How to Start a Travel Agency in South Africa


The tourism industry is envied for its profitability and ease of success. Tourism in South Africa made a significant contribution of ZAR 102 billion to the national GDP in 2012, and that number has risen to 2.9 percent in 2016, and it continues to grow at an exponential rate. Interested in joining this money-making venture? Learn how to start a travel agency in South Africa, and how to turn it into one of South Africa’s best!

How can I start a travel agency?

How to Start a Travel Agency in South Africa

Travel agencies can be started from the comfort of your own home. Travel agencies that are based online are more accessible to the majority of tourists. For a more localized target market, however, you can open a branch. We’ll show you exactly how to set up your own travel agency, so you can start making money immediately.

As soon as you identify which aspects of tourism are underutilized, you can take action. But if you already have a passion for a particular field, you can focus on it. Your niche, or product, will be determined by the industry you choose. This is the most important section. As a new business, it’s important to focus on one thing before moving on to larger projects. First-time entrepreneurs often make the mistake of trying to do everything at once.

This opens the door to a lot of competition, especially from well-established travel agencies. This includes everything from beach holidays to weekend getaways to cultural excursions, and so much more. Before deciding on a specialization, it’s crucial to do extensive research.

Get a Business plan

A business plan will help you succeed. The monthly targets for your agency will be easier to achieve if you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. The initial capital, financial projections, and goals and objectives of the business must be included in a detailed plan. In addition, it’s important to identify potential obstacles and how to overcome them.

Register your business name

You must register the type of business, the name, the trademarks, and any other patents in South Africa before you can start a business. Companies Intellectual Property Commission does this before a company is allowed to begin operations. The government will register you as a service provider and issue you a travel agency license as a result.

Find Potential investors

Find a wide range of partners in order to approach potential clients, you must first decide what service(s) and how to provide them. New businesses need to sell their services at an acceptable rate of commission in order to be successful.

What do you want to achieve? Share your ideas, your business plan, your vision, and your goals. There is a good chance they’ll partner with you if they believe you’re worth it. Instead of teaming up with organizations that clients do not trust, it would help if you were confident that your partner was the right choice.

Is customer satisfaction a top priority? Do they have a good name? The answers to these questions are crucial before forming a partnership and, after that, it’s time to focus on your clients and how you can gain their trust.

Create a website that is functional

The internet is the easiest way to reach a large audience. Starting an online travel agency is described in this section. The website can be built by an expert in the field for a reasonable price.

You can use beautiful images to entice people to your website, for example, if you specialize in getaways. Rather than empty promises, more people will sign up for something they can see and expect. The website should also look professional and be easy to navigate, according to the authors.

Promote Your Business

With the help of targeted marketing tools and social media platforms, it becomes easier to reach those who will be interested in what you have to offer online. Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can help you reach a younger audience.

Maintain good customer relations

Take care of your customers as soon as everything is in order. If your customers are happy, they’ll keep coming back to your business and bringing their friends and relatives with them. After all, it will help your business grow very quickly. The use of good reviews is also important. Sharing positive reviews online will help your business stand out and attract new customers.

What to Expect from a Financial Point of View?

Aren’t you curious as to what you can expect in terms of finances? Despite my reluctance to admit it, there isn’t a definitive answer. I don’t even know where to begin. Because we were so curious about the answer to this question, we polled a few hundred new travel agents about their income in the first few years of starting a business.

What to Expect Time-Wise

In general, it will take a few years to get your agency off the ground. This is the case with any entrepreneurial endeavor. We’ve found that it can take 3-4 years to really start generating a sustainable income.

In particular, if you’re starting your own travel agency from home, it can take some time to get up and running.

The process of building a clientele and developing your brand can take a while.

It doesn’t matter if you make your first bookings or not, you won’t be paid commission until your client completes their trip (or after final payment for some vendors). The first year’s finances could be tight if you make seven bookings in January but the clients don’t travel until November. Imagine that you want to quit your job, but you believe that the big bucks will roll in next month.

Most people only travel once or twice a year. A new restaurant or other service industry like a hairstylist may have a much easier time generating steady business, even with referrals and repeat clients.


Discover how to start a travel agency in South Africa by following these simple steps. How to become a travel agent in South Africa is a little difficult to figure out, but once your business takes off, it can be very lucrative.