the city, this scenic reserve offers a well-developed network of game drives and stone and thatch chalets overlooking a water hole. Mokolodi also offers the rare opportunity to track rhino or to walk through the bush with young elephants. These excursions offer excellent photographic opportunities. Evening drives can include a bush braai giving visitors the chance to see the more unusual nocturnal creatures.
  • Gaborone Game Reserve: This 550 hectare reserve provides an ideal get-away for tourists who can see a remarkable range of wildlife in the park including rhino, eland, zebra, gemsbok, wildebeest, kudu, ostrich and impala, all on well-maintained bush roads that are designed for easy access. Bird watching in the Gaborone Game Reserve is excellent, particularly along the eastern edge, bounded by Notwane River, and it typifies the incredible diversity of bird life to be found throughout the Gaborone area.
  • Gaborone Dam: On the south bank a remarkably rich variety of bird and wildlife can be seen, including herds of impala, kudu and scuttling families of warthog. New picnic sites, which are currently under development will also provide places of interest. The Gaborone Yacht Club is the main attraction on the dam with its swimming pool, bar and wide verandah overlooking the water off a rocky koppie in the middle of the dam which often becomes an island in the wet season.
  • The Oodi and Mochudi Craft Villages: In Oodi the main attraction will be the Lenstwe-la-Oodi weavers. In Mochudi apart from traditionally decorated Setswana architecture, the tourists will find the most southerly baobab trees in Botswana and traditional crafts including the Ithuteng Tin Workshop and Ikgabiseng handmade jewelery. The Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi will also be an attraction site.

Other sites will include Matsieng Foot Point, Gemsbok National Park, Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Legaga la ga Kobokwe, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve, Nxaii Pan and Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Integrating the above places of interest into our tours we intend to be offering the following tours:

  • “Capital Crusade” – City Tour: This will be a professionally guided tour around the city centre including visits to the Main Mall, Finance Mall, National Museum, City Council Library, Gaborone Station, and House of Parliament including others. These tours shall be eye opening in terms of the normal Botswana town folk life style providing knowledge and information throughout the guided tour. Included in this package will be refreshments and information folders detailing the main sites and history of Gaborone. This tour will cover approximately 50 kilometers taking about half a day to complete. Cost: PX per person.
  • “Cultural Enrichment” – Cultural Tour: This shall involve tours to the main historical and cultural sites in and around Gaborone including Mokolodi Nature Reserve, Oodi and Mochudi Craft Villages, including the cultural dances. This tour shall reveal the ‘Kgotla’ – cultural villages, traditional paintings and art, as well as the traditional lifestyle. Obviously baobabs will make for good viewing. The tour package will include an information folder, guided tour and refreshments. This tour will cover approximately 200 kilometers taking the whole day to complete. Cost: PY per person.
  • “The Essence: Past & Present” – City & Cultural Tour: This will be a combination of the cultural tour and city centre excursion. This will be marketed as a “total package” enabling tourists with very little time to appreciate the Botswana lifestyle, both in the present and past. This tour will invariably take the whole day and cover approximately 250 kilometres. The tour package will include the information folder, guided tour, refreshments and a picnic lunch. Cost: PZ per person.

3. Macro-environment

At a large scale research demonstrates that tourism is undergoing a rapid growth of unsurpassed nature. Generally there is a trend towards shorter stays but increased visits, as individuals strive to experience as many cultures as possible, including seeing as many attractions as possible.

Increasingly Botswana is being marketed as “one of the few places in Africa where game sanctuaries have remained completely unspoiled.

A destination that unlocks the mystery of nature – an oasis in a wilderness which is an ideal escape for nature lovers. Very little of this fascinating country has seen human habitation – this is true Africa in all her remoteness and authenticity.

With such marketing in place the number of tourists entering the country is bound to increase, presenting a larger potential market for ourselves. This potential market is what we seek to tap.

4. Sales Literature

The business will begin with a general corporate brochure establishing its position on the market. This brochure will be developed as part of the start-up expenses including the business cards and Company Profile, mainly for the large organisations that often recommend services to potential customers.

Compliment slips are also intended so as to raise awareness of the company and its services. We also intend to have information pamphlets that will provide information on our various tour packages. Literature and mailings for the initial market forums will be very important.

5. Fulfillment

The key fulfillment and delivery will be provided by the employees of the company. The real core value will be professional expertise, provided by a combination of expertise, experience, hard work, and education (in that order). Hence we intend to ensure that the work we undertake is always thorough and relevant to the clients’ needs.

We will turn to reputable companies for supplying the necessary individuals and groups for our services. Hence the need to establish good relationships with our strategic allies.

6. Technology

Sephats Tours will strive to ensure that it contains the latest, or extremely recent personal computer including relevant software so as to ensure that the company is continuously at the forefront in our market arena.

The one certainty in our industry is that technology will continue to evolve and develop, changing what we market as well as how we market it. Our aim will be to be aware of the implications of this new technology and utilizing it in our existing framework where possible. However it should be noted that as we are new on the market it will take some time before we have in place our own website and other multimedia presentations.

With time we also intend to have the latest and most efficient software in place to enable smooth operations.

7. Future Services

In putting the company together we have attempted to offer enough services to allow us to always be in demand by our customers and clients. The most important factor in developing future services/products is market need.

Our understanding of the needs of our target market segments shall be one of our competitive advantages. It is critical to our effort to develop the right new services. In the future, Sephats Tours intends to broaden its coverage by expanding into additional markets.

One of the main services it aims at providing is to become a destination management company that brings alive the magnificence of this country to the traveler. This will be done by co-coordinating the traveler’s entire experience from hotel bookings, safaris and tours, greeting and porter services, and to tour packages and incentives. However in doing so we will strive to ensure that it is compatible with the existing products and company personnel.

As time progresses the intention will to provide a Southern Africa tour package covering the whole of southern Africa.

4. Market Analysis Summary


We are today experiencing a rapid growth in the economy of unsurpassed nature. This has been brought about by, amongst other things, the relaxation of foreign exchange policies and macroeconomic policies geared towards attracting foreign investors into the country.

The fiscal and monetary policies of the government geared towards maintaining growth with social justice have largely contributed towards this, evidenced by our economy averaging a growth rate of 7% since 1990 – very high by international standards.

The current drive and emphasis by the government on diversification of the industrial base away from the minerals sector presents an opportunity for Sephats Tours to make a valuable contribution towards achieving this goal. Having undertaken a thorough and comprehensive research of the market we realized that there was a need for a tourist transport company that focuses on providing leisure excursions to tourists.

Though there are mobile operators currently on the market, some of whom have been in existence for a relatively long period of time, we believe that there is a market need for one that specializes on providing comfortable and enjoyable transport to tourists and visitors.

This, also considering the fact that, potentially Botswana’s richest natural resource, the tourism industry is becoming an increasingly important player in the economy and may in the long term prove even more valuable than mineral resources in earning foreign exchange.

Aware of the fact that operating in such a market is largely dependent on good networking, we intend to establish networks and strategic relationships with various hotels, lodges and travel agents to ensure a steady stream of clients.

However in so doing we intend to ensure that the service we provide is of extremely high quality and comfortable. Our initial overall target market share shall be 10% of the market, mainly focusing on the greater Gaborone area and southern Botswana.

We appreciate that entering such a market is not a ‘bed of roses’ and will require us establishing strong links with strategic partners as outlined previously. Hence we intend to implement an aggressive marketing strategy, well supported by the other business functions.

The above prognosis influenced our decision to enter the tourist transport industry.

1. Market Segmentation

We will be focusing on those foreign tourists seeking leisure travel and excursions whilst on vacation in Botswana, with the intention of letting them see and appreciate the numerous attractions in our country.

Though we realise that the majority of our tourists come from South Africa we shall be mainly targeting those from Europe and the Americas who often do not have transport or adequate knowledge about the country, unlike their South African counterparts who often do. Hence we shall be mainly targeting those who are not that mobile but wanting to see as many sites as possible.

These people often do not want to waste their money on hiring vehicles to move about by themselves, but instead want to be escorted around places of interest by a reliable source. Hence the need to professionally market ourselves and the services we provide, offering a service of uncompromised nature.

2. Target Market Segment Strategy

Our marketing strategy will be based mainly on making the right service(s) available to the right target customer. We will ensure that our services’ prices take into consideration organisations’ and peoples’ budgets, and that these people know that we exist, appreciate the value of our services, and how to contact us.

The marketing will convey the sense of quality in every picture, every promotion, and every publication. Our intension will be to target those individuals and groups looking for leisure activities and places to visit.

We realise the need to focus our marketing message and our service offerings. We need to develop our message, communicate it, and make good on it. The decision to establish strategic alliances with several hotels, lodges and travel agencies is aimed at tapping our target market effectively and efficiently.

2.1. Market Needs

Though the tourism sector has undergone rapid growth over the last decade the vast majority entering this sector have rushed to the North where we have the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and other sites as attraction points.

Very few have focused on south and central Botswana. With this in mind we intend to exploit the untapped market in this area so as to provide our customers with a good service and realize our business objectives.

We understand that our target markets need more than just being shown the areas of interest but also to be informed about their significance and origins. Hence we don’t just intend to provide a service(s), but to provide one of unparalleled nature relative to the market.

2.2. Market Trends

Of all the uncertainty surrounding this industry, one fact is certain: tourism is here to stay. The only question is how large the industry will become and whether it can sustain, if not exceed, its current growth rate. However large the market ultimately becomes, the company strongly believes that travel will be an important component of this market place. Tourism statistics provide a reliable guide as to the size of the market.

According to the latest tourism statistics total arrivals for 1998 amounted to 1,351,798 representing an increase of approximately 12.65% from the previous year. Of the total arrivals in 1998 205,146 (15.2%) were holiday/tourists whilst 319,440 (23,6%) were visitors, both groups of which constitute our target market, totaling approximately 524,586 individuals.

Source: Tourism Statistics 1998 – Central Statistics Office .

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Sustainability Leaders United

How to succeed as sustainability entrepreneur in tourism: 14 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

How to succeed as sustainability entrepreneur in tourism

Most tourism businesses are small or medium-sized, whose success often depends on the leadership of an entrepreneurial professional (often the business owner) who takes risks and has the courage to try new solutions to growing problems, such as unsustainable supply chains or outdated business practices.

Without the vision and innovative ideas of entrepreneurs, sustainable tourism examples and success stories would be rare, probably non-existent. But how to succeed as a sustainable tourism entrepreneur? Which factors determine entrepreneurial success?

We asked our virtual expert panel for advice on the key success factors for sustainability entrepreneurship in tourism . Reading through the many answers, we identified 14 common characteristics linked to successful sustainable tourism entrepreneurship.

Tip: Through our Information Scout service we can help you gain and maintain competitive advantage by providing overviews on latest thinking and research on topics linked to the sustainability of tourism businesses and destinations.

14 characteristics of successful sustainability entrepreneurs in tourism

Ordered by importance (number of mentions), here the success factors our panel associates with entrepreneurial success linked to tourism and sustainability.

1 Passion, drive and determination

Succeeding as entrepreneur dedicated to sustainability is hard work and no easy task. Hardly surprising thus that passion drive and determination is what makes successful sustainability entrepreneurs stand out, in the eyes of our panel. Such deep commitment is often triggered by specific events or experiences – “wake up moments”, and fueled by a strong belief in the need to do the right thing, even if it goes against market forces and business trends.

Focus is what helps entrepreneurs channel their passion and put ideas and vision into practice, and which gets them through difficult time. It is this unwavering grit, persistence and resilience which builds entrepreneurial capacity to press for change in tourism, which is not quick.

2 Clear vision and strategy

Clearly, passion alone won’t make a successful business. A clear vision, together with a good strategic plan of how to implement your idea or tell your story is the second most important factor for entrepreneurial success, according to the panel. Having this clear vision is important because entrepreneurs inevitably face many obstacles and things they have to deal with in the short-term – management decisions which can take up all of their time.

Successful entrepreneurs always have the long-term strategy and desired outcomes present: they are able to visualize what “success” will mean. In tourism sustainability, success might be in the form of intangible benefits enjoyed over long time periods.

3 Social capital: strong networks in local community

The third key characteristic of successful sustainable tourism entrepreneurs is their ability to network and connect with their local community. Caring for your destination and actively collaborating in restoring, protecting and maintaining it isn’t just “the right thing to do”. It is also a smart business strategy, since in tourism the product/experience depends on the state of the destination as a whole.

Especially in developing countries, sustainable tourism and ecotourism entrepreneurs are often foreigners. In this case, getting involved with the locals and building up social capital can be a key factor for your business success, in that it helps you build capacity, supply chains, and create the goodwill you need for your guests to be able to enjoy the rich, authentic experiences you have promised.

Cooperative actions across the destination and the resulting relationships and backup network are what for many tourism entrepreneurs will be what keeps them afloat when crisis hits.

4 Business plan which connects profit with sustainability

It’s important that, as entrepreneur, you don’t set out with the idea of saving the world, but take the time to work out a business plan which details on how you are going to make the money needed to make it work.

Already at that early stage, you can factor in minimum standards for sustainability, such as the GSTC Industry Standard, which will help you to keep expenses low, for example by conserving energy and water.

Too many small tourism businesses dedicated to sustainability ultimately fail because their leaders follow a vague, utopian idea of life in harmony with nature. The simple truth is that when you are busy thinking about surviving, it’s difficult to think about sustainability.

Entrepreneurial success is often the result of a good understanding of figures, feasibility planning and business plans created by Doers who use common sense and keep both feet on the ground.

5 Skills and knowledge

Tourism entrepreneurs need the knowledge, capacity and tools to implement sustainability best practice. Successful entrepreneurs manage to obtain education and to acquire the necessary skills, despite the lack of resources most SME face.

Finding the time to investigate best practices while running a small business is tough, but the only chance to stay innovative and competitive. If you find yourself in this situation, perhaps our Information Scout service can help.

And: continued training is now easier than ever. Many organisation offer online seminars on topics linked to tourism and sustainability. We can help you find a suitable one.

Funding is key to the success of any entrepreneur, not just in tourism. Those who make it beyond the first years do so because they have access to funds or a financial cushion. They know how to link long-term investment in social capital to a viable cash flow.

Knowing where to get financial backing from is thus a key factor for succeeding as a sustainable tourism entrepreneur.

7 In-depth knowledge about your market

The seventh success factor for sustainability entrepreneurship in tourism, according to our panel, is about knowing your market extremely well. Understanding it and being aware about its needs, trends and opportunities is crucial for finding your own, profitable niche, and the right business partners.

Too often, sustainability gains aren’t made because the right suppliers are missing, or because of lack of market access. Successful entrepreneurs overcome those challenges by being creative, pragmatic and alert.

8 Marketable product, unique selling proposition

Knowing your market very well is no guarantee for success, if your product or service has no demand, or is hard to sell. As one panelist put it, there is a big difference between a good idea and a good business. Entrepreneurs have a well-developed idea for a genuinely marketable product.

The key (and this is probably new) is to not aim for “green aware markets” by advertising your product or service as green or sustainable. Rather, successful sustainability entrepreneurs and business owners focus on offering comfortable, convenient, high value for money products or services to the mass market. In other words, characteristics which holiday makers are actually looking for at the point of purchase (very few travellers purchase “sustainability”).

