Travel and Tourism Entrepreneur
Skills to Become Successful Tourism Entrepreneur
Travel and tourism industry of the world is highly potential and reflects huge opportunities for growth and development. Further along with high growth rate, the industry also experience very tough competition. Thus, it is not easy to become a successful entrepreneur in this industry and lot of skills, time and efforts are required in aspect of the same. This report includes some of the major skills required to become successful entrepreneur in travel and tourism industry. It also contains various stages of strategy of my own business such as marketing and sales, operational plans and financial projections.
Every entrepreneur is required to have some sort of skill set which assist in making the business successful. Entrepreneurship can be defined as the process in which an individual develops a business from ground to up. Further it starts with idea generation and then turning the same into a profitable business (Chambers, 2009). Thus, it can be stated that Entrepreneurship is also important for the growth and development of country and its economy. I want to start up my own travel agency where I would be providing various kinds of travel related services. In order to become a successful entrepreneur some of the skills which I will require are mentioned below as:
Time management skills
This skills will support me in completing my activities and task on time. This will help me in managing my work effectively and efficiently.
It is also required by me to have leadership skills as this will assist me in maintain and manage team of people easily. Along with this leadership skills will also help me motivate and direct people at the time of recruitment.
Research and analytical skills
In order to become successful, I am required to have Research and analytical skills which will help me to understand need and demand of market and then deliver services according to the same. This skills will also help me collect and use information related to market in effective manner. Further it will assist in making the best decisions.
Decision making skill
To start my own business of travel agency, I will also require to decision making skills. One can become successful only when he/she take correct decisions on time. This will help me in every single stage of the entire decision making process.
Planning and organizing skill
These skills will help me to plan my activities properly and organize things in my new business.
It is one of the most important skills which are required in service industry. Effective communication skills will help me to communicate mu ideas and messages with my team mates and will also assist me in understanding the need of customers. Further these are termed as one of the most important skills because if my communication is not proper then I wont be able to deliver my ideas and opinions to other and then it will results in failure of my business.
In modern era, IT and numeracy skills are also important because it will help me in design my online website and carry out online promotion in best possible manner.
Some of my core strengths and weaknesses are mentioned below as:
Thomas Cook is one of the most renowned company in the travel industry and all the credit goes to the mission and efforts of Thomas Cook. Further he was born to John and Elizabeth Cook on 22nd November 1808. he was the first child to them and was named after the father of Elizabeth. When he was three year of age, his father died and her mother remarried to another guy in the same year. At the age of 10, he started working for a local market gardener as an assistant. During his childhood days, he also provided services as a cabinet maker. Starting from his initial days of work, he was very hardworking and dedicated (Evans, Stonehouse and Campbell, 2012). In addition to this, he was very religious man and was against alcohol. He always promoted education and said that life of people can be improved easily if they drink less alcohol and get better edification. Thomas cook has adopted human behaviour approach of management in which he used to considered that management is getting things done by people. Further he always tried to understand the behaviour of all its employees. Cook always looked forward to motivate his employees in order to increase their productivity and efficiency. In terms of management, he used to manage all the things such as finances, marketing and human resources by his own.
Thomas Cook was walking along the roadside of Leicester and suddenly an idea clicked in his mind to merge the power of locomotion's and railways and create a social reform. Further, in one of the meeting, he suggested that a special train should be arranged to carry carry the supporters of Leicester to Loughborough for a meeting (Hollick and Braun, 2005). This idea was appreciated from all the people who were preset in the meeting. The train was arranged successfully and after then Thomas never looked back. After this, many trips between Leicester, Nottingham, Durby and Birmingham was arranged and this laid foundation of his future enterprise. In the year 1845, his first commercial venture took place and when he arranged trip to Liverpool.
After 10 years of establishment, in the year 1855, Thomas Cook company was growing really well in Britain and was expanding its operations with a great speed. Thomas was very dedicated in expanding its operations to areas of Europe (Lordkipanidze, Brezet and Backman, 2005). In the same year there was one international exhibition held in Paris and Thomas tried to grab this opportunities by influencing the companies to allow him some concessions. This offered was rejected by the companies and there was only one route for Thomas which was between Antewerp and Harwich (Thomas cook, 2015). Thomas accepted this route and in the same year he escorted tourist to Europe for the first time. At the end of tourist season in 1863, Thomas took almost 2000 tourist to destination such as Paris.
