How to start a tour company

Published by Darron Toy on

hi I'm Evan Carmichael welcome to another edition of ask Evan in today's episode I'm going to answer a question from one of my newsletter readers Christine who's an entrepreneur and she's a tour operator so she takes tourists around in Kenya who are visiting and shows him a good time which was in the country pretty new business and one of my advice on growing it so she has three main target markets that she's going after one are the tourists so international tourists looking to view the country the second are honeymooners so people coming just after getting married and on vacation and the third are corporate clients and they're often coming for different team-building activities so Christine having been on a number of trips myself internationally and I've never been to Africa but I've gone to a number of different countries on trips especially when you're coming off of cruise ships or you're looking for two offers to go with the biggest thing that I think you can offer is service most of the time when you land I don't think especially offer cruise ships when you let you get off and there's a thousand different tour operators coming at you and you don't know how to differentiate one for the other and the biggest fear that you're going to have is that you're going to make a mistake and go with the wrong person you're gonna have a bad experience some people worried about safety depending on the country they're going into but for most part is having a bad experience and being stuck for a whole day with the tour operator who's not going to give you either good value or good service and it's really really hard to tell what a good service is going to be for bad service just from landing on you know going to the dock or going to the airport and seeing the people kind of pitching you the different ideas so it's the biggest fear that people going to have and for agents who are going to be referring you for international travel agents who are booking trips on behalf of these guys it's also really hard for them to tell who's going to provide good service or not so service five-star service excellent service is really going to help you stand out so it's a couple different ways you can do it the first thing I would do is I would put people in uniforms if you have somebody in uniform and I appreciate that it's very hot in Kenya so you know short sleeves shorts even but something that looks professional if you did that right away you're going to stand out from everybody else is on coming at you so I've been to a lot of different cities and countries and again you're pitched by all sorts of people and they often look you know they're in regular street clothes you don't really know this is a company or just some guy in the back of his van that you're getting into so if you had professional sign professional uniforms that people were into you're already setting a standard of service that's higher than everybody else and it's going to be a lot easier for you to get the north-american clients who are looking for some kind of trust and people put a lot of trust in that service and having uniforms the next thing make sure everything is clean and make sure everybody you hire is super friendly so clean again if they're in uniform make sure the uniforms are clean whatever vehicle they're coming to pick people up in make sure those are clean because a lot of times they're not in a lot of countries that I've been to at least make sure the signage is clean it's not all scuffed up and people handing you kind of photocopies of things that don't look very professional you want to have a professional image and you can even charge a premium people who are on vacation or who are honeymooning or corporate they are looking to spend money right when I get off on a cruise ship and I'm landing in a country I want to spend money I want to have a good time I'm just worried I'm going to spend it with the wrong person so people would pay you a premium to ensure that they're going to have a really good experience and that's why people on cruise ships often booked through the cruise operator because they know they're going to get a pretty good experience and it's been vetted by the cruise ship before but it's a huge huge price increase and they're willing to pay it so if you can immediately off the off the boat or people line it on their plane or however they're getting there show them that you look highly professional and guarantee they're going to have a good experience you're going to be able to charge your premium and get more business so again everything must be clean and you want people to be friendly so greet with a smile ask people how they're doing you know you want to Train anybody who is working on the front lines dealing with customers to be friendly answer questions make it a good time people are there to have fun so you want to make sure you're having fun people who your hire is something that I would also encourage you to do and I don't know how feasible it is but I would try to hire expats or students from the countries that you're trying to recruit from so for example if you're trying to attract Americans to come in and sign up I would try to get an expat American or American students to be there selling your services for you if I see somebody who is more like me you're more likely to sign up with them and a quick example when I went to Japan I was the only guy from from North American work at sea in Japan there's you know very Japanese centric which is great and and immediately you're faced with culture shock so you're not quite sure what to do you may not understand the language you're walking around you're not quite sure where you're going and there was another guy who I met on the streets who was from North America and immediately you make friends because you're the only two who are the same and everybody else is is different vistas big culture shock and immediately we were able to strike up conversation start talking he introduced me to you know where he was hanging out and gave me gave me some recommendations so I can see the same thing happening where it could be a big culture shock for somebody from North America coming to Kenya not knowing you know where to go not knowing the language the culture so if you had somebody working for your company who was from North America or UK or Australia who spoke the language once the culture and could speak with people on their own terms in their own in their own culture it'd be a lot easier to get people to sign up so if a tour operator came to me in any of the countries that I landed in and it was somebody from the US or Canada or or Britain I'd be a lot more willing to start talking to them and be easier for me to sign up with them if they were clean-cut friendly in uniform and look like me it'd be a lot easier for me to want to do business with them so just because there's so much culture shock it's an easy way for you to stand out now you still want to provide the Kenyan experience where people are there to experience Kenya but if you had some people in the front lines who are more like the people who you're selling to as much as you can relate to your customer the easier it is to be able to sell them look at if there's any expats or students from the countries to be able to bring them on board to be on your front lines as well to help talk to customers the last thing we do then is also get on TripAdvisor and encourage people to leave positive comments so whenever we do any of our travels will always go on TripAdvisor and see what are the most common things that people do where it's getting the most feedback and we're trying to plan our day right we may not have a lot of time in whatever city we're going to whatever country so we want to make sure it's time well-spent and you're getting kind of the maximum value from it so to provide is a great place to go and if we see that one to operator is getting tons of great remarks for the great service they have and how friendly everybody is and how clean everybody is I'm gonna go and book with those guys even if it's at a premium to everybody else and I'll probably even do the booking in advance to make sure I get my spot so then there's less sales that you'll have to do when people get there they're already pre booking and that'll help with a lot of your cash flow issues as well because people are paying upfront and you're delivering the service whenever they arrive in in your country so hopefully that helps might be a little different than what you're expecting but I think there's a real opportunity for you to be able to stand out using that five-star service methodology and be able to get a lot of those people to come and want to work with you and pay you more money than they'd be paying the other guys so hopefully that helps if you guys liked the video please give it a thumbs up below and I also look forward to hearing your comments if you want to leave one under the video and stay tuned for next episode you you