9 Value-driven leadership

If you don’t live it, nobody will. Successful sustainability entrepreneurs live their business ethics. It’s the personal commitment from the owner or manager that motivates the rest of the staff. Only together can sustainability be fully integrated in day-to-day business practice.

10 Good idea and story, well communicated

Successful entrepreneurs in tourism and sustainability have a good idea or story, and know how to communicate it well – both internally and externally.

11 Skilled team and good partners

If you team doesn’t believe in sustainability, then your chances for success on that front are limited. It’s them who have to implement procedures at the operational level. Key to success is to train and make staff aware about sustainability practices. Not just how to do it, but also making sure they understand the why.

A sustainability-smart team will make your life as entrepreneur and business owner much easier, and success much easier to obtain.

12 Focus on adding value, not reinventing the wheel

Here’s an important observation shared by one panelist: Entrepreneurship in tourism isn’t necessarily the creation of a new tool, practice or product. It’s about coherence, integrity and offering quality services and experiences which are true to your identity (=authentic).

In a world where reputation is the strongest currency and your brand the king, success comes to those who create and add value while staying true to their core product, ideals and beliefs.

13 Courage: ability and capacity to take risk

There’s no way around the fact that to succeed as entrepreneur means that you are able to take a certain amount of risk and wiling to give something new a try. Courage is perhaps the key to it all.

Last but not least, you need luck to succeed. Luck to run the right business model in the right place at the right time.

The following panelists have contributed:

Albert Salman (Netherlands), Alex Tsuk (Indonesia), Antonio Abreu (Portugal), Ariane Janér (Brazil), Asma Rasheed (Maldives), Brian Mullis (USA), Dagmar Lund-Durlacher (Austria), Eduard Mueller (Costa Rica), Fiona Jeffery (UK), Gavin Bate (UK), Gianna Moscardo (Australia), Karen Kuhl (Nicaragua), Kelly Bricker (USA), Kevin Teng (Singapore), Louise Twining-Ward (USA), Maria Lougari (Greece), Mariana Madureira (Brazil), Masaru Takayama (Japan), Paul Peeters (Netherlands), Peter Richards (Myanmar), Philippe Moreau (Portugal), Rachel Dodds (Canada), Richard Butler (UK), Ronald Sanabria (Costa Rica), Shannon Guihan (Canada), Steve Noakes (Australia), Tricia Barnett (UK), Vicente Ferreyra Acosta (Mexico).

More about the panel here .

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Setting Up a Tourism & Travel Company - Making a Business Plan

Setting Up a Tourism & Travel Company - Making a Business Plan

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Posted: 06 Mar 2019

06 Mar 2019

Updated: 15th May 2023

If you’re planning on setting up a tourism business, you’ll definitely want to start with an airtight business plan . Here's everything you need to know about creating a business plan to start a travel company.

What is a Business Plan?

Your business plan is a document that sets out your business objectives and how you are going to achieve them.

When starting a travel or tour company, goals could include reaching new markets in different countries, making the booking experience easier or other gaps in the market. Crucially, you'll need to think about why you're starting this business.

Why is a Business Plan Important for Setting Up a Tourism Business?

Business plans are important for every kind of business. A successful business needs goals and to know the ways of reaching these goals. Without this important tool, it would be difficult to grow your business.

To succeed in the travel and tourism industry, you'll be providing customer service that could make or break someone's trip. From travel agencies to sightseeing tours, having a plan in place is necessary to succeed in this field.

business plan

How to Write a Business Plan for a Tourism Company

Here's what we recommend including in your tourism business plan.

Executive Summary

Company summary.

  • Investments.

Market Analysis Summary

  • Market segmentation - the groups of people you want to target.
  • Key market trends in the tourism sector.
  • Market needs based on current statistics in the tourism industry.
  • How your competitors are positioned in the market.
  • Where you have found a business opportunity in the market.  

Management Summary

Financial forecast, funding and costs.

  • When will I start to see a profit?
  • If I get any investment, when can investors expect a return?
  • How much profit will you see over time?
  • What kind of income can I expect from my business?
  • How can I reduce the risk of failure?

Setting up a tourism business is no mean feat; we hope these tips give you a strong foundation for your new travel and tourism business. There are also plenty of free templates to suit all kinds of travel, tourism and hospitality companies that are easy to fill in with the help of this blog. Ready to start creating your business plan? Start here with how to determine your business model .

If you need any additional advice, our friendly team are on hand to help with every step of the way. Simply contact us here and we’ll do the rest. 

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  • Travel Agency Business Plan Template

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

3 Tourism Entrepreneur Examples To Inspire Your Goals

Home » Travel Industry » 3 Tourism Entrepreneur Examples To Inspire Your Goals

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Tourism entrepreneurship refers to individuals or businesses developing numerous business activities , from activities and entertainment to accommodation and transport. Tourism entrepreneurship, as such, has a vital role in supporting the growth of the entire sector . 

Recent research has found that it can not only eliminate societal problems but also facilitate a country’s development and fiscal growth , thus helping a country improve its GDP. Entrepreneurship is all about developing a business idea and launching a new business. For the travel sector, it translates to new businesses that leverage innovative solutions and technologies to accommodate modern consumers’ needs and expectations.

How do you become a successful tourism entrepreneur in the travel vertical? The best way is to learn from the great examples that have shaken the very foundations of the travel industry.

Below are three case studies: Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and GetYourGuide. Discover their unique histories, how they’ve become successful, and how they have impacted this vertical.

Case Study 1: Airbnb

Let’s start with one of the most prominent names in the travel industry – Airbnb. Here is how Airbnb started and changed the vacation rental industry.

Airbnb case study - History of Airbnb

Airbnb’s history and how it became a successful tourism entrepreneur

The Airbnb founder story is one of the niche’s most engaging stories. Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to move from New York to San Francisco in 2007. At the time, they didn’t hold any jobs. They had to pay the rent, but they were running on fumes. While looking to earn extra money, they noticed that all the local hotels were booked due to the local conference .

Brian and Joe bought a few airbeds and launched a site called “Air Bed and Breakfast”. They sold four beds the first night and cashed in $360. The next thing, Nathan Blecharczyk joins their team as a third cofounder, the new website is up, and Airbnb raises $20,000 from Y Combinator. The founders were so dedicated to their businesses that, at one point, they invested in a quality camera to go door-to-door, take good photos, and add them to the listings.

It took the company two years to become a successful tourism entrepreneur. By 2009, the site had over 10,000 registered users and over 2,500 listings . Today, Airbnb has over 6 million listings, 150 million users , and a market cap of $74.68 billion .

Airbnb’s business model and how it changed the vacation rental industry

Airbnb Business Model

Airbnb’s business model was brand new, something the industry never saw before. Thanks to the new player in the niche, the entire vacation rental industry had to adapt. Here are the most noteworthy changes Airbnb imposed on the vacation rental sector:

  • People now have access to more alternative accommodations – businesses in vacation rental used to focus only on popular neighborhoods. Thanks to Airbnb, the offer is now considerably bigger. Modern travelers who don’t like to be stuck in the central districts can now find accommodation across city neighborhoods;
  • Reviews are very informative – back in the day, vacation rental sites were less informative than they are today, especially in the feedback department. Airbnb has helped make feedback more transparent and enable visitors to easily leave and read reviews;
  • Transactions are significantly safer – before Airbnb, travelers didn’t have much comfort and security when paying for what-you-are-promised-you-get accommodation. Many vacation rentals use Airbnb’s model today – the service provider keeps the money until the stay is complete. Both parties need to be satisfied for the funds to be released;
  • Searching for a place to stay is straightforward – Airbnb also made searching for a place to rent very simple. The search, which resembles the one on, is now pretty much the standard in the sector;
  • High-quality visuals are a must-have – finally, high-quality photos are also a standard today, thanks to Airbnb, which still offers professional photoshoot services to property owners who decide to list on their platform.

Analysis of Airbnb’s impact on the travel industry

Airbnb’s impact on the travel industry was quite substantial. According to research reports , the company caused a 1.3% decline in hotel night bookings across the ten biggest hotels in the US. It roughly translates into a 1.5% revenue loss for the hotels. 

On the other hand, guests no longer have to change their plans due to low room availability or high rates for in-demand dates, which is good for the travel industry overall.

Airbnb’s Entrepreneurship Academy helped more than 300 hosts to generate more revenue, thus driving local economic development. One of the latest reports outlines that the brand has also helped facilitate the inclusive growth of tourism.

Case Study 2: TripAdvisor

The next tourism entrepreneur example is TripAdvisor – a go-to platform for many travelers interested in reviews, price comparisons, and an easy way to book an experience . Think Google but for the travel industry.

Tripadvisor Case Study - History of Tripadvisor

Overview of TripAdvisor’s history and how it became a successful tourism entrepreneur

TripAdvisor was founded back in 2000. It’s founders. Stephen Kaufer and Langley Steinert are Harvard graduates. They wanted to build a central travel repository, including guidebook reviews . That’s why the first version of TripAdvisor was more like a simple aggregator of travel-related products and curated reviews.

However, in 2001, the founders discovered that TripAdvisor users are less interested in expert reviews than crowdsourced reviews . At the same time, they decided to move towards crowdsourced reviews. The company also decided to work on a vertical search engine for travel . They ensured finances through a cost-per-click model.

The company managed to set up the field for ultimate success. During the next three years, TripAdvisor built unique monthly visitors to a whopping 5 million . In 2004, Expedia made a move and acquired TripAdvisor for $210 million. By 2008, TripAdvisor had 26 million unique monthly visitors . In 2010, it was officially the largest travel site worldwide.

TripAdvisor’s business model and how it revolutionized online travel planning

Tripadvisor Business Model

The vertical search engine and travelers’ reviews are the two core pillars of TripAdvisor’s business model. The company revolutionized online travel planning by introducing these two concepts into the online travel sector – and here’s how. 

Consumers prefer personalized experiences over everything else. In fact, 91% of consumers love receiving personalized recommendations when planning a trip. Thanks to this new platform, all of a sudden, consumers had an opportunity to research and plan travel in a brand new way that was more engaging, informative, and rather straightforward. 

TripAdvisor allows members to create trips on their own or collaborate with friends and family in doing so. They can create travel plans from A to Z and generate their own itineraries. While doing so, they can keep their plans private or publish them for other members to review them and leave their suggestions and recommendations.

Members who connect with friends and family on TripAdvisor can also see their reviews and easily discover what they recommend. The platform revolutionized online travel planning by turning it into a social experience . It even has some social media platform features such as “Like”, “Share”, and “Repost” to facilitate collaboration between members. 

Analysis of TripAdvisor’s impact on the travel industry

The best way to assess the impact of tourism entrepreneurs on the travel and hospitality industry is to discover their effect on this particular economy. Here is how TripAdvisor affected this vertical:

  • It created a higher demand – consumers enjoy reviews done by professionals and other travelers. The platform helped increase the volume of trips taken and money spent on travel-related products. Reviews also had a positive impact on the average spend per stay at a hotel and length of stay ; 
  • It helped travel businesses understand the value of online marketing – with the ongoing expansion of the internet, online marketing has become increasingly important. TripAdvisor helped travel companies truly understand the value of driving quality targeted traffic. Its platform for Sponsored Placements enabled companies to see the power of well-placed relevant ads ;
  • It made online reputation equal to offline one – before, TripAdvisor travel brands were only concerned with maintaining offline reputation. However, TripAdvisor enabled all travelers to be heard online. Suddenly, travel companies had to pay attention to what their customers had to say online, acknowledge the problems, and find solutions to keep people coming back .

Case Study 3: GetYourGuide

The third tourism entrepreneur example you can learn from is GetYourGuide – the world’s leading online travel agency and marketplace specializing in excursions and tour guides.

GetYourGuide Case Study - History of GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide’s history and how it became a successful tourism entrepreneur

In 2007, GetYourGuide was just a great business idea that Johannes Reck and Tao Tao came up with. It came from their own experience as tourists who had trouble navigating foreign countries and cities . The core concept was to create an online platform to connect amateur guides with tourists. 

With the help of relatives and parents, Johannes Reck and Tao Tao launched GetYourGuide in 2009. The American investors found their idea interesting and decided to invest in it. The real company growth followed the Series A funding worth $14 million . The founders used the money to launch Android and iOS apps . It helped them offer services to consumers and guides who preferred mobile over desktop platforms. 

After the $75 million Series D funding, the company managed to penetrate Asian and American markets, which enabled it to stay the course of success. The company became a leader in the industry securing a $484 million investment from SoftBank Group .

GetYourGuide’s business model and how it disrupted the tours and activities industry

GetYourGuide Business Model

One of the reasons why GetYourGuide attracted the attention of investors from the US is the lack of competition . See, GetYourGuide offered something brand new to consumers. Here’s how its unique business model disrupted the paradigm of the tours and activities industry:

  • Completely free for consumers – GetYourGuide introduced its services entirely free for consumers. In other words, you didn’t have to spend a dime to browse through tours and interact and book guides or excursions;
  • The commission model – the providers of tours can use the platform for free as well. There are no upfront costs whatsoever. But, whenever they sell a tour, the providers have to pay a percentage of the revenue;
  • Transparent review system – consumers’ reviews are entirely transparent on the platform. It enables consumers to assess the tour providers and make an informed choice. It resonated well with the target market, and reviews became crucial for tour providers;
  • The penalty system – tour providers must maintain a good reputation to stay on the GetYourGuide marketplace. If they fail to do so and consistently get bed reviews, the platform automatically removes them;
  • Developed standardized “how to best run a tour” criteria – the company used Big Data to outline the standardized criteria for the most optimal tour. Providers need to agree to follow the standardized criteria outlined to receive the GetOurGuide tour label.

GetYourGuide’s impact on the travel industry

GetYourGuide created a social network for tour guides and connected them to prospective buyers. Today, the company has offices in 14 countries and employs over 550 people . Over the last 12 years, the marketplace sold over 45 million tickets for excursions and tours . It helped make traveling more popular by removing the stress and hassle of finding niche tours in specific cities and neighborhoods.

Furthermore, GetYourGuide leveled the field for small suppliers who are up against brands that spend millions on marketing and lead generation across multiple channels. The marketplace simply eliminates the upfront marketing costs for small and medium suppliers. 

The three tourism entrepreneur examples can help you see what it takes to launch a successful venture in the travel industry. While each one of the three entrepreneurial ecosystem models is unique, they all share something in common – they all address specific consumers’ needs in an innovative way.  

Tourism Entrepreneur Examples Conclusion

Airbnb solved the “overbooked” and “I don’t want to stay in the city center” problems for travelers. TripAdvisor unlocked the power of reviews and social travel planning, while GetYourGuide enables even the smallest tour providers to attract customers and generate revenue.

The future looks bright for tourism entrepreneurs. The consumers’ behavior, needs, and expectations are never constant. Add rapid technology development to it, and you have plenty of space to brainstorm in and look for innovative ways to build or develop a business activity in the sector.

You can become a successful tourism entrepreneur if you maintain passion, drive, and determination. Stay tuned to the latest developments in the industry and markets to identify the problem, get a clear vision, and develop a winning strategy. You can also learn a lot from studying the Daniel Isenberg Model of the startup ecosystem.

The most common challenges faced by tourism entrepreneurs include: • Finding the right business partners; • Efficient communication; • Securing funds; • Weak business plans and strategies; • Lack of support from the government.