One of the key attributes in traits which I have personally learned from Thomas cook is risk taking. In very stage he has taken risk and this is the only factor which has provided him with such a kind of success. Planning a train from Leicester to Loughborough was a risk. In addition to this, his first commercial ventures was also very risky and he was also not having adequate support from other people. After his success in domestic market, he tried for international expansion which was also very risky as Thomas was not having idea about the need and market trend of new country. He never gave up and it was one of the most influential part of Thomas cook. The skills which have contributed to Thomas success includes innovative, confidence and his vision. For instance the idea which he got to start a train while walking on the roadside is an example of how innovative he was. On the other hand, when his offer regrading exhibition in Paris was rejected, he was not demotivated and its was his confidence level which helped me to look for another alternatives rather than focusing on rejections. Another skills was his sound vision that is never restricted himself and his operations and always looked forward for growth even after getting successful. Thomas cooks mostly raised funds with the help of two major sources which are share capital and bank loans. These were the two major sources which he has used for expanding his business.
On the other side of this, Thomas cook also faced lots of issued and troubles due to lack of his financial capabilities. Further he was having lots of debts, loans and at one stage he was unable to manage all these things and in the end he became bankrupt.
I am planning to start a travel agency agency in UK and one of the main reason behind this is that travel industry is very potential and has large amount of opportunities for growth and development. My ultimate goal is to become one of the leading travel agent. Some of my core objectives are mentioned below as:
I am planing to open a travel agency in London from where I will be providing various kind of travel related products and services. The services will include booking of air tickets, railway tickets, arranging tours, providing various kind domestic and international tours packages etc. The process of this will be that I am going to create my online website and the will promote my services over internet and through advertisement through newspapers, Television etc. Other than this, I am going to tie up with various kind of hotels, agencies, and food providers. This will help me to ensure proper arrangements of food, accommodation and transportation facilities in areas where I am providing tours services. The target customers will be students, business class people and people who love to travel. I will also create my official page on social media such as Facebook. In addition to this, I am going to promote my services in colleges and universities. Promotion will be also carried out in companies and shopping malls.
One of the major benefit to customer is that the services will be entirely different from what the other travel agents in UK are offering. Further there will be an option of “make your own tour” which will be made available. As per this option, all the food, accommodation, transportation and other facilities will be selected by customers. On the other hand, the company will have many benefits from this business. It will assist in getting competitive advantage and will also support in increasing the sales and profitability.
In order to start my own business of travel agency, I have many sources of finance available which are mentioned below as:
Owner's capital- I can invest my own capital to start up the business. Further I can also borrow money from my friends and family members for the same. The benefits of owners capital is that an individual is not required to pay any kind of interest them (Mamaghani, 2009). Other than this, there is no pressure to repay the amount in given time frame. Thus, it can be a very good option to raise funds.
Bank loans- There are many banks in UK which can provide me required finance. Taking loan from bank is also termed as one of the best and easiest way to raise funds. In case if I take any kind of loan form bank, then I will be required to pay the sum back after a specific period of time. I will be also required to pay interest on the same which every banks charges.
Venture capital's- Venture capital is the one in which a third party invest money in your project. There are many companies and individual's in UK which provides venture capital for businesses (Kayar, and Kozak, 2010). The companies charge very low rate of interest at the initial stage, when new firms try to establish themselves. After establishment, they starts charging very high rate of interest which is one of its major disadvantage.
The best sources of finance for my new business will be bank loan and owner capital. The reason behind this is that, I wont be required to take large finance from bank and the interest rate will be very low for the amount which I am going to raise from bank.
My idea for opening a new travel agency will be very successful and one of the main reason behind this is that my concept is very new and unique. It has been observed that the number of travellers in UK has increased from 2 million to 3.48 million in the year 2014 (Spenceley, 2012). Thus, from this fact it can be easily justified that there are huge opportunities for growth and development. I am also going to launch an online version of my travel agency as in the last five years there has been 73% growth witnessed in the online booking of tours.
