5 tips to start a travel startup in India

Professional autonomy is craved by the current working population and India has seen a boost in small and large entrepreneurs in the last decade. With the government promoting and taking essential measures to facilitate the establishment of these enterprises, you can easily set up a startup. But to ensure its success, rigorous research, capital, and time need to be invested. 

Improvement in the living standards of the growing middle class has paved a way for the growth of the travel and tourism industry in India. From short relaxing weekends to world tours are undertaken and this demand facilitates the development of the travel industry. 

The untapped potential of the industry can be utilized to ensure a successful startup. In 2017, 9.4% of the total GDP came from this sector along with 8% of the total employment. The following 5 tips should be kept in mind before starting a travel startup in India:

Finding your niche 

At the initial state, it is crucial you don’t try to provide all services from domestic to international travel. Even with its developmental potential, you’ll likely face tough competition from established enterprises. Finding your niche is critical. Extensive research should be employed to find the road not taken and its prospects. For example, instead of conventional packages to popular holiday locations, you can customize trips to offbeat destinations. These quaint and out of the way spots are gaining traction with today’s youth. Solo trips, short weekend trips, wellness, and spiritual tourism can also be capitalized on. Decreased competition can make it easier to root yourself in the industry. Also, finding innovative ways to market conventional packages might give you an edge over others. 

Planning diligently 

You cannot overdo with planning for your startup. A detailed plan and outline are crucial for its successful functioning. 

Capital required for the initial setup and eventual working should be secured. Exploiting the aids provided by the government for small businesses and taking out loans can take care of the monetary aspect. Alongside this, you can partner with established names and sell their popular packages for a small commission. This will help assure a good rapport with the existing competition and also help promote your business. 

Analyzing the market, you will be catering to, is of utmost importance and, essential resources should be kept for research and development. R&D team would also help ascertain the ideal location for the startup that could reliably produce revenue. 

Small and realistic goals, instead of idealistic, should be set as they can be executed and help boost morale. Short term goals should be acknowledged in the plan otherwise they can be overlooked and can shroud the company’s success. 

Choosing between conventional or online presence 

Travel industry conventionally had a physical presence but in the digital age, most are opting for an online presence as well. With sufficient capital secured, both can be accomplished but digital presence, alone, can also serve the purpose. 

Ease of accessibility boosts the digital industry but consistent efforts are required to stay relevant and reach the public. Thus, regular updates after establishing the business are required. 

Popular primary and secondary keywords should be sought after when marketing and advertising your product as they help in SEO (Search engine optimization) which in turn increases traffic. Your product is organically shown to consumers if popular keywords are used. Titles, headings, domain name along with the main content need to be optimized in order to reach the majority. Killerlaunch, a domain name seller, can help you find affordable and brandable domain names to boost your online presence. The platform has a list of catchy and brandable domain names for the travel industry. Your business should have dedicated social media pages where you can post about your travel business regularly and reach a larger audience. 

Round the clock customer service can attract loyal customers. Build a good rapport with the customers to earn their faith. Maintain your standards and stand out from the competition, to ensure customer satisfaction, for e.g. paying attention to your customer needs and providing personalized support. Asking for the customer’s feedback and improving on the shortcomings will boost your profits. 

Branding and advertising 

To sustain a business in a growing industry, relevant branding and consistent advertising are required. The name and logo of the business are vital to its success as the brand helps promote loyalty. Catchy, vibrant, and easy to remember names are preferred. 

Carefully designed campaigns can reach the target audience through print or digital media. Capital should be set aside for implementing effective advertising strategies. Due consideration should be given to the current needs of the consumers and the market, and quality services should be assured while advertising. 

Fulfilling legal formalities 

Once a detailed plan is formulated and capital for the startup is ensured, you need to fulfill the legal requirements, for establishing a business, as outlined by the Government of India. 

Specification of the format of the business, whether it’s a one-person company, partnership, etc, is the first step required. You need to register the business with the government and obtain the required license. Permanent account number and Tax account number need to be registered in the name of the company. GST registration is another essential demand that needs to be fulfilled. 

The trademark registration for the brand name and logo is a must-have and though copyright is implied, its registration is necessary for compensation in case of any infringement. 

Registration as a Travel agent with the government is not mandatory but can help assure the customer of quality services. Trade association of world airlines, also known as The International Air Transport Association (IATA), represents 84% of total air traffic. It provides comprehensive training for travel agents and its accreditation is recognized worldwide, thus, becoming an IATA agent is highly beneficial. 

The government has launched several initiatives to promote tourism, like ‘Incredible India!’ and ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. Recently inaugurated ‘Statue of Unity’, the tallest statue in the world, is expected to boost tourism. The tourism sector is the third-largest foreign currency exchanger and the government is dedicated to providing an impetus to its growth. You can take advantage of these initiatives to launch your travel startup 

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