Tourism entrepreneurs often attend travel industry events and shows. OTAs can leverage this to approach entrepreneurs, discover best practices, and see if there is a way to secure collaboration.

3 Tourism Entrepreneur Examples To Inspire Your Goals

Mize is an AI-driven Travel-tech startup company that allows travel companies to increase their hotel bookings’ profits by more than 35%, optimizing their purchasing rates post-booking in a fully automated procedure. Mize monitors and processes millions of bookings and billions of US$ value each year.


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  • 11.4 The Business Plan
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 Entrepreneurship Today
  • 1.2 Entrepreneurial Vision and Goals
  • 1.3 The Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Review Questions
  • Discussion Questions
  • Case Questions
  • Suggested Resources
  • 2.1 Overview of the Entrepreneurial Journey
  • 2.2 The Process of Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • 2.3 Entrepreneurial Pathways
  • 2.4 Frameworks to Inform Your Entrepreneurial Path
  • 3.1 Ethical and Legal Issues in Entrepreneurship
  • 3.2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
  • 3.3 Developing a Workplace Culture of Ethical Excellence and Accountability
  • 4.1 Tools for Creativity and Innovation
  • 4.2 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention: How They Differ
  • 4.3 Developing Ideas, Innovations, and Inventions
  • 5.1 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
  • 5.2 Researching Potential Business Opportunities
  • 5.3 Competitive Analysis
  • 6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions
  • 6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process
  • 6.3 Design Thinking
  • 6.4 Lean Processes
  • 7.1 Clarifying Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
  • 7.2 Sharing Your Entrepreneurial Story
  • 7.3 Developing Pitches for Various Audiences and Goals
  • 7.4 Protecting Your Idea and Polishing the Pitch through Feedback
  • 7.5 Reality Check: Contests and Competitions
  • 8.1 Entrepreneurial Marketing and the Marketing Mix
  • 8.2 Market Research, Market Opportunity Recognition, and Target Market
  • 8.3 Marketing Techniques and Tools for Entrepreneurs
  • 8.4 Entrepreneurial Branding
  • 8.5 Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
  • 8.6 Sales and Customer Service
  • 9.1 Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting Strategies
  • 9.2 Special Funding Strategies
  • 9.3 Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs
  • 9.4 Developing Startup Financial Statements and Projections
  • 10.1 Launching the Imperfect Business: Lean Startup
  • 10.2 Why Early Failure Can Lead to Success Later
  • 10.3 The Challenging Truth about Business Ownership
  • 10.4 Managing, Following, and Adjusting the Initial Plan
  • 10.5 Growth: Signs, Pains, and Cautions
  • 11.1 Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” Approach
  • 11.2 Designing the Business Model
  • 11.3 Conducting a Feasibility Analysis
  • 12.1 Building and Connecting to Networks
  • 12.2 Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team
  • 12.3 Designing a Startup Operational Plan
  • 13.1 Business Structures: Overview of Legal and Tax Considerations
  • 13.2 Corporations
  • 13.3 Partnerships and Joint Ventures
  • 13.4 Limited Liability Companies
  • 13.5 Sole Proprietorships
  • 13.6 Additional Considerations: Capital Acquisition, Business Domicile, and Technology
  • 13.7 Mitigating and Managing Risks
  • 14.1 Types of Resources
  • 14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
  • 14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
  • 15.1 Launching Your Venture
  • 15.2 Making Difficult Business Decisions in Response to Challenges
  • 15.3 Seeking Help or Support
  • 15.4 Now What? Serving as a Mentor, Consultant, or Champion
  • 15.5 Reflections: Documenting the Journey
  • A | Suggested Resources

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different purposes of a business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a full business plan

Unlike the brief or lean formats introduced so far, the business plan is a formal document used for the long-range planning of a company’s operation. It typically includes background information, financial information, and a summary of the business. Investors nearly always request a formal business plan because it is an integral part of their evaluation of whether to invest in a company. Although nothing in business is permanent, a business plan typically has components that are more “set in stone” than a business model canvas , which is more commonly used as a first step in the planning process and throughout the early stages of a nascent business. A business plan is likely to describe the business and industry, market strategies, sales potential, and competitive analysis, as well as the company’s long-term goals and objectives. An in-depth formal business plan would follow at later stages after various iterations to business model canvases. The business plan usually projects financial data over a three-year period and is typically required by banks or other investors to secure funding. The business plan is a roadmap for the company to follow over multiple years.

Some entrepreneurs prefer to use the canvas process instead of the business plan, whereas others use a shorter version of the business plan, submitting it to investors after several iterations. There are also entrepreneurs who use the business plan earlier in the entrepreneurial process, either preceding or concurrently with a canvas. For instance, Chris Guillebeau has a one-page business plan template in his book The $100 Startup . 48 His version is basically an extension of a napkin sketch without the detail of a full business plan. As you progress, you can also consider a brief business plan (about two pages)—if you want to support a rapid business launch—and/or a standard business plan.

As with many aspects of entrepreneurship, there are no clear hard and fast rules to achieving entrepreneurial success. You may encounter different people who want different things (canvas, summary, full business plan), and you also have flexibility in following whatever tool works best for you. Like the canvas, the various versions of the business plan are tools that will aid you in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

Business Plan Overview

Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we’ll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan. If you are able to successfully design a business model canvas, then you will have the structure for developing a clear business plan that you can submit for financial consideration.

Both types of business plans aim at providing a picture and roadmap to follow from conception to creation. If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept.

The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, dealing with the proverbial devil in the details. Developing a full business plan will assist those of you who need a more detailed and structured roadmap, or those of you with little to no background in business. The business planning process includes the business model, a feasibility analysis, and a full business plan, which we will discuss later in this section. Next, we explore how a business plan can meet several different needs.

Purposes of a Business Plan

A business plan can serve many different purposes—some internal, others external. As we discussed previously, you can use a business plan as an internal early planning device, an extension of a napkin sketch, and as a follow-up to one of the canvas tools. A business plan can be an organizational roadmap , that is, an internal planning tool and working plan that you can apply to your business in order to reach your desired goals over the course of several years. The business plan should be written by the owners of the venture, since it forces a firsthand examination of the business operations and allows them to focus on areas that need improvement.

Refer to the business venture throughout the document. Generally speaking, a business plan should not be written in the first person.

A major external purpose for the business plan is as an investment tool that outlines financial projections, becoming a document designed to attract investors. In many instances, a business plan can complement a formal investor’s pitch. In this context, the business plan is a presentation plan, intended for an outside audience that may or may not be familiar with your industry, your business, and your competitors.

You can also use your business plan as a contingency plan by outlining some “what-if” scenarios and exploring how you might respond if these scenarios unfold. Pretty Young Professional launched in November 2010 as an online resource to guide an emerging generation of female leaders. The site focused on recent female college graduates and current students searching for professional roles and those in their first professional roles. It was founded by four friends who were coworkers at the global consultancy firm McKinsey. But after positions and equity were decided among them, fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of the business emerged between two factions, according to the cofounder and former CEO Kathryn Minshew . “I think, naively, we assumed that if we kicked the can down the road on some of those things, we’d be able to sort them out,” Minshew said. Minshew went on to found a different professional site, The Muse , and took much of the editorial team of Pretty Young Professional with her. 49 Whereas greater planning potentially could have prevented the early demise of Pretty Young Professional, a change in planning led to overnight success for Joshua Esnard and The Cut Buddy team. Esnard invented and patented the plastic hair template that he was selling online out of his Fort Lauderdale garage while working a full-time job at Broward College and running a side business. Esnard had hundreds of boxes of Cut Buddies sitting in his home when he changed his marketing plan to enlist companies specializing in making videos go viral. It worked so well that a promotional video for the product garnered 8 million views in hours. The Cut Buddy sold over 4,000 products in a few hours when Esnard only had hundreds remaining. Demand greatly exceeded his supply, so Esnard had to scramble to increase manufacturing and offered customers two-for-one deals to make up for delays. This led to selling 55,000 units, generating $700,000 in sales in 2017. 50 After appearing on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Daymond John that gave the “shark” a 20-percent equity stake in return for $300,000, The Cut Buddy has added new distribution channels to include retail sales along with online commerce. Changing one aspect of a business plan—the marketing plan—yielded success for The Cut Buddy.

Link to Learning

Watch this video of Cut Buddy’s founder, Joshua Esnard, telling his company’s story to learn more.

If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept. This version is used to interest potential investors, employees, and other stakeholders, and will include a financial summary “box,” but it must have a disclaimer, and the founder/entrepreneur may need to have the people who receive it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) . The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, providing supporting details, and would be required by financial institutions and others as they formally become stakeholders in the venture. Both are aimed at providing a picture and roadmap to go from conception to creation.

Types of Business Plans

The brief business plan is similar to an extended executive summary from the full business plan. This concise document provides a broad overview of your entrepreneurial concept, your team members, how and why you will execute on your plans, and why you are the ones to do so. You can think of a brief business plan as a scene setter or—since we began this chapter with a film reference—as a trailer to the full movie. The brief business plan is the commercial equivalent to a trailer for Field of Dreams , whereas the full plan is the full-length movie equivalent.

Brief Business Plan or Executive Summary

As the name implies, the brief business plan or executive summary summarizes key elements of the entire business plan, such as the business concept, financial features, and current business position. The executive summary version of the business plan is your opportunity to broadly articulate the overall concept and vision of the company for yourself, for prospective investors, and for current and future employees.

A typical executive summary is generally no longer than a page, but because the brief business plan is essentially an extended executive summary, the executive summary section is vital. This is the “ask” to an investor. You should begin by clearly stating what you are asking for in the summary.

In the business concept phase, you’ll describe the business, its product, and its markets. Describe the customer segment it serves and why your company will hold a competitive advantage. This section may align roughly with the customer segments and value-proposition segments of a canvas.

Next, highlight the important financial features, including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment. Like the financial portion of a feasibility analysis, the financial analysis component of a business plan may typically include items like a twelve-month profit and loss projection, a three- or four-year profit and loss projection, a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a breakeven calculation. You can explore a feasibility study and financial projections in more depth in the formal business plan. Here, you want to focus on the big picture of your numbers and what they mean.

The current business position section can furnish relevant information about you and your team members and the company at large. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how you formed the company, to describe its legal status (form of operation), and to list the principal players. In one part of the extended executive summary, you can cover your reasons for starting the business: Here is an opportunity to clearly define the needs you think you can meet and perhaps get into the pains and gains of customers. You also can provide a summary of the overall strategic direction in which you intend to take the company. Describe the company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives, overall business model, and value proposition.

Rice University’s Student Business Plan Competition, one of the largest and overall best-regarded graduate school business-plan competitions (see Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea ), requires an executive summary of up to five pages to apply. 51 , 52 Its suggested sections are shown in Table 11.2 .

Are You Ready?

Create a brief business plan.

Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. Then create a brief business plan for that business. See if you can find a version of the company’s actual executive summary, business plan, or canvas. Compare and contrast your vision with what the company has articulated.

  • These companies are well established but is there a component of what you charted that you would advise the company to change to ensure future viability?
  • Map out a contingency plan for a “what-if” scenario if one key aspect of the company or the environment it operates in were drastically is altered?

Full Business Plan

Even full business plans can vary in length, scale, and scope. Rice University sets a ten-page cap on business plans submitted for the full competition. The IndUS Entrepreneurs , one of the largest global networks of entrepreneurs, also holds business plan competitions for students through its Tie Young Entrepreneurs program. In contrast, business plans submitted for that competition can usually be up to twenty-five pages. These are just two examples. Some components may differ slightly; common elements are typically found in a formal business plan outline. The next section will provide sample components of a full business plan for a fictional business.

Executive Summary

The executive summary should provide an overview of your business with key points and issues. Because the summary is intended to summarize the entire document, it is most helpful to write this section last, even though it comes first in sequence. The writing in this section should be especially concise. Readers should be able to understand your needs and capabilities at first glance. The section should tell the reader what you want and your “ask” should be explicitly stated in the summary.

Describe your business, its product or service, and the intended customers. Explain what will be sold, who it will be sold to, and what competitive advantages the business has. Table 11.3 shows a sample executive summary for the fictional company La Vida Lola.

Business Description

This section describes the industry, your product, and the business and success factors. It should provide a current outlook as well as future trends and developments. You also should address your company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Summarize your overall strategic direction, your reasons for starting the business, a description of your products and services, your business model, and your company’s value proposition. Consider including the Standard Industrial Classification/North American Industry Classification System (SIC/NAICS) code to specify the industry and insure correct identification. The industry extends beyond where the business is located and operates, and should include national and global dynamics. Table 11.4 shows a sample business description for La Vida Lola.

Industry Analysis and Market Strategies

Here you should define your market in terms of size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential. You’ll want to include your TAM and forecast the SAM . (Both these terms are discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis .) This is a place to address market segmentation strategies by geography, customer attributes, or product orientation. Describe your positioning relative to your competitors’ in terms of pricing, distribution, promotion plan, and sales potential. Table 11.5 shows an example industry analysis and market strategy for La Vida Lola.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy as it relates to the competition. You want to be able to identify who are your major competitors and assess what are their market shares, markets served, strategies employed, and expected response to entry? You likely want to conduct a classic SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) and complete a competitive-strength grid or competitive matrix. Outline your company’s competitive strengths relative to those of the competition in regard to product, distribution, pricing, promotion, and advertising. What are your company’s competitive advantages and their likely impacts on its success? The key is to construct it properly for the relevant features/benefits (by weight, according to customers) and how the startup compares to incumbents. The competitive matrix should show clearly how and why the startup has a clear (if not currently measurable) competitive advantage. Some common features in the example include price, benefits, quality, type of features, locations, and distribution/sales. Sample templates are shown in Figure 11.17 and Figure 11.18 . A competitive analysis helps you create a marketing strategy that will identify assets or skills that your competitors are lacking so you can plan to fill those gaps, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. When creating a competitor analysis, it is important to focus on the key features and elements that matter to customers, rather than focusing too heavily on the entrepreneur’s idea and desires.

Operations and Management Plan

In this section, outline how you will manage your company. Describe its organizational structure. Here you can address the form of ownership and, if warranted, include an organizational chart/structure. Highlight the backgrounds, experiences, qualifications, areas of expertise, and roles of members of the management team. This is also the place to mention any other stakeholders, such as a board of directors or advisory board(s), and their relevant relationship to the founder, experience and value to help make the venture successful, and professional service firms providing management support, such as accounting services and legal counsel.

Table 11.6 shows a sample operations and management plan for La Vida Lola.

Marketing Plan

Here you should outline and describe an effective overall marketing strategy for your venture, providing details regarding pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, media usage, public relations, and a digital presence. Fully describe your sales management plan and the composition of your sales force, along with a comprehensive and detailed budget for the marketing plan. Table 11.7 shows a sample marketing plan for La Vida Lola.

Financial Plan

A financial plan seeks to forecast revenue and expenses; project a financial narrative; and estimate project costs, valuations, and cash flow projections. This section should present an accurate, realistic, and achievable financial plan for your venture (see Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for detailed discussions about conducting these projections). Include sales forecasts and income projections, pro forma financial statements ( Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team , a breakeven analysis, and a capital budget. Identify your possible sources of financing (discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis ). Figure 11.19 shows a template of cash-flow needs for La Vida Lola.