Other than this, in terms of pricing it can be stated that at initial level, the prices will be very low. The advantage of this is that it will help me establish in market and have a good customer base. Some of the main factors which will help my business to become successful includes unique services, low price and accurate services.
The business plan for my new business is mentioned below as:
Business concept: In my travel agency I will be offering services such as “make your own tour”. It has been identified that there are huge opportunities for growth and development in travel industry if a business offers unique products or services (Caro and Roemer, 2006). The room, accommodation, transportation and other facilities all will be chosen by the guest himself. Other than this, I am also going to provide horror tourism and adventures tourism. This will help me to satisfy the needs of people who love to travel at scary places. The benefit of this there are very few agents which provides such kind of services and thus, it will support me in getting competitive advantage.
Products and service characteristic- The services provided by me will be going to fast accurate and of high quality. It has been observed that one of the best way to retain customers in travel industry is by providing them with fast and satisfactory services (Ateljevic and Page, 2009). Thus, I will make sure that my services will be fast and accurate. All the destinations in UK as well as outside are well defined and proper tie up will made.
Market potential and competition- The market is very potential and it contributes almost 9% of the total UK's GDP. In the year 2013, the revenue of travel industry was £125.7bn which is quite good. In terms of visitors, the country is eight largest international tourism destination (Tourism alliance, 2015). Some of the major objectives of people behind choosing UK as a destination includes relaxing, sightseeing, visiting beach etc. The competition in market is very intense as the industry consist of well established small and large travel operators. All these operators are really performing well and it will not be easy for me to attract customers and gain competitive advantage.
Sales and marketing- I will be carrying out marketing and promotional activities on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitters. The reason why have selected social media marketing is that it is very cost effective and efficient way to market my products and services. On the other hand, I will be also displaying ads on newspapers and magazines in order to make people aware about my services. In terms of sales, I will be offering and selling services online. I will also open a physical store from where I will b dealing with sales and marketing.
Management- I will be hiring 10 people which will work as a supportive staff. Out of the total 10 employees 60% will be experienced one which has an good experience of working in travel industry. I will be using participative approach in which I will always try to encourage the views and opinions of others. At the initial stage there will b one staff member who will take care and manage finances and on the other hand one person will manage marketing and sales. Rather than keeping a manager, I will manage all the things by my own.
There are some major steps in operational plan for my new travel agency which are discussed below as:
Identification of clients requirement- The first stage in operational plan will consist of identifying the need and demand of customers (Hjalager, 2010). The destination, choice of food, budget everything will be taken into consideration. Identifying the need of customer and then delivering services according to them will assist me in getting high degree of client satisfaction which is very essential to make a business successful.
Pricing- after identification of the requirement, price of the entire tour package will be defined. In this stage, I will be required to ensure that the price and clients budget should be matched otherwise he will choose the services of other tour agencies.
Planning the tour and booking tickets- If the client is satisfied with the pricing, the tour will be planned and booking the tickets will be done. In addition to this, the hotels, transportation and everything will be booked in advanced so that clients do not have any kind of difficulties when they reach their destination.
Communicating the rules and polices of tour- Before implementing the plan, all the rules and polices will be communicated to client. This will assist in eliminating the chances of conflicts between agency and customer.
Implementation of plan- In the last stage, the entire plan will be implemented and the tour will begin as per the schedule (Peters, Frehse and Buhalis, 2009). After the beginning of tour, I need to take of the fact that quality and accurate services are provided to the customers during the entire tour. I will be also taking feedback and reviews from them.
From the above report, it can be concluded that the travel and tourism sector of UK is highly potential. Further I am planning to start in new travel agency in the country from which I would be providing various kinds of travel related services. With the help of my personal SWOT analysis I have identified that I am lacking analytical, research and negotiation skills which has become my major weaknesses. Other than this, it can be also concluded that in order to become successful entrepreneur in travel and tourism sector one has to take risk, provide some differentiate products and needs to be very innovative.
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