Despite the pandemic, the tourism industry in India is growing at an annual rate of 14%. So, it’s safe to say that now is as good a time as any to start your travel agency business in the country. But you need to be strategic and organised about it.
Starting a travel agency means getting the right licenses, partnering with airlines and hotels, figuring out visa procedures, finding the best business loan offers, among other things!
Let’s explore in detail below.
1. Decide the kind of company you want to form
Are you planning to be the sole owner of your travel agency, or do you have partners? Depending on the nature of your ownership, you can register the company as either a private limited company or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). But whatever you decide, know that compliances for registering will vary accordingly. And so will benefits and subsidies like affordable business loan interest rates from lender to lender.
2. Register with IATA
In today’s tourism scenario, there’s no point in opening a travel agency that only books tour packages and tickets via trains. You must cover all modes of transportation – rail, land, water, and most importantly, air. While road, rail and water travel does not require a mandatory registration, as most of it happens domestically, international air travel bookings require the IATA seal.
A travel agency, old or new, gains worldwide credibility if they are approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This Association awards its seals to travel agencies once they fulfil certain norms. It also conducts free training workshops for the professional development of travel agents and provides several benefits and air services around the globe.
Additional Read – How to Choose the Right Business Loan for Your Startup
3. Register with the Government of India
Another important answer to how to start a travel agency in India is by becoming a Government of India approved travel agent or agency. It is not mandatory, but we strongly recommend it. Again, it’s a seal that will award your agency a legitimate status.
When you’re a registered and approved travel agency by the Indian government, travellers expect you to adhere to a certain standard. This is also why they will choose you over the non-registered travel agencies.
4. Get a GST registration number
No talk on how to start a travel agency in India is complete without mentioning GST registration. Without this registration, you won’t be able to collect Goods and Services Tax (GST) – a mandatory requirement when running a business of this kind. So, open the doors of your travel agency only once you receive your GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number).
The final word
Are you ready with your travel agency’s business plan and are looking for finance to finally launch it? Turn to Tata Capital for some of the most affordable interest rates on business finance that help cover all potential expenses of starting and running your travel agency.
You can also check the nature of EMIs you’ll be paying with by using a business loan EMI calculator on our website before applying.