Entrepreneur In Action

Laughing man coffee.

Hugh Jackman ( Figure 11.20 ) may best be known for portraying a comic-book superhero who used his mutant abilities to protect the world from villains. But the Wolverine actor is also working to make the planet a better place for real, not through adamantium claws but through social entrepreneurship.

A love of java jolted Jackman into action in 2009, when he traveled to Ethiopia with a Christian humanitarian group to shoot a documentary about the impact of fair-trade certification on coffee growers there. He decided to launch a business and follow in the footsteps of the late Paul Newman, another famous actor turned philanthropist via food ventures.

Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee two years later; he sold the line to Keurig in 2015. One Laughing Man Coffee café in New York continues to operate independently, investing its proceeds into charitable programs that support better housing, health, and educational initiatives within fair-trade farming communities. 55 Although the New York location is the only café, the coffee brand is still distributed, with Keurig donating an undisclosed portion of Laughing Man proceeds to those causes (whereas Jackman donates all his profits). The company initially donated its profits to World Vision, the Christian humanitarian group Jackman accompanied in 2009. In 2017, it created the Laughing Man Foundation to be more active with its money management and distribution.

  • You be the entrepreneur. If you were Jackman, would you have sold the company to Keurig? Why or why not?
  • Would you have started the Laughing Man Foundation?
  • What else can Jackman do to aid fair-trade practices for coffee growers?

What Can You Do?

Textbooks for change.

Founded in 2014, Textbooks for Change uses a cross-compensation model, in which one customer segment pays for a product or service, and the profit from that revenue is used to provide the same product or service to another, underserved segment. Textbooks for Change partners with student organizations to collect used college textbooks, some of which are re-sold while others are donated to students in need at underserved universities across the globe. The organization has reused or recycled 250,000 textbooks, providing 220,000 students with access through seven campus partners in East Africa. This B-corp social enterprise tackles a problem and offers a solution that is directly relevant to college students like yourself. Have you observed a problem on your college campus or other campuses that is not being served properly? Could it result in a social enterprise?

Work It Out

Franchisee set out.

A franchisee of East Coast Wings, a chain with dozens of restaurants in the United States, has decided to part ways with the chain. The new store will feature the same basic sports-bar-and-restaurant concept and serve the same basic foods: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. The new restaurant can’t rely on the same distributors and suppliers. A new business plan is needed.

  • What steps should the new restaurant take to create a new business plan?
  • Should it attempt to serve the same customers? Why or why not?

This New York Times video, “An Unlikely Business Plan,” describes entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, Michigan.

  • 48 Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future . New York: Crown Business/Random House, 2012.
  • 49 Jonathan Chan. “What These 4 Startup Case Studies Can Teach You about Failure.” . July 12, 2015.
  • 50 Amy Feldman. “Inventor of the Cut Buddy Paid YouTubers to Spark Sales. He Wasn’t Ready for a Video to Go Viral.” Forbes. February 15, 2017.
  • 51 Jennifer Post. “National Business Plan Competitions for Entrepreneurs.” Business News Daily . August 30, 2018.
  • 52 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition . March 2020.
  • 53 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition. March 2020.; Based on 2019 RBPC Competition Rules and Format April 4–6, 2019.
  • 54 Foodstart.
  • 55 “Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company.” Giving Compass. April 8, 2018.

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  • Publisher/website: OpenStax
  • Book title: Entrepreneurship
  • Publication date: Jan 16, 2020
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Tourism Entrepreneurship: Meaning, Characteristics & Examples

Tourism Entrepreneurship: Meaning, Characteristics & Examples – In the bustling world of travel and exploration, there exists a special breed of individuals who possess a unique blend of vision, innovation, and business acumen. They are the tourism entrepreneurs , creators, and managers of ventures that shape the experiences of travelers while driving economic growth within the tourism industry. But what exactly is tourism entrepreneurship?

This article delves into the meaning, characteristics, and examples of this fascinating field. From identifying opportunities to crafting unforgettable experiences, these entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the development of sustainable tourism ventures. Join us on a journey to explore the world of tourism entrepreneurship and discover the traits that make it a vibrant and essential component of the global travel landscape.

What Is Tourism Entrepreneurship?

Tourism entrepreneurship is an exciting realm where individuals with a passion for travel and a knack for business come together to create and manage ventures within the tourism industry. It involves identifying opportunities and developing innovative ideas to meet the needs and desires of travelers. Think of it as weaving together the threads of adventure, hospitality, and entrepreneurship to craft unique experiences.

Entrepreneurs in the tourism industry are trailblazers who succeed in their endeavors, whether they are launching a boutique hotel that offers distinctive travel experiences or creating an eco-tourism company that combines adventure with environmental protection. They can create deals that stand out from the competition since they have a solid understanding of the shifting demands and preferences of visitors.

Tourism Entrepreneurship is distinguished by its capacity to identify unrealized potential and capitalize on changing trends. Entrepreneurs that are successful concentrate on innovation, offering distinctive services, creating cutting-edge technology, and creating immersive experiences that make an impression on visitors. They make use of experiential tourism trends like farm-to-table food and eco-friendly activities to connect tourists with local culture and encourage sustainable practices.

Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of tourist entrepreneurship because entrepreneurs understand the need of preserving the environment, cultural heritage, and local communities. For instance, a wildlife refuge that prioritizes teaching and conservation boosts environmental awareness while boosting the local economy.

Read – Franchise Business in Entrepreneurship

Tourism Entrepreneurship Definitions

Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of identifying, evaluating, and exploiting opportunities to create new tourism businesses or to introduce new products, services, or practices into existing tourism businesses.  – Sheldon (2017)

Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of creating, organizing, and managing a new tourism venture to turn a profit.  – Aquino et al (2019)

Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of identifying and exploiting opportunities to create new tourism products, services, or experiences that meet the needs of tourists and create value for stakeholders. – Porter (2018)

Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of creating and managing new tourism businesses that are innovative, sustainable, and socially responsible.  – Mottiar (2018)

The process of developing new tourist enterprises that are founded on a thorough grasp of the local context and that contribute to the sustainable growth of the destination is known as tourism entrepreneurship. – Peredo & Wurzelmann (2015)

Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of creating new tourism businesses that are motivated by a desire to make a difference in the world.  – McCarthy (2008)

The process of starting new tourist enterprises that are motivated by a love of travel and a dedication to excellence is known as tourism entrepreneurship. – Jamal & Getz (1995)

Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of creating new tourism businesses that are based on a deep understanding of the tourism market and that can successfully compete in the global marketplace.   –  Crouch (2011)

tourist entrepreneurship is the process of establishing new tourist enterprises that can support the county’s social, economic, and environmental sustainability. – UNWTO (2010)

Read – Start a Business in Europe

Characteristics of Tourism Entrepreneurship

Innovation is a fundamental characteristic of tourism entrepreneurship. Successful tourism entrepreneurs constantly seek to differentiate themselves by introducing new and unique ideas, products, or services into the tourism market. For instance, consider the emergence of glamping (luxury camping) as an innovative concept within the tourism industry. By combining the thrill of outdoor adventure with the comfort and luxury of high-quality accommodation, glamping entrepreneurs have created a distinct niche that attracts travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience.

Market Sensitivity

Tourism entrepreneurs possess a keen awareness of market trends, consumer preferences, and evolving demands. They stay attuned to the changing needs of travelers and adjust their offerings accordingly. An excellent example of market sensitivity is the rise of eco-tourism ventures. Entrepreneurs recognized the growing demand for sustainable travel experiences and developed businesses that offer environmentally friendly activities and accommodations, such as wildlife conservation tours or eco-lodges.

Read – Large Company Entrepreneurship


Tourism entrepreneurship inherently involves taking calculated risks. Entrepreneurs are willing to step outside their comfort zones, invest their resources, and navigate uncertainties to pursue their ventures. An illustrative example is the launch of adventure tourism businesses in remote and challenging locations. These entrepreneurs take the risk of establishing operations in unexplored territories, offering activities like mountaineering, extreme sports, or wilderness expeditions, knowing that the thrill-seeking segment of tourists will seek out these unique and adventurous experiences.


The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and seize emerging opportunities is a crucial characteristic of successful tourism entrepreneurs. They understand that the tourism industry is dynamic, influenced by factors like technology advancements, global events, or shifting consumer behaviors. A prime example is the adaptation of traditional tour operators to the digital age. Entrepreneurs have embraced online platforms and booking systems, enabling them to reach a wider audience, provide seamless customer experiences, and respond swiftly to market changes.

Read – Cultural Entrepreneurship

Social Responsibility

Tourism entrepreneurship places a significant emphasis on social responsibility. Entrepreneurs strive to create businesses that not only generate economic benefits but also contribute positively to local communities, cultures, and environments. For instance, community-based tourism initiatives empower residents by involving them in tourism activities, preserving their cultural heritage, and sharing economic benefits. By doing so, entrepreneurs foster sustainable development and create a sense of pride and ownership among the local population.

Collaboration and Networking

Tourism entrepreneurs understand the value of collaboration and networking. They actively engage with stakeholders, including other entrepreneurs, industry professionals, local communities, and government agencies. By building strong partnerships, entrepreneurs can access resources, share knowledge, and create synergistic opportunities. An example is the establishment of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) where entrepreneurs collaborate and local authorities to collectively promote the destination and attract a larger volume of visitors.

Passion and Vision

Passion and a clear vision are vital driving forces for tourism entrepreneurs. They possess a deep love for travel and a genuine desire to make a difference in the industry. Entrepreneurs with a vision create businesses that align with their passions, ensuring they stay motivated and committed to their goals. For instance, an entrepreneur passionate about culinary arts may establish a food tour company that showcases authentic local cuisine, supports local eateries, and promotes culinary traditions to international visitors.

Read – Modern Entrepreneurship

Types of Tourism Entrepreneurship

Accommodation and hospitality.

This type of tourism entrepreneurship involves the establishment and management of accommodation facilities such as hotels, guesthouses, and resorts. Entrepreneurs in this field focus on providing comfortable and enjoyable lodging experiences for tourists. For example, an entrepreneur in the tourism industry may launch a boutique hotel. It offers specialized services, stylish décor, and innovative amenities to appeal to discriminating customers seeking a premium and memorable stay.

Food and Beverage

Food and beverage entrepreneurship in tourism revolves around creating dining experiences for travelers. Entrepreneurs in this domain establish restaurants, cafes, food trucks, or specialty food businesses that cater to the culinary preferences of tourists. They aim to offer delicious and diverse cuisine options, ranging from local delicacies to international flavors. An example is an entrepreneur who opens a seafood restaurant in a coastal destination, serving freshly caught seafood dishes to tourists who crave an authentic taste of the local marine cuisine.

Read – Corporate Partnerships

Adventure and Outdoor Recreation

Adventure and outdoor recreation tourism entrepreneurship focus on providing exciting and adventurous activities for travelers seeking thrilling experiences. Entrepreneurs in this field create ventures such as adventure tour companies, water sports centers, hiking, and trekking expeditions, or wildlife safaris. They cater to the interests of adventure enthusiasts by offering activities like white-water rafting, zip-lining, mountain biking, or wildlife encounters. For instance, an entrepreneur may establish a company that offers guided rock climbing trips in picturesque natural landscapes, providing adrenaline-pumping experiences for adventurous travelers.

Cultural and Heritage

Cultural and heritage tourism entrepreneurship centers around showcasing the local culture, traditions, and historical attractions of a destination. Entrepreneurs in this field create businesses such as guided heritage tours, cultural performances, museums, art galleries, or craft workshops. They aim to preserve and promote the cultural identity of a place while providing educational and enriching experiences for visitors. For example, an entrepreneur may establish a cultural center that offers interactive workshops on traditional arts and crafts, allowing tourists to engage with the local culture and learn traditional craftsmanship.

Read – Modern Business

Sustainable and Ecotourism

Sustainable and ecotourism entrepreneurship focuses on developing businesses that prioritize environmental conservation and sustainable practices. Entrepreneurs in this realm establish eco-lodges, nature-based tour operators, wildlife conservation initiatives, or sustainable transportation services. They aim to minimize the negative impact on the environment while promoting nature appreciation and conservation. An example is an entrepreneur who starts an eco-tour company offering guided hikes in protected areas, emphasizing the importance of preserving natural habitats and educating tourists about sustainable practices.

Specialized and Niche Tourism

Specialized and niche tourism entrepreneurship involves catering to specific interests, hobbies, or target markets within the tourism industry. Entrepreneurs in this category create ventures such as wellness retreats, wine and culinary tours, photography expeditions, adventure sports, or cultural festivals. They focus on providing tailored experiences and catering to the unique needs and preferences of niche segments. For instance, an entrepreneur may establish a company that offers guided bird-watching tours for bird enthusiasts, providing expert guides, specialized equipment, and access to prime bird-watching locations.

Read – C an Anyone Be an Entrepreneur

Popular Examples of Tourism Entrepreneurship

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a prime example of tourism entrepreneurship. It revolutionized the accommodation sector by providing a platform for homeowners to rent out their properties to travelers. This innovative concept enabled individuals to become tourism entrepreneurs by turning their spare rooms or vacant properties into profitable accommodations. Airbnb disrupted the traditional hotel industry and opened up new opportunities for individuals to participate in the tourism economy.

G Adventures

G Adventures is a renowned adventure travel company that offers small group tours to destinations worldwide. Founded in 1990, it exemplifies tourism entrepreneurship in the adventure and outdoor recreation sector. The company was started by Bruce Poon Tip to provide authentic and sustainable travel experiences. G Adventures focuses on responsible tourism practices, supports local communities, and offers unique adventure itineraries, appealing to travelers seeking immersive and socially responsible experiences.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet is a well-known travel guidebook publisher that has been a trusted source of travel information for over four decades. Founded in 1973 by Tony Wheeler and his wife Maureen, it reflects tourism entrepreneurship in the publishing industry. Their travel guides provide comprehensive information, tips, and recommendations for travelers, enabling them to explore destinations independently. The secret to Lonely Planet’s success is its capability to satisfy the demands of curiosity. Also, daring visitors looking for real-world encounters.

Read – Businessman vs Entrepreneur

Viator is an online travel agency. They provide a large choice of tours, experiences, and activities in places all over the world. Rod Cuthbert launched it in 1995, and it is now a major participant in the tours and activities industry. Viator connects travelers with local tour operators, allowing them to book unique experiences conveniently. This platform showcases the entrepreneurial spirit by bringing together various tourism service providers and offering curated experiences for tourists.

Rick Steves’ Europe

Rick Steves, an American travel writer and television personality, is an example of an individual entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to tourism entrepreneurship. He has built a brand focused on European travel, sharing his expertise through guidebooks, television shows, and tours. Rick Steves’ Europe provides valuable insights, cultural information, and practical advice to travelers interested in exploring Europe independently. His entrepreneurial journey demonstrates how a passion for travel can be turned into a successful tourism enterprise.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06Y2XV6SL&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=uda97 20&language=en US

The process of planning, establishing, and running new businesses within the tourist sector is referred to as tourism entrepreneurship . It is essential for promoting innovation, economic expansion, and job creation. tourism entrepreneurs display traits like innovation, flexibility, and a love for their business. They aid in the creation of distinctive tourism goods, services, and experiences through their entrepreneurial initiatives, which meet the changing demands of tourists.