Yussuf Miraji · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

So lm yussuf l live Zanzibar lm driva of tourism so l want makerting of tourist form Kenya to Zanzibar

Amanda Ndhlovu · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thanks thinking of start my company ,I'm from Zambia tho I got no sponsor🇿🇲😘❤️

Dafe Louis · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thanks for the tip… I just started as a tour guide and a tour operator in South Africa and I must say this tips are 100% tops….

Milliefrom Dablock · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Great ideas!

Raja Zeeshan Kiyani · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

if anyone want to visit beautiful and peaceful Pakistan then contact us for guide and facilities in pakistan.Msg us at facebook page (Kiyani Tours And Event Planners)

Bader Alaraimi · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

I'll start my business as soon as possible your tips are remarkable and helpful

I'm thinking of making a website with links of reviews from trip advisor
and free 1 hour WiFi and waiting area

let them check your website and other options only then get back to you

Jeremy Benson · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

great points – you had me at "they'll pay premium" !

Daniel Iles - Small Business · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Awesome tips. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

Stark786 · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thanks for this video, im thinking about doing somethimg similuar for, im a British Pakistani and i think it will be good to do somethimg that will promote tourism in both countries

gladys lagat · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hi am from Kenya, am about to venture into the business. This video was very helpful!!!! Thanks!!!!!

solo Traveller · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

I've excellent idea. For it I need an application. But, I don't have money.

Dickson Shekivuli · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Great Video, it tells it all.

Sannymatic · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Business tourism is my goddamn love course

Sannymatic · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Kyahhh I want to be like him😍

Miz _Ezekiel · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

This tips are really helpful, thank you So much. I'm starting a tour company in the northern part of Nigeria.. Kano State to be precise. It's a beautiful city… there is so much to see in kano that our media isn't showing to the world. And I want to make this happen.

Friendlyneighborhoodmike · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thanks for making this video! I’m an American polyglot that knows many European languages and I want to start a travel agency in Europe! I need to wait because I’m a student, however.

Мөнхсайхан Баяр · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Very informative – Thank you!

Loncey Bailey Green · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Cheers mate from Cairns Australia:)

aaquib09 · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hi Evan ….I'm Aaquib co-founder of a travel company focusing only on Zambia. Its a 3 months old company ..would like to take a help from you as we are stuck in making proper packages. So kindly help me with some informative material on how to make packages and how to differentiate packages according to the Budget.

abraham holani · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

thank you. wonderful presentation

ASHABAHEBWA EUGENE Jr · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am


Olivier KAOLIV · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hello Evan! I am based in Kigali, Rwanda and I am starting-up a tour company. I really love your video, short, simple and informative. As much as I want to do things professionally, I am also in need on how to sell my tours abroad and any other professional tricks in tour operator business. Thank u once again.

Yangiliklar · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

thank you for the information its really helpful

NASIR Shimshali · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

It was very helpfull. I am a tourist guide and I am working in Northern areas of Pakistan (Gilgit Baltistan) I want to open my own tourist company. Can you help me for that like I will need your guidance.

