With the travel industry booming, it’s a golden opportunity to start a travel business

The number of people starting their own business has grown in recent years. In 2023, over 100,000 more people were self-employed compared to the previous year, bringing the total number of solo entrepreneurs to 4.2 million.  

This recent spike in popularity chimes with new research by Travel Counsellors, which finds that nearly two-thirds (59%) of Brits would consider starting their own business. It’s not hard to see why. Becoming one’s own boss is synonymous with financial gain, greater work autonomy and flexibility, and a better work-life balance.

When it comes to the travel sector, there has never been a better time for aspiring travel entrepreneurs to start their own business. This is because leisure tourism is currently booming. According to YouGov’s global leisure travel forecast for 2024, roughly seven in 10 (71%) of survey respondents say that they plan to vacation domestically or abroad in the next 12 months.

However, before starting any new business endeavour, it’s important that any would-be entrepreneur carries out in-depth research to ensure it is the right time and way in which to take the leap. Once they begin their journey, it’s vital to have a strong support network in place. In addition, it’s wise to start within an existing business franchise, as this minimises common teething problems and/or risks. Lastly, professional development is key to boosting chances of success and future growth.

The importance of a professional network

Starting a business is not only a significant professional undertaking involving financial risks, but also emotionally taxing. Consequently, having a strong support network is crucial, offering aspiring business owners access to invaluable resources, and professional and personal mentorship.

A strong community lies at the very heart of Travel Counsellors, with individual travel counsellors relying on a 2,000-strong professional network to gain advice, guidance and knowledge. This ultimately allows them to unlock their entrepreneurial ambitions and build their own travel business.

The benefits of becoming a business owner within an existing business

Travel entrepreneurs who start their own business within an existing business rather than going it alone can gain access to certain benefits which would otherwise be unavailable.

Business owners in this context benefit from lower initial investment costs as well as the name and identity of an existing brand. Most importantly, the risk of business failure is far lower as entrepreneurs are given access to appropriate support and tools.

Therefore, it is no surprise that launching a business in such a way is gaining in popularity. Research shows that of the Brits contemplating setting up their own business in the next five years, nearly half (49%) are considering a franchise model.

Professional development is key to business success

When first starting a business, knowledge – both of the key processes and the chosen industry – will likely be limited. For this reason, it is important to focus on professional development – whether workplace learning, industry-recognised training programmes or professional mentorship – when setting out on an entrepreneurial journey.

Learning and development plays an important part at Travel Counsellors, as demonstrated by its comprehensive onboarding programme. This provides new travel counsellors with the right tools, support, and training to launch their own successful businesses, regardless of their professional background.

With the travel sector currently booming, it is a golden opportunity for travel entrepreneurs to unlock their own business ambitions.  The benefits of setting up one’s own business are evident, and with the right research, planning and support, the journey will be much smoother and more rewarding than originally anticipated.