The examples of Airbnb, G Adventures, Lonely Planet, Viator, and Rick Steves’ Europe showcase the diverse range of entrepreneurial ventures within the tourism sector. Ultimately, tourism entrepreneurship not only benefits individuals and businesses but also contributes to the overall sustainability and vibrancy of the tourism industry.

FAQs about Tourism Entrepreneurship

Why is entrepreneurship important in tourism.

Entrepreneurship is important in tourism as it drives innovation. Also, it boosts economic growth, and produces employment opportunities, leading to a vibrant and passionate tourism industry.

How can you relate entrepreneurship to tourism?

Entrepreneurship in tourism is evident through the creation of new businesses, innovative products, and unique experiences that cater to the evolving needs and desires of travelers.

What are the qualities of a tourism entrepreneur?

Qualities of a successful tourism entrepreneur include creativity, adaptability, passion for the industry, strong business acumen, a customer-centric mindset, and a willingness to take calculated risks.

What are the entrepreneurial opportunities in tourism?

Entrepreneurial opportunities in tourism encompass various areas such as starting accommodation establishments, developing niche tours and activities, leveraging technology for online booking platforms, and promoting sustainable and responsible tourism practices.

Why is entrepreneurship important in hospitality and tourism?

Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in hospitality and tourism by driving competitiveness, spurring the development of new hospitality ventures, enhancing guest experiences through innovative services, and contributing to the overall growth and success of the industry.

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5 Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

Olivia Chen

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or a new entrepreneur, a business plan is crucial to the success and growth of your business, but it can feel like an overwhelming task.

A business plan should act as a “compass,” according to Danielle Langton, a business strategist and coach based in Austin, Texas. It can help you maintain focus as you navigate the market, silence internal and external distractions, and secure business financing .

A well-written business plan will also create confidence, clarity, direction and alignment for a business owner and their team. To help you navigate the process, two business advisors share their best tips for writing a business plan.

1. Think big picture

Rather than diving into a 60-page business plan template, start by conceptualizing your business, recommends Oren Shani, a certified business advisor at Accion Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit community development financial institution based in California.

For new businesses, that means thinking about what differentiating value you bring to the market and how to turn that value into revenue, says Shani. For operating businesses, Langton says, it means understanding what worked the previous year and what didn’t.

Once you have this “bird’s-eye view,” you can more easily narrow down your action steps, which will vary based on your business, says Shani. “A lot of businesses find that they don’t need that 60-pager,” he says, noting that some businesses really only need a one-page mini-plan, or “lean plan.”

2. Factor in your lifestyle

Langton’s main advice to her clients is to prioritize the balance between business and their personal lives. Understanding and outlining your priorities outside of the business gives you clarity on how you can spend time with your business, which can ultimately make you a more efficient and effective business owner. “As you are creating a living,” she asks her clients, “are you actually also enjoying the life that it is providing, or are you just so focused on the revenue?”

To create this clarity, she recommends starting with your “nonnegotiables,” or things that you aren’t willing to sacrifice in your daily life to run your business. From there, you can build what your ideal week looks like and work your business schedule around that.

3. Make the time

As for actually sitting down to write your business plan , consider both your schedule and how you work best. For those who prefer to focus on one task at a time, Langton suggests setting aside a week, even blocking the time on your calendar if you’re having trouble making it a priority. Consider a change of scenery to clear any mental blocks or provide extra inspiration.

However, if feeling overwhelmed has kept you from starting in the first place, Shani advises against compartmentalizing. Getting something on paper, even if it’s just a bulleted list to start, is more effective than waiting for a free day with no distractions, he says. Plus, working on your business plan while running your business can provide benefits too, as real-time analysis can enhance your strategy as you go.

Langton adds that perfectionism and business plans don’t go hand in hand, especially for new business owners.

4. Embrace the living business plan

Whether you’re a new business owner or 20-year veteran, a business plan is never truly done, according to both Shani and Langton. As your understanding of your business, the market, and your customer base changes and adapts, so should your business plan.

The lengthiest part of the business plan process is the learning, rather than actually getting it on paper, says Shani. Every time a sale is made or not made, for instance, a business owner should seek to understand why or why not. This will help them identify their customers’ purchasing behaviors and how their customers engage with the business’s brand and products.

For some business owners, a monthly or quarterly cadence to check in, reprioritize and shed the things that aren’t working may make the most sense. Others may find it more useful to revisit their plan when there are new insights or significant changes to the market, such as new regulations, nearby real estate developments or fresh competitors, says Shani.

5. Leverage your busy season

For business owners expecting an upcoming holiday rush , this can be good news for your business plan, in addition to your bottom line. Leaning in during your busy season can be one of the best ways to collect data about your business, and capitalizing on that information at the end of the year can set you up well for the next, says Langton.

Not everything has to be buttoned up by the first of the year, but making observations and mental notes now will set you up to make meaningful updates to your business plan in January, she says.

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7 Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel These founders turned wanderlust into wherewithal and became their own bosses.

By Hayden Field • Jul 18, 2018

Quit your job to travel the world -- it's a reality for some and a pipe dream for others. And still others flip the cliché on its head to turn travel -- or the business of travel -- into their jobs.

Click through to meet seven entrepreneurs who successfully started their own travel companies, from a college grad who built a business out of emailing flight deals to his friends to a healthcare industry veteran using data science to revolutionize travel planning. They share how they got started, how they made money and what they wish they'd known at the beginning.

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights

What his company does: Scott's Cheap Flights is an email newsletter with both free and paid subscription options. It alerts subscribers to cheap flight deals in real time and has saved people more than $1,000,000 on travel to date.

How he got his start: "Necessity is the mother of invention," Keyes says. As a recent college graduate working in journalism, he didn't have a lot of money, but he wanted to travel. To make it happen, Keyes started immersing himself in guides, video tutorials and message boards on everything from credit card points to cheap flight hacks. It paid off in 2013 when Keyes found the best deal of his life: a nonstop round-trip flight from New York City to Milan for just $130. He remembers his palms sweating and his hands shaking, but he booked the trip before the deal disappeared -- then jetted off to explore Milan, ski the Alps and visit Lake Como. Upon his return, Keyes was overwhelmed with colleagues asking him if they could let them in on the next deal he found, so he started an email list to keep his friends informed.

For the first 18 months, it wasn't a business at all, "just a hobby that I did for fun in my free time," Keyes says. By summer 2015, that email list had grown large enough that Keyes would need to start paying to send it out via MailChimp. The high level of interest prompted him to gauge how many people would be willing to shell out a couple of bucks for the service. His initial goal was simply to break even on the email-sending cost: Get 25 people to pay $2 a month.

How he turned a profit: The idea of convincing people to pay for something they're used to getting for free concerned Keyes, so he set an extremely low price point at first with $2 a month. The first week was touch-and-go, but after a few weeks, he had made $100. After a few months, he and his co-founder realized that on $2 a month, "credit card fees are eating you alive," Keyes says. At a standard 3 percent plus 30 cents per transaction, card companies were earning double-digit percentages on every transaction. They graduated to a longer-term subscription model to save on fees: $15 for three months, $25 for six months or $39 for one year.

His secret to success: "There's a little bit of an illusion or a story we like to tell ourselves -- that as soon as we get things up to a certain point, then we can stop working as hard," Keyes says. Although that might be true for passive income such as ongoing book sales, it's not true for business. "The more it grows, the bigger it gets, more people are relying on you," Keyes says. It's important to make sure you're passionate about what you're building.

What he wishes he'd known: Don't quit your day job too soon and too early. There's "real romanticism about the tireless entrepreneur who quits their job and liquidates their bank account" because they worked so hard at their dream, Keyes says -- but you don't hear as much about the startups that don't work out. He kept in mind the idea that most startups fail in order to stay humble and to remind himself to be smart financially. It wasn't until six months after Keyes made his first dollar that he stopped taking on freelance writing projects, and although he knew he'd never feel 100 percent ready, he advises gathering enough evidence that there's a market for your product or service before jumping in with both feet.

Top consumer tip: Keyes says one lesser-known tool is the fact that if you book a flight directly with an airline, you're entitled by law to a 24-hour no-fee cancellation period (unless the flight departs within a week). If you find a great deal, you can buy the flight, lock in the price for yourself and then decide whether to keep it. "In general, the better the price is, the shorter [the time] it's going to last," Keyes says.

Related: 10 Ways to Travel the World Without Breaking the Bank

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of The Points Guy

What his company does: The Points Guy is a travel website covering travel and rewards tips, reviews and more. The site publishes pieces ranging from how to maximize your credit card points to travel guides for different areas.

How he got his start: Kelly's father was a consultant, and work required he travel frequently while his son was growing up. They often bonded over using the miles he stacked up to book family vacations, which sparked Kelly's love of points and their ensuing travel possibilities. After graduating, he snagged a job at Morgan Stanley traveling half the year for recruiting -- meaning he raked in hotel and airline points, earning elite status. Soon after, the financial crisis hit, and although Kelly wasn't laid off, he saw the window for growth opportunities disappearing. But another business idea was brewing. Co-workers often came to his cubicle for help planning trips.

"I was known as "The Points Guy' at work," Kelly says. The first incarnation of his business plan was more "travel agency" -- people would pay Kelly $50 to help them make the most of their points -- but it wasn't scaleable. After friends' suggestions, he bought a blog domain with hopes of making some money on the side. In June 2010, a co-worker's developer husband showed Kelly the Wordpress ropes, set up his site and told him to blog consistently every day. "I didn't know what Wordpress or SEO was," Kelly says. "[This] was never in the realm of possibility when I started out."

How he turned a profit: Kelly balked at putting ads on his site at first because he didn't want to sacrifice quality on his passion project. He finally caved after a friend's urging, then began making $100 or $200 a month. But the real turning point came after the site hit 20,000 readers in February 2011. Chase Bank expressed interested in working with Kelly as an affiliate, offering him the chance to make $150 for every Chase credit card a reader signed up for via one of Kelly's links. He made $5,000 the first month.

Momentum spiked in April 2011, when a feature piece on The Points Guy in The New York Times coincided with one of Kelly's credit card blog posts going viral -- leading to $100,000 in profits that month and him quitting his day job. Kelly later sold the site to Bankrate, which was then purchased by Red Ventures, a company that combines data science with brand marketing. Kelly maintains creative control of the site, and since the sale, The Points Guy has redesigned its app and made changes to how it serves up content.

His secret to success: Kelly says that harnessing the power of social media was what set him apart from the other older blogs focusing on the same topic. It's important to be flexible, and you'll need to evolve with the times and seek out potential in platforms that might not have yet caught on. "You never want to be completely reliant on one platform," Kelly says, who recently put The Points Guy on Flipboard, a news and social network aggregator.

What he wishes he'd known: Kelly was hesitant to hire at first, so he brought people on to perform multiple roles each. But people don't often perform as well at multiple jobs as they do at just one -- even worse, it can lead to burnout or set employees up for failure. Good people management -- and hiring the right people -- is vital to success, Kelly says. "I was in recruiting and came from HR before this, but some of the biggest mistakes I take responsibility for are hiring the wrong people in the wrong roles."

Top consumer tip: Consumers looking to make the most of their points should know that "they're not frequent flier programs anymore -- they're frequent spender programs," Kelly says. In order to be smart with points, you've got to be smart with your finances -- so it's important to work on your credit score and pay off any credit card debt before embarking on a goal such as racking up travel rewards. If you're not paying off cards in full every month, the interest you'll accrue will essentially devalue any rewards you earn. "Understand where you spend your money, and then align your spend with the right credit card or credit cards," Kelly says.

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Grace Lee, founder and CEO of WishPoints

What her company does: WishPoints is an app that allows users to record their travel wishes, share where they'd like to go with friends and match up with travelers with similar interests. Airline and hotel companies bid to win users' business by offering discounts for significant numbers of travelers.

How she got her start: Lee's two-decade career in the healthcare industry involved her working with predictive analytics -- and traveling to 85 countries around the world. She'd tack on extra days and trips to every business trip to make the most of her free flights. But the biggest headache for Lee was coordinating plans with friends: figuring out where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. She realized she'd identified a larger issue in the industry that her data aggregation background could help solve.

While still working at her day job, Lee attended a startup weekend competition in 2012 and pitched her idea, which ended up snagging the highest rating of the event. She worked on the side hustle off and on for a few years, then decided to pursue WishPoints full-time in 2016. Since then, the app has garnered more than 3 million users.

How she turned a profit: Lee is still working on maximizing profits, but her business model is clear: Use user data to gather travel discounts. If 500 users want to visit Iceland, for example, she'll have airlines, hotels and travel companies bid to win their collective business -- and those bids also mean consumer savings. For example, if one airline bids a 30 percent off deal for users and the other bids 40 percent, the latter will win that entire block of business, and each user will be entitled to those savings.

Her secret to success: There will always be new obstacles that pop up to slow your progress, Lee says, whether from work, social life or finances. Chipping away at a goal a little at a time can be the most effective way to see real growth. "You don't need to do everything in one day," she says. "You can do a little bit each day, and the momentum eventually will catch up like a snowball."

What she wishes she'd known: Launching a business is a mental challenge similar to running a marathon. "Every day, you question yourself and ask whether this was the right decision -- to leave a 20-year career to pursue something that's uncertain," Lee says. You can turn that uncertainty into mental strength by training yourself to look ahead -- into the future of what you're building -- and pull yourself back up after any setback.

Top consumer tip: For consumers looking for hot travel destinations this year, Lee recommends Colombia and Jordan. In the latter, travelers can visit the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, Roman ruins and more. "You feel like you're on Mars [or] in Indiana Jones," she says.

Related: Why Travel Should Be a Top Priority for Every Entrepreneur

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato

What his company does: Black Tomato is a travel company planning and tailoring trips for its clients with an emphasis on unique experiences.

How he got his start: Marchant met his two business partners while at Newcastle University in northeast England. They shared the dream of building a business, so they decided that one day, they'd do it together. Travel was the primary passion they had in common. Marchant and one of his future partners traveled through South America post-graduation and visited an area of Brazil with extensive swampland and jungle. A day they spent catching fish and grilling it by a lake helped them hone their business purpose -- they wanted to send customers to unique destinations and offer authentic local experiences they couldn't find in guidebooks or formulaic itineraries.

"We want people to feel like travelers, not tourists," Marchant says. Coincidentally, Marchant and his friend ended up meeting another of their future partners on their South America trip. "We said, "We never want to stop doing this. How can we turn it into a company?'' Marchant says.

How he turned a profit: The friends started Black Tomato in Marchant's bedroom. They knew they needed both a great website with a consistent message and contacts around the world, so they set to work building up both -- but they did catch a couple of lucky breaks upfront. When Marchant needed help writing copy for the site, he sent a "cold email" to someone at Condé Nast, and he received a reply requesting more information on Black Tomato.

Marchant met someone from the company for coffee two weeks later, and two months after that, Condé Nast Traveler published a full-page feature on Black Tomato calling the company the "future of travel." Marchant says that put Black Tomato on the map in the United Kingdom and the international market. Another early perk? The fact that the company required cash deposits upfront helped with liquidity early on. Word of mouth was its biggest asset when it came to growth, amplified by a few more press features.

