Requirements of Starting a Travel Agency in Kenya
Requirements of starting a travel agency in Kenya
A travel agency is a business engaged in selling and arranging transportation, accommodations, tours, and trips for travelers. A travel agent acts as an intermediary between the supplier and the customer; in this case the suppliers of tourism products include;hotels,airlines and transport sector. Travel agents sells elements of tourism as a bundle/a package.
Tourism is a fast growing industry in Kenya which is the second highest economic contributor.Tourism is a booming business in Kenya and therefore a good investment sector. Tourism is thriving well due to the available variety of wildlife resources, good beaches, diverse cuisine and famous culture of the citizens.
Kenya’s 2018 tourist arrivals grew by 37.33 percent from the previous year to cross the two million mark for the first time, posting a significant growth in earnings to Ks. 157 billion.
The earnings are an 31.2 percent improvement from the Ks. 119 billion earned in 2017, according to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.
The latest statistics show there were 2,025,206 tourists arriving compared with 1,474,671 international arrivals in the previous year.
There are thousands of new and repeat visitors visiting the country and locals travelling within the country discovering the motherland.
Due to these, many tour and travel agencies have emerged to cater for the rising needs of tourists requiring to travel. Many of them have become famous and empires in the tourism industry such as Bonfire Adventures which was started with no more than Ks. 10,000 as initial capital but now reaps more profits.
If you have a passion for the tourism and travel industry,then why not invest in this fast growing business entity in Kenya and beat up the already existing companies.
Before you venture into the business and registering your travel agency in Kenya ,put the following factors into consideration more so if you have not been into a tourism class;
Factors to consider before setting up a travel agency
Choosing your physical travel agency office location for consultation purposes is vital for the success of the business; preferably an area that doesn’t have a travel agency to avoid unnecessary competition which might cause business failure. Once you know what is being offered by other agencies, you can offer something that is different.
Know your clientele
You can not set up a travel agency without knowing the type of clients you intent to serve and attract.The types of clients an agency might serve depend entirely on the existing market place. Client needs are varied and change over time,are you looking to serve adventurers?,corporate travelers?,domestic or international tourist?
Tie-up with multiple tourism service providers for more discounts on tourism elements.A lot of your work is going to be done with the help of other people. Contacts in airlines, for visa formalities, and for discounted rates in hotels and car hire businesses are very important. Start building these as soon as possible. These tie-ups will help you offer multiple discounts, which in turn will help you provide better rates. Always file everyone’s contact information. In case your usual agent for visas is sick or on a long leave, you can immediately get in touch with someone else.
Knowledge of tourism destinations
Knowledge is power in the tourism industry, you need to be well versed with travel destinations and attractions so that you know what your clients expect to experience. This can be done through conducting a reconnaissance to the attractions before you take your clients. Familiarization tours to the attractions help you know the distance to major towns,travel costs,length of travel hence better trip planning for the clients.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) Certification
If selling air tickets is one of the services you seek to provide through your travel agency, then you need to pursue an IATA diploma. this is important because it will offer you credibility when dealing with travel partners and suppliers in the industry such as airlines. Being a member of tourism associations such as Kenya Association of Travel Agencies inspires confidence and integrity in your travel agency business.
After putting all those factors into consideration, then come up with a business plan which include the name ,the objectives,the marketing strategies,financial projections and many other things.
Requirements for starting and registering a travel agency in Kenya
The licencing committee of the Tourism Regulatory Authority will require the following when you are trying to register a new travel agency in Kenya
- Certificate of registration or certification of incorporation of the travel agency company in to a business.
- Copy of the lease agreement of the business premises where your physical office will be located
- The Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of the business entity you want to venture in
- Professional certificates of the owner that is IATA certificate, curriculum vitae,degree or diploma certificate
- Copy of KRA certificate,NHIF,National identification card and any relevant document.
If you want to grow fast in tour operation business, you need to specialize in both market segments that is; Inbound foreign market, foreign tourists arriving in Kenya for holidays and business purposes and Outbound domestic market, locals travelling oversees for business,leisure,school exchange, honeymoon and so on.
Target marketing is also paramount to success since you market your products to the desired clientele. Invest more on marketing and advertising so as to establish a customer base.
Provide your products in reasonable prices so as to attract more customers,try as much as possible to offer low prices but exquisite travel experience to your customers to establish customer loyalty.
Have faith and determination for business success, you will reap the profits soonest.
Do you have any views on the requirements of starting a travel agency in Kenya? let me know in the comment section below.