Travel industry great place to start small
If you want to start your own small business and have a desire to see the world, consider the many opportunities for entrepreneurs in the travel industry.
If you think the Internet destroyed all small travel agencies and travel-related small businesses, think again.
I recently was invited on a flight with leaders in the travel industry and had a chance to explore prospects for travel entrepreneurs with some of the best thinkers in the field. British Airways operates a 32-seat, all-business-class flight between London City Airport and New York City, perfect for business travelers.
At almost 9 percent of America's total gross domestic product — generating more than a trillion dollars a year — travel and tourism represent a big chunk of the overall economy. And small businesses get a share of that.
“A lot of young people are bringing exciting new approaches,” said Arnie Weissmann, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly. “People predicted that travel agencies would disappear, but they're still here. In 1995, there were 36,000 agencies; there are 14,000 today.”
Travel agents still number almost 83,000, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the travel industry added 81,000 jobs in 2012, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
In spite of news in mid-January that American Express will cut 5,400 jobs, mostly in its travel-services unit, opportunities for entrepreneurs exist.
“You won't necessarily see the travel agency in a strip mall or on Main Street,” Weissmann said. “Many of today's new travel agencies are home based. They seem invisible. But they've reduced their overhead and lowered the bar for entry into the field.”
Two segments of travel agencies are doing particularly well: luxury/upscale travel and niche travel, he said.
“Start with what you know and love. If you run marathons, organize trips around marathons,” he said. And go the extra mile to stand out.
Twitter: @RhondaAbrams. Facebook: facebook.com/RhondaAbramsSmallBusiness.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sprint cancels Framily, rolls out new data pricing plan
- Dick’s beats expectations, but golf sinks profits
- Cash stash bolsters U.S. Steel
- Gas production from Marcellus shale sets record despite fewer new wells going online
- Kennametal’s CEO to retire at yearend
- HTC to construct Windows version of flagship phone
- Shared offices provide advantages for startups, nonprofits, others
- Designer sues Barnes & Noble over backpack profits
- Upbeat earnings, housing reports pump up stock market
- Housing starts jump 15.7% to 8-month high, suggesting recovery back on track
- States debate digital currency