Great Tanzania · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

My name is Joseph Waya. I am the owner and founder of Great Tanzania Adventure & Vacation. I am a Tanzanian, born and raised in Kilimanjaro region. Personally I have been a porter on Mount Kilimanjaro for over three years, and then mountain guide for over three years. With my great experience in mountain climb and wildlife helping me in managing and organizing a great team of people that guarantee the highest quality of service and Good Corporation I am open-minded, casual, easy-going and most importantly, I believe in nature and adventure and spend most of my time seeking more adventures. My hobbies are Touring, cruising, sightseeing, hiking and different other outdoor activities.
I am a realistic thinker who enjoys life in natural surroundings and always looking under that rock or over the ledge hoping to bring happiness and a better life to all that I meet. I wake up each day to see the beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro and my dream is that someday the whole world will get to experience this lifetime adventure through Great Tanzania Adventure & Vacation.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to experience the best trekking and safari tours adventure of a lifetime! Your adventure starts with us.

Thanks Evan

Wilson · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hello friend. I'm looking to start a tourist agency in my country. But I don't know where to start from… Thanks for this info.

China tour leader Tim · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

I am tour leader from China. Thank you for your video, I saw so many tour guides from different countries.

Darren Dibben · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hi Evan, great advice easy to understand your points

Khadija Bnomar · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

I am mountain's and desert tours guide in Morocco and I want to sell my tours to costumers so how can you help me please?

Shivesh Agarwal · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thanks for knowledge

Rasika Lakruwan · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am


tom onyuro · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

the video is a right steo for one who want to start this company.thanks.I need to hit the road running

Pearly Apag · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hi Evan,

Thank you so much for this informative video. After watching this video I tried to create a facebook page for my van rental. So far its was working perfectly fine. Right now I am trying to go into different line of business which is travel tour package. You inspired me to create my own page. Thank you very much for this and I hope you will also visit my fb page, also if you wish to travel Cebu, Philippines we can always book a van for you to avoid hassle anywhere in Cebu area.

email – [email protected]
contact# – 09153162160 / 09233044849

Once again thank you for the healthy tips.

Benjamin Haran · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

its very nice video.thanks for the tips in Tanzania also am a tour guide ,am about to open my own company

Carlos Anzora · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

contact me here if anyone wants to travel to Guatemala or any places in Centro America

Mizan Rahaman · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hello Sir
It's my pleasure to say thank you for your spontaneous motivational and strategic ideas
could you please make a video about Bangladesh Tourism potentials and Travel Agency Business prospect
Thanks again

Sylvia Stoute · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Fantastic tips man! Thank you 😊

daniel chief mweemba · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

its a good lesson their am trying to start up a tour operator company here in Zambia and I have learnt alot from this video. keep it up

Geographical Adventures · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Great applicable content.

Lion's pride · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thank you for the info

Jijo Thomas Vilayil · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hi Evan.. This is Jijo here from Sharjah – Middle East…. Am part of Al Najm Tours… Would like to know how can I attract the market to get some business… I am really a beginner in this field but I have a team to get the things done.

Tama Samoa moni · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

hi there! i would like to know what are the things needed for me to be able to start a tour operator business in my own country. thinking of starting a new small tour operator business. need your help on this please

Drusila Barber · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Thank you! 🙂

Sebastian Gonzalez · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Hi Evan, thanks for the info, I work at a local incoming travel operator in Brazil, I have lived in the US before, and would like to have direct customers from North America coming over to Brazil, specifically to Iguassu Falls. Any ideas? Thanks, Sebastian

brown gurl · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

You are suggesting that most people travel to Africa and they are more comfortable with clean cut white people (I am guessing that is what you mean by "people who look like you") who will show them around or advise them who can be trusted. And you do realise that English is one of the two official languages spoken in Kenya?
Otherwise I agree. Wearing a uniform and having professionally made marketing material are great ideas.

twinkle maraam · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

I don't understand wat way this career deals with. can someone plz info me on this.

BOX FOTO INDIAN WEDDING · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am


Piyush Thanwar · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

hey! thnqs for guidng in short points..i m subscribng..

My prints · July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am

Typography design plays a crucial role in a company brand identity. A typography logo will show your customers that your business is trustworthy and has a unique identity! I specialize in both styles – handwritten and calligraphy! If you are not sure which you prefer, let me know and I will suggest a font based on the alphabet structure of your business name!

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