His secret to success: Marchant and his two co-founders didn't come from a travel background, which he views as both a challenge and a blessing. It fostered creativity in the services they created, and they began to offer pre- and post-trip services as well as travel packages. They focused on what they thought was missing in the travel space and, coming at it from an outside view, what they'd want as customers. That idea fueled their business plan.

What he wishes he'd known: "We were ambitious and passionate, but certainly in the early days, it's easy to take a few knocks," Marchant says. He wishes he could tell his younger self not to stress as much and trust in his goal. Tenacity pays off, and persistence gets you results.

Top consumer tip: Consider traveling during "shoulder seasons" -- or times of year just before or after peak season in any destination. Traveling during a shoulder season often means fewer crowds and better deals without sacrificing good weather. Marchant also suggests making it a point to talk to as many people as you can while traveling, instead of meticulously planning an itinerary from online research. Some of the best experiences and insights come from talking to locals, pinning down the passions you have in common and seeing parts of the world you never would have seen otherwise.

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Darrell Wade, co-founder of Intrepid Travel

What his company does: Intrepid Travel is a small group adventure travel company operating with itineraries in more than 120 countries. Its mission is to give travelers both a guided and genuine cultural experience by traveling, eating and sleeping the way locals do. How he got his start: Wade's first time on a plane landed him in Hawaii when he was 6-years-old, and he still remembers it vividly. Fast-forward to post-graduation, and within five or six weeks of starting a job, Wade realized he was a "terrible employee" in that he couldn't find any sort of passion for someone else's business. Both his parents were entrepreneurs, so the gene was "embedded pretty deep in [him]," he says. One night in 1998 -- while tossing ideas back and forth with a friend over a bottle of wine -- Wade realized he wanted to enter into the business of travel.

In the 1980s, Wade had backpacked for months on end, and he valued the way backpackers were immersed in local culture -- taking trains, buses and even donkey carts as transportation, or staying in accommodations such as conventional hotels, overnight trains, hostels or national park lodges. He wanted to give people that same degree of cultural experience in a more organized way. The idea evolved into Intrepid.

How he turned a profit: "Although we'd both been to business school, I think we mustn't have been listening," Wade says. He says his and his co-founder's number one mistake was not securing enough cash to start the business, so they were constrained on capital for the first couple of years. "Under the hood in any given trip, there could be as many as 1,000 line items of costs," Wade says, citing everything from coffee to transportation to activities to fees and permits.

Luckily, the very nature of Intrepid's business plan -- cash deposits upfront for the promise of a unique travel experience later -- meant they had enough money in the bank to operate. Wade and his co-founder didn't make enough to pay themselves until year three, but since then, growth and lower operating costs in developing countries has brought them a relatively healthy profit margin.

His secret to success: Wade attributes his success to one key element: the realization that he and his co-founder "weren't really that great at anything." Early on, they knew they needed to hire the right employees -- people who were extremely talented and skilled -- as fast as they possibly could. "I don't have to work as hard, and we're getting much better output because they're much more talented than I am," Wade says.

What he wishes he'd known: Trial and error is a valuable process, and it's why Wade says he wouldn't give his younger self any additional insights. Failure is widely seen as one of the best teachers, especially when it comes to business. "I think it's far better just to battle through," he says. "You usually learn a hell of a lot more through failure than you do through success."

Top consumer tip: Travelers shouldn't be so timid when weighing potential risks or questions about future travel, Wade says -- he recommends taking the leap and never looking back. "Get out of that resort," he says. "Go out and see the real world, and learn a bit and have a bit of fun along the way."

Related: How He Went from Intern to Innovator in the Travel Industry

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Paul Metselaar, chairman and CEO of Ovation Travel Group

What his company does: Ovation Travel Group is a high-end travel company that specializes in both corporate travel and leisure vacations , completing upwards of $1 billion in travel bookings per year. "I like to call what we do "prima donna travel,'" says Metselaar, likening it to the "care and feeding of" lawyers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers, entertainment executives and celebrities. (For example: The company recently arranged a wedding in Morocco, flying in both Dave Matthews Band and Coldplay. "I think the family spent $2 million just on bands," Metselaar says.)

How he got his start: For close to seven decades, Metselaar's family has been in the travel business -- his father, a teacher in the Bronx, had a business taking teens on guided tours across the world. When Metselaar tagged along on one of the Europe tours as a kid, he was bored -- he read The Lord of the Rings cover to cover and wished he was home playing basketball or football with friends. But the experience planted seeds, and later on, Metselaar grew to love travel, seeing it as a "mind expander" and a way to understand other cultures. So later on, when his father needed help running a struggling travel agency he'd bought, a 27-year-old Metselaar left his law practice and took over the agency, turning into a company called "Lawyers Travel" that helped arrange first-class trips for litigators. Later, he expanded the company's focus to include all types of corporate travel and leisure vacations.

How he turned a profit: Metselaar points to capitalizing on niche markets, hiring a quality and diverse team and sticking to his morals as vital to Ovation Travel Group's growth. "A lot of people will try to get you to do things you shouldn't, so always have the right ethics and morals -- and run your business like you do your personal life," he says. He also emphasizes the importance of delegating and giving those you hire the freedom to do their jobs.

His secret to success: Every day, Metselaar says, his father told him to keep his door open because "you never know who might walk through." Through tragedies that turned the travel industry upside down -- the Gulf Wars, 9/11, SARS and more -- Metselaar says persistence was the driving force behind his team emerging, post-crisis, as a stronger company. "I think that persistence is a very underrated quality," he says. "Some entrepreneurs give up too soon. … [I] had to juggle credit cards to make payroll in the early years."

What he wishes he'd known: "That it was all going to work out OK," Metselaar says. He spent a considerable amount of time facing fear he'd fail, disappoint his family and be forced to go back to practicing law. On the other hand, he says, fear is a great motivator, so he wonders if he'd have been as motivated without that trepidation driving him.

Top consumer tip: Don't plan everything, and don't always travel with your friends -- instead, "organize your trip to encourage serendipity," Metselaar says. Engineer your plans to allow for time to explore, walk around aimlessly, talk to people and see where those conversations lead. He says he wishes more Americans traveled because experiencing other cultures leads to realizing that across the world, humans are much more alike than they are different. "Everybody has the same hopes and dreams all over the world," he says.

tourism entrepreneurship business plan

Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight

What his company does: HotelTonight aims to change the hotel-booking game for the mobile era, emphasizing last-minute discounts for hotel stays. (Despite the name, the service has recently expanded to allow users to book up to 100 days in advance.) Savings average about 20 percent compared to booking through an online travel agency, Shank says.

How he got his start: Shank says the "travel bug" bit him just before business school, when he tagged along on a pre-orientation trip to Costa Rica. It was the first time he'd ever gone on a trip incorporating both adventure and culture immersion, and Shank was immediately hooked. "I said, "This is amazing. I want to do more and more of this. How can I do more of this?'" he says. After graduating business school, he got started with just that -- launching another travel company more geared towards social networking before eventually landing on the idea for HotelTonight.

How he turned a profit: "When we decided to focus on profitability, the most important thing was aligning the team [that] no other priority mattered," Shank says. "It was one of the highlights of my career … seeing how well the team came together around this singular goal." HotelTonight employees began brainstorming strategies for launching the company into the green, and higher-ups were transparent with the numbers. One of the first orders of business: Doing away with discounts and coupons. Shank figured the value proposition was already unique and would stand on its own. The ensuing revenue seemed to prove him right. Next up was doubling down on innovation for hotels using the platform -- and introducing "Geo Rates," where hotels could award discounts to users in certain parts of the world to encourage a more varied customer base.

His secret to success: Shank emphasizes the importance of focusing on the customer. For his part, HotelTonight has two sets of customers -- consumers and hotels -- so that makes it "doubly hard but also doubly important," he says. He also recommends narrowing your focus to one or two niche areas rather than trying to tackle five or six aspects of your industry or metrics at the same time.

What he wishes he'd known: Growth and profitability are not mutually exclusive, Shank says. When he launched HotelTonight, he wishes he'd known that growing the "topline" is key, but watching the bottom line simultaneously is just as vital.

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Why Is Entrepreneurship Important For Tourism Industry?

Why Is Entrepreneurship Important For Tourism Industry?

I was curious if entrepreneurship is vital for tourism, so I researched the topic and thought of writing an article about it. Tourism is one of the industries from which a country and its individuals can profit a lot in seasons. 

Why Is Entrepreneurship Important For Tourism Industry? Entrepreneurs create innovative businesses in the tourism niche, which ultimately creates jobs. Therefore, the country’s unemployment rate goes down, and the country’s GDP starts to increase. Government, in turn, begin to spend more on the tourism industry to attract even more tourists to the country. It is benefiting both the business owners and the government.

If you want to learn more about the role of entrepreneurship in the tourism industry, keep reading.

The Role of Tourism Entrepreneurship Businesses In the Economic Development

Tourism entrepreneurship refers to tourism-related business ventures within the country.  These businesses involve transport, accommodation, catering, natural resources, entertainment, other facilities, and services, such as banks and other tour operators.

There is quite a difference between tourism entrepreneurship and other types of entrepreneurship. Tourism entrepreneurs are attracted more towards the tourism sector to attain a higher standard of life because of many more opportunities and more profits. Tourism businesses are mainly small to medium-sized enterprises and are initiated by entrepreneurs who supply leisure and recreational opportunities.

Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in tourism development, especially in rural communities. Entrepreneurs start new businesses in the area, such as a hotel that employs local people, benefiting both the local people and the tourists.

Entrepreneurship is important for the creation of a new organization or new business. 

Tourism Entrepreneurship makes employment that helps generate income for the entrepreneur and develop their standard of living. Travel and tourism businesses create 370 million employment opportunities in total , according to World Travel and Tourism Council (2016).

Tourism-related goods/services create jobs for the local people, especially for the women who reduce the unemployment rate and stimulate the local economy. 

Local people also act as entrepreneurs as they provide goods/services to the locals and foreign tourists. These people are known for their goods which attract more people to the area, making it a tourist spot. 

Issues Faced by Entrepreneurs in Tourism Industry

Many countries rely on the tourism industry to generate foreign exchange earnings. However, in some third-world countries, the tourism industry faces socio-economic problems and structural deficiencies, which reduce the industry’s efficacy as a tool for local, regional, and national sustainable development.

Main Challenges Faced by Small Businesses

Micro and small businesses face the top five challenges: competition, insecurity, debt collection, lack of working capital, and power interruptions. However, not all small businesses meet these challenges. Competition is ranked as the most pressing challenge, followed by insecurity. 

Managing Business Challenges 

Competition: Competition can be won by providing good customer service followed by discount offers. Price can be used as a competitive edge by selling more cheaply than your competitors. Using price to compete may lower profits even if the volume is higher.

Poor Security: Security threats pose a significant challenge to businesses, and many small business owners and managers employ various means to help prevent thefts. Some entrepreneurs make use of security guards to safeguard their businesses. Doing businesses cost more for entrepreneurs as they respond to security challenges.

Different Characteristics of a Tourism Entrepreneur

  • Passion, Drive, and Determination: Succeeding as a tourism entrepreneur requires hard work. If your work ethic is fueled only by motivation, then soon will it run out of fuel. Passion, drive, and determination are what make an entrepreneur stand out. Focus is what helps entrepreneurs channel their energy into a business that gets them through rough times.
  • Clear Vision and Strategy: Passion alone won’t make a business successful. Clear vision, together with a great strategy, is the second most important thing entrepreneurs need. Entrepreneurs face problems during their careers, and to deal with those problems, they need a clear vision.
  • Strong Networking: The third essential characteristic of successful tourism entrepreneurs is their ability to network and connect with their local community. Networking is about helping one another towards a goal. Regularly finding opportunities to help your contacts strengthens the relationship. Strengthening of relationship sows the seeds for mutual assistance when you need help to achieve your goals.
  • Business Plan: To succeed as a tourism entrepreneur, you need to plan your business. Your plan for your business should cover at least the next five years. It needs to be precise and detailed as it will avoid many hurdles on the way. Many entrepreneurs fail due to vague business plans. They don’t take the business plan seriously at the beginning and later on complain their business failed.
  • In-depth Knowledge About Your Market: Knowing your market inside out is another most vital success factor in tourism entrepreneurship. Understanding the market and identifying trends can open vast business opportunities.
  • Value-Driven Leadership: Leadership characteristics are as important as any other characteristic. Successful entrepreneurs are great leaders. As a leader, you have to ensure your staff is motivated to do their best at work. Successful entrepreneurs are not born with leadership qualities; instead, they learn them. “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” said Warren Bennis.
  • Courage: Ability to take risks: Another trait of successful tourism entrepreneurs is taking calculated risks, mainly at the beginning of their careers. There is a difference between calculated risks and stupidity. A calculated risk is when the entrepreneur knows they can lose a specific amount when things don’t work out. In comparison, stupidity, on the other hand, is when the entrepreneur bets all his money against the market. A knowledgeable entrepreneur will always analyze the market before investing in it.

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An Overview of the Tourism Entrepreneurship

Posted by Md. Harun Ar Rashid | Apr 28, 2023 | Travel and Tourism

An Overview of the Tourism Entrepreneurship:

Tourism entrepreneurship refers to the process of identifying, creating, and developing a new business venture in the tourism industry. It involves recognizing opportunities to provide tourism-related products or services that meet the needs and preferences of travelers and then designing and implementing a strategy to turn those ideas into a profitable and sustainable business. Tourism entrepreneurship can take many forms, from starting a small tour company to launching an online travel booking platform to developing a new tourist attraction or experience. Successful tourism entrepreneurs are often innovative, creative, and customer-focused, and they are able to identify and respond to emerging trends and changing consumer preferences in the tourism industry. In the rest of this article, we will present you with an overview of the tourism entrepreneurship; including its definition, classification, characteristics, functions, and its role in economic development and as a critical resource.

An Overview of the Tourism Entrepreneurship - An Overview of the Tourism Entrepreneurship

Definitions of Tourism Entrepreneurship:

Some of the necessary definitions are given below:

“Tourism entrepreneurship refers to the process of identifying, creating, and developing a new business venture in the tourism industry.” ( UNWTO, 2016, p. 13 )

“Tourism entrepreneurship is the act of creating and managing a business venture in the tourism industry. This includes identifying opportunities to offer tourism-related products or services, as well as developing and implementing strategies to bring those offerings to market.” ( Mura & De Carlo, 2017, p. 32 )

“Tourism entrepreneurship involves the creation and management of a business that provides innovative and unique tourism experiences to visitors. It requires identifying market opportunities, developing a competitive product, and providing high-quality service to satisfy customer needs.” ( Jamal & Getz, 1995, p. 27 )

“Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of identifying and exploiting business opportunities in the tourism industry. It involves creating and delivering value to customers, while also generating sustainable profits for the business.” ( Hall & Williams, 2008, p. 11 )

“Tourism entrepreneurship refers to the process of developing and managing a business venture in the tourism industry, with the aim of creating value for customers, employees, and shareholders. This involves identifying market needs, designing innovative products or services, and delivering them in a sustainable and responsible manner.” ( Chiu & Yang, 2019, p. 216 )

Classification of Tourism Entrepreneurship:

Tourism entrepreneurship is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, encompassing a wide range of business activities and strategies in the tourism industry. Scholars and practitioners have proposed various ways to classify tourism entrepreneurship, depending on the perspective, context, and purpose of the classification. Here, we will explore some of the most common classifications of tourism entrepreneurship and discuss their strengths and limitations.

  • Type of entrepreneurship: One way to classify tourism entrepreneurship is based on the type of entrepreneurship, such as:
  • Lifestyle entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship is characterized by the desire to create a business that supports a particular lifestyle, such as travel, leisure, or culture. Lifestyle entrepreneurs are often motivated by personal fulfillment, autonomy, and creativity, rather than profit maximization.
  • Necessity entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship arises from the need to generate income and employment opportunities in the context of limited or unstable job options. Necessity entrepreneurs often start small and informal businesses that require little capital or skills, such as street vending, handicrafts, or food services.
  • Opportunity entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship stems from the recognition of a market opportunity or a gap in the tourism industry that can be exploited by a new or existing business. Opportunity entrepreneurs often have a high degree of innovation, risk-taking, and growth orientation, and may seek external funding or support to scale up their businesses.

Strengths: This classification helps to understand the diverse motivations and contexts that drive tourism entrepreneurship, and can inform policies and programs that cater to different types of entrepreneurs.

Limitations: The boundaries between these types of entrepreneurship can be blurred, and entrepreneurs may shift from one type to another depending on the circumstances. Moreover, the focus on the individual motivations of entrepreneurs may neglect the broader social, economic, and institutional factors that influence their success.

  • Stage of development: Another way to classify tourism entrepreneurship is based on the stage of development of the business, such as:
  • Nascent entrepreneurship: This stage refers to the early phase of business creation, when the entrepreneur is still in the process of developing the idea, testing the feasibility, and seeking resources and support. Nascent entrepreneurs may face high uncertainty, information asymmetry, and resource constraints, and may rely on personal networks or informal sources of funding.
  • New venture entrepreneurship: This stage refers to the period of actual business operation, when the entrepreneur has launched the product or service, acquired customers, and started to generate revenue. New venture entrepreneurs may face challenges such as market competition, demand fluctuations, operational efficiency, and financial sustainability.
  • Established entrepreneurship: This stage refers to the period of maturity and growth of the business, when the entrepreneur has achieved a stable and profitable operation, expanded the customer base and product portfolio, and may consider diversification, franchising, or internationalization. Established entrepreneurs may face challenges such as innovation, quality control, brand management, and succession planning.

Strengths: This classification helps to understand the dynamic nature of tourism entrepreneurship, and the different challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs face at different stages of business development. It can also inform policies and programs that target specific stages of entrepreneurship, such as business incubation, mentoring, or access to finance.

Limitations: The boundaries between these stages can be arbitrary and context-dependent, and entrepreneurs may experience multiple stages simultaneously or in a nonlinear way. Moreover, the focus on the internal characteristics of the business may neglect the external factors that affect its success, such as the market environment, the regulatory framework, or the social and cultural context.

  • The focus of entrepreneurship: A third way to classify tourism entrepreneurship is based on the focus of entrepreneurship, such as:
  • Product entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship focuses on the creation and delivery of tourism products or services, such as tour packages, accommodations, attractions, or events. Product entrepreneurs may differentiate themselves from competitors by offering unique, high-quality, or customized products, or by targeting specific niche markets.
  • Process entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship focuses on the improvement and innovation of the business processes that support the creation and delivery of tourism products or services, such as marketing, distribution, operations, or customer service. Process entrepreneurs may seek to reduce costs, increase efficiency, or enhance customer satisfaction by adopting new technologies, management systems, or organizational structures.
  • Social entrepreneurship: This type of entrepreneurship focuses on the creation of social and environmental value in addition to economic value, by addressing social or environmental problems through tourism-related activities. Social entrepreneurs may pursue goals such as poverty reduction, community development, cultural preservation, or environmental conservation, and may collaborate with stakeholders such as local communities, NGOs, or governments.

Strengths: This classification helps to understand the different dimensions of entrepreneurship beyond the economic aspects, and the potential of tourism entrepreneurship to contribute to sustainable development and social welfare. It can also inform policies and programs that encourage or reward social and environmental entrepreneurship, such as certification schemes, impact investment, or social innovation hubs.

Limitations: The boundaries between these focuses can be blurred, and entrepreneurs may pursue multiple focuses simultaneously or in a sequential way. Moreover, the focus on the positive outcomes of social entrepreneurship may neglect the trade-offs and challenges that entrepreneurs face in balancing social, environmental, and economic objectives.

  • The scale of entrepreneurship: A fourth way to classify tourism entrepreneurship is based on the scale of entrepreneurship, such as:
  • Microentrepreneurship: This scale refers to businesses that employ fewer than 10 people and have a low turnover and limited market reach. Micro entrepreneurs may operate from home or small premises and may rely on family labor, informal networks, or self-financing.
  • Small entrepreneurship: This scale refers to businesses that employ between 10 and 49 people and have a higher turnover and broader market reach than micro-enterprises. Small entrepreneurs may operate in multiple locations, serve diverse customer segments, and may seek external financing or partnerships to expand their businesses.
  • Medium entrepreneurship: This scale refers to businesses that employ between 50 and 249 people and have a significant impact on the local or regional economy. Medium entrepreneurs may have a well-established brand, a diversified product portfolio, and a strategic vision for growth and innovation.
  • Large entrepreneurship: This scale refers to businesses that employ more than 250 people and have a global or national presence in the tourism industry. Large entrepreneurs may operate in multiple sectors and countries, have a strong corporate identity, and may face regulatory or political challenges related to their size and market power.

Strengths: This classification helps to understand the different contributions and challenges of tourism entrepreneurship at different scales, and can inform policies and programs that cater to the needs of different scales of entrepreneurship, such as tax incentives, business networks, or internationalization support.

Limitations: The boundaries between these scales can be arbitrary and context-dependent, and entrepreneurs may face different challenges and opportunities depending on the sector, region, or market. Moreover, the focus on the quantitative aspects of scale may neglect the qualitative aspects of entrepreneurship, such as innovation, quality, and social impact.

Characteristics and Qualities of Tourism Entrepreneurship:

Here are some key characteristics and qualities of tourism entrepreneurship:

  • Creativity and innovation: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be creative and innovative to develop unique, attractive, and differentiated tourism products and services. They need to identify gaps in the market, understand customer needs and preferences, and come up with new and exciting ways to meet those needs. Creativity and innovation can also help tourism entrepreneurs to stand out in a crowded market and differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Risk-taking and resilience: Starting and running a tourism business involves taking risks, such as investing time, money, and resources without a guaranteed return. Tourism entrepreneurs need to have the courage and confidence to take calculated risks, and to bounce back from setbacks and failures. Resilience is also important in the face of external factors such as economic downturns, natural disasters, or pandemics, which can disrupt tourism demand and operations.
  • Vision and strategic thinking: Tourism entrepreneurs need to have a clear and compelling vision of what they want to achieve with their business and a strategic plan for how to get there. They need to be able to identify and prioritize goals, set targets and milestones, and make strategic decisions based on market trends, customer feedback, and competitive analysis. Vision and strategic thinking can also help tourism entrepreneurs to align their businesses with larger societal or environmental goals, such as sustainable tourism development.
  • Opportunity recognition and exploitation: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be able to spot and seize opportunities in the market, such as emerging trends, unmet needs, or changing customer behaviors. They need to have a good understanding of the market dynamics, and the ability to adapt and pivot their business model to capitalize on these opportunities. Opportunity recognition and exploitation can also help tourism entrepreneurs to stay ahead of the competition and create new value for their customers.
  • Customer orientation and market responsiveness: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be customer-centric and responsive to market demands, preferences, and feedback. They need to understand their target customers’ needs, expectations, and behaviors, and to design and deliver tourism products and services that meet or exceed those needs. Customer orientation and market responsiveness can also help tourism entrepreneurs to build loyal and satisfied customer bases, and to foster positive word-of-mouth and reputation.
  • Resourcefulness and adaptability: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be resourceful and adaptable, especially in the face of limited resources or unexpected challenges. They need to be able to find creative and cost-effective solutions to problems and to be flexible and agile in their operations and management. Resourcefulness and adaptability can also help tourism entrepreneurs to optimize their resource utilization, minimize waste, and improve efficiency.
  • Networking and collaboration: Tourism entrepreneurs need to build and leverage networks and partnerships to access resources, knowledge, and opportunities. They need to be able to establish and maintain relationships with stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, investors, or regulators, and to collaborate with them on joint ventures, projects, or initiatives. Networking and collaboration can also help tourism entrepreneurs to learn from others, exchange best practices, and enhance their social and cultural capital.
  • Passion and commitment: Tourism entrepreneurs need to have a strong sense of passion and commitment to their business and its goals. They need to be motivated by a sense of purpose, a desire to create something new and valuable, and a willingness to work hard and persist in the face of challenges. Passion and commitment can also help tourism entrepreneurs to inspire and motivate their team members, and to create a positive and supportive organizational culture.
  • Financial and business acumen: Tourism entrepreneurs need to have a good understanding of finance and business management, such as accounting, budgeting, marketing, or human resources. They need to be able to manage their finances, allocate their resources effectively, and make sound financial and strategic decisions. Financial and business acumen can also help tourism entrepreneurs to attract investment and financing, negotiate favorable contracts, and achieve profitability and sustainability.
  • Leadership and team-building: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be effective leaders who can inspire, motivate, and guide their team members toward shared goals. They need to be able to delegate tasks, provide feedback and coaching, and foster a positive and productive work environment. Leadership and team-building can also help tourism entrepreneurs to build a strong and cohesive team, and to develop the skills and talents of their employees.
  • Social and environmental responsibility: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be aware of and responsive to the social and environmental impacts of their business, and to take proactive measures to mitigate or address these impacts. They need to be committed to ethical and sustainable tourism practices, such as minimizing waste and pollution, supporting local communities and cultures, or conserving natural resources and biodiversity. Social and environmental responsibility can also help tourism entrepreneurs to enhance their reputation and brand value, and to attract customers who value responsible and sustainable tourism.
  • Continuous learning and improvement: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be lifelong learners who are open to new ideas, knowledge, and experiences. They need to be able to reflect on their performance, seek feedback and advice, and engage in continuous learning and improvement. Continuous learning and improvement can also help tourism entrepreneurs to stay up-to-date with market trends and best practices, innovate and adapt their business model, and enhance their competitiveness and resilience.

Functions of Tourism Entrepreneurship:

Tourism entrepreneurship plays a critical role in driving innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the tourism industry. As a dynamic and multifaceted field, tourism entrepreneurship involves a range of functions that contribute to the creation, development, and management of tourism businesses and products. Here, we will discuss the key functions of tourism entrepreneurship and their importance for the tourism industry.

  • Opportunity recognition and idea generation: One of the primary functions of tourism entrepreneurship is to identify and evaluate business opportunities in the tourism market. This involves conducting market research, analyzing trends and consumer behavior, and generating ideas for new products or services that meet customer needs and preferences. By recognizing and exploiting untapped or underserved market niches, tourism entrepreneurs can create value for customers and generate competitive advantages for their businesses.
  • Business planning and development: Once a business opportunity has been identified, tourism entrepreneurs need to develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines the key aspects of their business, such as the market, the target audience, the products or services, the pricing and distribution strategies, the marketing and promotion activities, and the financial projections. Business planning and development are crucial functions of tourism entrepreneurship, as they help entrepreneurs to clarify their vision and goals, identify potential challenges and risks, and secure financing and resources for their business.
  • Product and service design and innovation: Tourism entrepreneurs need to be creative and innovative in designing and developing tourism products and services that offer unique and compelling experiences to customers. This may involve creating new products or services from scratch, or adapting and improving existing ones to meet changing market needs and trends. Product and service design and innovation are important functions of tourism entrepreneurship, as they can help entrepreneurs to differentiate their business from competitors, enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, and foster repeat business and referrals.
  • Marketing and promotion: Effective marketing and promotion are essential functions of tourism entrepreneurship, as they help entrepreneurs to reach and attract potential customers, build brand awareness and reputation, and generate sales and revenue. This may involve developing a marketing plan that includes a mix of advertising, public relations, direct marketing, and digital marketing activities, such as social media, search engine optimization, and content marketing. Marketing and promotion strategies should be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the target audience and aligned with the overall business strategy and goals.
  • Sales and distribution: Once a tourism product or service has been developed and marketed, tourism entrepreneurs need to ensure that it is distributed and sold effectively to customers. This may involve partnering with travel agencies, tour operators, online travel agencies, or other intermediaries to reach a wider audience and generate more bookings. Sales and distribution functions of tourism entrepreneurship also involve managing inventory, pricing, and revenue management strategies to optimize profitability and customer satisfaction.
  • Financial management and control: Tourism entrepreneurs need to have a sound understanding of financial management and control, as this is essential for ensuring the sustainability and profitability of their business. This may involve developing financial projections, managing budgets, tracking and analyzing financial performance, and making strategic financial decisions that align with the overall business strategy and goals. Financial management and control functions of tourism entrepreneurship also involve managing cash flow, managing debt and financing, and minimizing financial risks and exposure.
  • Human resource management and development: Tourism entrepreneurs need to manage and develop their human resources effectively, as their employees are critical to the success and sustainability of their business. This may involve recruiting, hiring, and training employees, providing ongoing coaching and feedback, fostering a positive and productive work environment, and developing employee retention and motivation strategies. Human resource management and development functions of tourism entrepreneurship also involve managing employee performance, ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
  • Quality management and customer service: Quality management and customer service are essential functions of tourism entrepreneurship, as they are key drivers of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business. Tourism entrepreneurs need to ensure that their products and services meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of quality, safety, reliability, and consistency. This may involve developing quality management systems, conducting regular audits and assessments, and implementing continuous improvement processes. Tourism entrepreneurs also need to provide excellent customer service and support, by responding to customer inquiries and complaints promptly and effectively, and by building long-term relationships with customers based on trust, respect, and empathy.
  • Environmental and social responsibility: Tourism entrepreneurship has a significant impact on the natural and social environments in which it operates. As such, tourism entrepreneurs need to be aware of their environmental and social responsibilities and adopt sustainable and responsible practices that minimize negative impacts and maximize positive contributions. This may involve reducing energy and water consumption, reducing waste and pollution, supporting local communities and cultures, and promoting the conservation and preservation of natural resources and heritage sites. Environmental and social responsibility functions of tourism entrepreneurship also involve complying with relevant laws and regulations, engaging in stakeholder consultation and dialogue, and reporting on sustainability performance and achievements.

Role of Tourism Entrepreneurship in Economic Development:

Tourism entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in the economic development of countries by creating job opportunities, generating income, promoting foreign exchange earnings, and contributing to the overall growth of the tourism industry.

  • Job Creation: Tourism entrepreneurship creates employment opportunities in various sectors of the economy, such as accommodation, transportation, food and beverage, entertainment, and other related services. The tourism industry is one of the largest employers in the world, accounting for around 10% of total employment globally. In developing countries, tourism entrepreneurship can play a vital role in creating jobs for local communities, especially in rural areas where employment opportunities are limited.
  • Income Generation: Tourism entrepreneurship generates income for entrepreneurs, employees, and the government. Tourism entrepreneurs create businesses that generate revenue through the sale of goods and services to tourists. Employees working in the tourism industry earn salaries and wages, which contribute to their livelihoods and the local economy. The government also generates income through taxes, fees, and other charges levied on tourism businesses.
  • Foreign Exchange Earnings: Tourism entrepreneurship promotes foreign exchange earnings by attracting foreign tourists to a destination. Foreign tourists bring in foreign currency, which contributes to the balance of payments of a country. Tourism is a significant source of foreign exchange earnings in many developing countries, where other export industries are not well developed.
  • Infrastructure Development: Tourism entrepreneurship contributes to the development of infrastructure in a destination. Tourism entrepreneurs invest in the development of accommodation, transportation, entertainment, and other related services, which leads to the creation of new infrastructure. This new infrastructure attracts more tourists, leading to increased economic activity in the destination.
  • Economic Diversification: Tourism entrepreneurship promotes economic diversification by creating opportunities for new businesses to emerge. Tourism entrepreneurs often create new products and services that cater to the needs and preferences of tourists, leading to the emergence of new businesses. These new businesses contribute to the overall economic development of a destination, leading to increased employment opportunities and income generation.
  • Regional Development: Tourism entrepreneurship contributes to the development of regional economies by creating economic linkages between urban and rural areas. In many cases, tourism businesses are located in rural areas, where the natural and cultural attractions are located. These businesses create jobs and income opportunities for local communities, leading to the development of the regional economy.
  • Promotion of Local Culture and Heritage: Tourism entrepreneurship promotes local culture and heritage by developing products and services that showcase the unique features of a destination. Tourism entrepreneurs create cultural tours, heritage walks, and other related products that highlight the local culture and heritage of a destination. This promotes cultural exchange and understanding between tourists and local communities, leading to the preservation and promotion of local culture and heritage.

Tourism Entrepreneurship as Critical Resources:

Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource that plays a significant role in the success and sustainability of the tourism industry. It refers to the creation and management of businesses that provide products and services to tourists. Tourism entrepreneurs are critical resources because they bring innovation, creativity, and new ideas to the tourism industry. Here, we will discuss how tourism entrepreneurship can be viewed as a critical resource.

  • Innovation: Tourism entrepreneurs are critical resources because they bring innovation and creativity to the tourism industry. They develop new products and services that cater to the changing needs and preferences of tourists. For example, some entrepreneurs develop eco-friendly and sustainable tourism products that appeal to environmentally conscious travelers. These products and services add value to the tourism industry, leading to increased competitiveness and sustainability.
  • Job Creation: Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource because it creates employment opportunities in various sectors of the economy. Tourism businesses such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and transport services employ millions of people globally. Tourism entrepreneurship can play a vital role in creating jobs for local communities, especially in rural areas where employment opportunities are limited.
  • Economic Growth: Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource because it contributes to the economic growth of countries. The tourism industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries globally, accounting for around 10% of the world’s GDP. Tourism entrepreneurship can lead to the creation of new businesses, increased foreign exchange earnings, and the development of infrastructure, all of which contribute to the economic growth of countries.
  • Development of Local Communities: Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource because it contributes to the development of local communities. Tourism businesses often source their products and services from local communities, leading to the creation of income and employment opportunities for local residents. Additionally, tourism entrepreneurs often engage in corporate social responsibility initiatives that benefit local communities, such as the construction of schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource because it facilitates the transfer of knowledge and expertise. Tourism entrepreneurs often have extensive knowledge and expertise in various aspects of the tourism industry, such as marketing, management, and product development. They can share this knowledge with local communities and other entrepreneurs, leading to the creation of new businesses and the development of the tourism industry.
  • Sustainable Tourism: Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource because it promotes sustainable tourism practices. Tourism entrepreneurs often adopt sustainable practices such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and conserving natural resources. These practices not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry.
  • Cultural Preservation: Tourism entrepreneurship is a critical resource because it promotes the preservation of local culture and heritage. Tourism entrepreneurs often develop products and services that showcase the unique features of a destination, such as cultural tours, heritage walks, and other related products. These products promote cultural exchange and understanding between tourists and local communities, leading to the preservation and promotion of local culture and heritage.

It is apparent that tourism entrepreneurship is an essential aspect of the tourism industry, as it brings innovation, creativity, and new ideas to the industry. It also contributes to the economic growth of countries, job creation, and the development of local communities. Tourism entrepreneurship promotes sustainable tourism practices, and cultural preservation, and facilitates knowledge transfer. However, tourism entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in the success and sustainability of the tourism industry. By recognizing its importance, policymakers and industry stakeholders can create an enabling environment that supports the development of tourism entrepreneurship, leading to the long-term success and sustainability of the tourism industry.


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Md. Harun Ar Rashid

Md. Harun Ar Rashid

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Tourism Entrepreneurship: Importance and Types


Tourism Entrepreneurship: Importance and Types : Tourism Entrepreneurship can be defined as the business involving development and controlling a tourist company. No one can deny that tourism has grown significantly over the past few years. The curiosity among people to visit new places is increasing in most countries worldwide. Entrepreneurship has evolved greatly in the past few years, and the tourist industry isn’t an exception.

Also See: Corporate Entrepreneurship

Many important activities need to be performed to succeed as a tourism entrepreneur. People used to believe that it is pretty easy to generate huge profits as a travel entrepreneur, but the reality is beyond what anyone thinks. This post will talk about tourism entrepreneurship with a proper explanation.

What is the importance of entrepreneurship in tourism?

We can’t deny that tourism is a highly complex industry considered a distinct field. However, there are tremendous opportunities offered to entrepreneurs for developing businesses. They can create a great source of income by boosting their working capacity. We all know entrepreneurs think differently when compared with normal people.

The same goes for the tourism industry, where entrepreneurship can play a significant role, considering the present competition. Even the government of many nations has offered multiple benefits to the new entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in the tourism industry. So, we want to suggest here that entrepreneurship is critical for developing the tourist.

Also See: Barriers to Entrepreneurship

There are tremendous new ideas presented by entrepreneurs that can be extremely useful in the long run. For e.g., companies started a commercial expedition to Mount Everest that significantly boosted Nepal’s economy. You can find many other examples where entrepreneurs completely revolutionized the tourist industry.

What are the major types of tourism entrepreneurship?

Tourism entrepreneurship is mainly classified into four different categories. Although there are many other options, we will mention the major ones here.

  • Tour Operators

A tour operator combines various travel components like hotels, transportation, and other similar things to provide a single package to the customers.

  • Travel Agents

A travel agent can be defined as an individual who makes travel arrangements for clients, including groups, corporations, and individuals. They work individually rather than a company that is commonly the case with tour operators.

Also See: Rural Entrepreneurship

  • Transport Operators

These are the ones who offer formal transport solutions to the tourists. It can be giving rental homes or arranging tickets for their travel.

Another prominent type of tourism entrepreneurship is guiding the other individuals for travelling and other similar prospects. It is a popular work performed by ticketing agents, holiday sellers, etc.

Are there enough opportunities in the tourism sector?

If you talk about the present era, there are tremendous opportunities offered by the tourism industry for young entrepreneurs. You can easily find potential in various markets for business events, meetings, and traveling. There are many amazing things entrepreneurs can do to create a strong business. Tourism is an important activity that boosts a country’s economy, considering the plethora of opportunities provided by it. However, the resources need to be acquired and managed in a proper manner.

Also See: Difference Between Intrapreneur and Entrepreneur

So it was all about tourism entrepreneurship, its importance and examples.

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This is when you will definitely find WowEssays' free samples catalog extremely helpful as it contains numerous expertly written works on most various Tourism Business Plans topics. Ideally, you should be able to find a piece that meets your requirements and use it as a template to compose your own Business Plan. Alternatively, our skilled essay writers can deliver you an original Tourism Business Plan model written from scratch according to your custom instructions.

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The XYZ is a company that thrives in the tourism and hospitality industry. The company has a total of five 4- 5 star hotels as well as 250 3-star motel Franchisees in the USA. This proposal intends to examine how the company will budget for USD$125 million for investments and expansion over the next five years. In addition, various prospective areas of investments, which include the Times Shares Companies, will be considered.

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United Dining is a company within the restaurant industry. They have a belief that they belong, specifically, to the unique dining experience industry. It is worth to mention that there is not an official industry that is a representation of this.

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Bank Western Australia Re: opening of new bank branch in the area of Dianellaa, Western Australia

Please find attached a detailed report regarding the possibility of the opening of a new branch in Diarra which has seen substantial population and commercial growth over the last few years. The report includes details on the opportunities which may unfold for the bank as well as some statistics and predictions for population and income growth in the area for the foreseeable future. I hope you will consider this report and await your decision

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  1. 5 Fundamentals To Entrepreneurship

    tourism entrepreneurship business plan

  2. Chapter 5 THE Business PLAN

    tourism entrepreneurship business plan

  3. PPT

    tourism entrepreneurship business plan

  4. Entrepreneurship in tourism

    tourism entrepreneurship business plan

  5. Tourism Company Google Slides and PowerPoint template

    tourism entrepreneurship business plan


    tourism entrepreneurship business plan




  3. Sustainable Entrepreneurship

  4. MBA Future Business

  5. MBA Industry Focused



  1. Free Business Plan

    Make Your Free Business Plan. Get Started On Any Device! Create Legal Documents Using Our Clear Step-By-Step Process.

  2. Free Easy Business Plan Online

    1) Make A Custom Business Plan Now 2) Download & Print - 100% Free Before 2/15!

  3. How to Create a Business Plan for Your Tour or Travel Company

    Whether you're a young entrepreneur building a tour startup in search of investors, or you're an established tour operator looking to better understand your business and take it to the next level, a tourism business plan can help guide you in the right direction. The Benefits of a Business Plan

  4. The Emerald Handbook of Entrepreneurship in Tourism, Travel and

    (26 chapters) (0) Chapters: download PDFs Citations: download RIS Prelims Pages i-xix Content available Part I Tourism: A Consumer-Driven Business Field Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs in Tourism Pages 3-17 View access options Framework for Tourism Industries: Tourism System and Tourism Value Chain Pages 19-31 View access options

  5. How to Set Up a Tour Operator Business Plan

    1. Business overview. This section of your tour operator/ tour agency business plan provides a holistic snapshot of your company, offering readers a clear understanding of your business's identity. Ideally, it should include the following: Business Name: Your business name should resonate with your target audience, conveying the essence of ...

  6. 20 Innovative Tourism Business Ideas 2023

    Innovative tourism business ideas: Gaia Wellness Retreat: Digital detox packages in a forest setting. Sheldon Chalet: A luxury chalet in Alaska. Talaysay Tours: A corporate tour to "connect to the forest with all your senses". 3. Off-grid and "survival" travel.

  7. Travel Tour Agency Sample Business Plan

    Travel Tour Agency Business Plan 1. Executive Summary The tourism industry has undergone rapid growth of unsurpassed nature over the last several decades.

  8. How to Succeed as Sustainability Entrepreneur in Tourism: 14

    Tourism entrepreneurs need the knowledge, capacity and tools to implement sustainability best practice. Successful entrepreneurs manage to obtain education and to acquire the necessary skills, despite the lack of resources most SME face.

  9. Setting Up A Tourism Business, Business Plan to Start a Travel Company

    Updated: 15th May 2023 If you're planning on setting up a tourism business, you'll definitely want to start with an airtight business plan. Here's everything you need to know about creating a business plan to start a travel company. What is a Business Plan?

  10. Entrepreneurship in Tourism Studies in the 21st Century: A Bibliometric

    Research on entrepreneurship in tourism has led to new topics, such as: sustainable, community, institutional, and social entrepreneurship; been the last one the most popular (Daniele & Quezada, 2017; Solvoll et al., 2015; Zebryte & Jorquera, 2017).It is an emerging issue that is conceptualized as innovative actions that achieve both economic benefit and social wealth.

  11. Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs in Tourism

    Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs in Tourism. Marios Sotiriadis. The Emerald Handbook of Entrepreneurship in Tourism, Travel and Hospitality. ISBN : 978-1-78743-530-8 , eISBN : 978-1-78743-529-2. Publication date: 11 July 2018. Permissions.

  12. Tourism Business Plan Templates

    Choose your Tourism business plan template from the list below: Hotel Business Plan Template. Bed and Breakfast Business Plan Template. Travel Agency Business Plan Template.

  13. 3 Tourism Entrepreneur Examples To Inspire Your Goals

    Case Study 1: Airbnb. Airbnb's history and how it became a successful tourism entrepreneur. Airbnb's business model and how it changed the vacation rental industry. Analysis of Airbnb's impact on the travel industry. Case Study 2: TripAdvisor.

  14. 11.4 The Business Plan

    Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we'll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan.

  15. Tourism Entrepreneurship: Meaning, Characteristics & Examples

    Tourism entrepreneurship is the process of creating and managing new tourism businesses that are innovative, sustainable, and socially responsible. - Mottiar (2018)

  16. Tourism Business Plan

    Operations Structure The strategy for the operations structure is designed to outline exactly how your company will generate a profit from the tourism market. This includes the relationships with vendors and/or suppliers, or how laborers will be managed if it is a service being provided. Marketing Plan

  17. 5 Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

    From there, you can build what your ideal week looks like and work your business schedule around that. 3. Make the time. As for actually sitting down to write your business plan, consider both ...

  18. Changing role of lifestyle in tourism entrepreneurship: Case study of

    Naked Home was the starting point of NRE. Similar to other tourism lifestyle enterprises reported in the existing literature (Ateljevic & Doorne, 2000; Sun & Xu, 2017), it started without a mature business plan and was only based on the entrepreneur's motivation of pursuing a lifestyle in a tourist destination. In 2007, Horsfield, who was a ...

  19. Effects of entrepreneur passion on persuasion: Study of venture

    Tourism is an important economic sector with high entrepreneurship involvement.

  20. Example of Tourism Business Ideas

    Business Ideas Example of Tourism Business Ideas Do you love showing travellers the unique and interesting aspects of South Africa? Tourism could be the industry for you. Before you get...

  21. PDF Entrepreneur Tour Operator Toolkit Tour Operator Business Plan Guide

    Your tour operator business plan should contain at least seven sections: an executive summary, a company overview, a description of your services, an analysis of your market, an implementation plan, a team summary, and a financial plan.

  22. 7 Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel

    Click through to meet seven entrepreneurs who successfully started their own travel companies, from a college grad who built a business out of emailing flight deals to his friends to a...

  23. Why Is Entrepreneurship Important For Tourism Industry?

    Entrepreneurship is important for the creation of a new organization or new business. Tourism Entrepreneurship makes employment that helps generate income for the entrepreneur and develop their standard of living. Travel and tourism businesses create 370 million employment opportunities in total, according to World Travel and Tourism Council ...

  24. An Overview of the Tourism Entrepreneurship

    Tourism entrepreneurship refers to the process of identifying, creating, and developing a new business venture in the tourism industry.

  25. Tourism Entrepreneurship: Importance and Types

    Tourism Entrepreneurship: Importance and Types: Tourism Entrepreneurship can be defined as the business involving development and controlling a tourist company. No one can deny that tourism has grown significantly over the past few years. The curiosity among people to visit new places is increasing in most countries worldwide.

  26. Tourism Business Plan Examples That Really Inspire

    Market Analysis Business Plan Examples. In our market segmentation, we have considered three distinct groups. These groups form part of our major customers because they are well acquainted with our products. These three groups are; Tourists, military personnel and the local peoples (McDonald, F. & Burton, and F.46).