How to Start Travel Agency Business in Nigeria 


There are many types of businesses one can venture into; among these is starting a travel agency business. Just like transportation businesses, travel agency businesses have their own profits and one can gain from them in this regard by researching what a travel agency business demands.

You don’t have to bother about researching because we’ll be looking squarely into the travel agency business and all it entails to start up in Nigeria.

A travel agency is a company or organization that specializes in providing various travel-related services to its clients. The travel agency business is a vital business area in the travel and tourism industry.

Some of these services may include booking flights, accommodations, transportation, tours, and other travel-related activities. Travel agencies also offer travel insurance, visa assistance, and other related services.

However, the primary goal of travel agencies is to make travel planning and booking easier and more convenient for their clients.

What Does A Travel Agency Business Entail?

The core day-to-day responsibilities travel agencies normally engage in include:

  • Meeting with clients to discuss upcoming travel plans and also gather information regarding travel dates, transportation, and budget.
  • Planning the travel itineraries for clients and arranging transportation, lodging, etc
  • Advising clients on important aspects of their travel plans.
  • Keeping accurate records of client bookings, such as payments, travel dates, etc
  • Handling any travel issues that arise, including flight or hotel cancellations, delays, conflicts, and refunds.

 Educational Requirements

It is not necessarily compulsory that one who wants to venture into the travel agency business possess any degree of any kind; however, in the absence of a degree, one can opt for training that can enable him or her to work efficiently as a travel agent. But then, with a degree in business management, one is good to go.

What Skills Would Be Useful In Starting Up Travel Agency Businesses?

Starting up a business which would solely assist the public requires a crucial display of mastery and a definitive set of skills. Some of these key skills include:

  • Proficiency, the ability to be thorough and precise in one’s dealings.
  • Interpersonal skills: This is a skill that travel agents should have. They should be vibrant and outspoken, as this is what their job demands.
  • Organization: Travel agents should have the ability to organize things no matter how bulky they might be as they may be juggling trips for several clients at a time and would be managing a high volume of booking information.
  • Problem-solving: Travel can get complicated sometimes, like when your client misses a scheduled flight for some intangible reason. A travel agent should be smart enough to sort out the type of problem.
  • Attention to detail: Travel agents have to be very meticulous and thorough at their job, as it’s easy to mix up things like flight departure and arrival times, hotel check-ins, and transportation rentals. They have to be very careful in their dealings.
  • A firm understanding of technology: Just as the world is greatly advancing, each new day brings new innovations; likewise, travel agencies are meant to tighten their seat belts in the knowledge and use of technology in their work in order to beat against the fast advancing technological world.

Other useful skills include:

  • Salesmanship
  • Accounting and bookkeeping

How Much Does a Travel Agent Make?

Several factors determine travel agent salary, including location, level of education, certifications, years of experience, and the specific company they’re working for.

Starting Up A Travel Agency Business

The costs of opening an agency can vary wildly. At minimum, one would likely need a computer, an internet connection and a professional website, which can cost hundreds of dollars. How long it takes to reach profitability will largely depend on these early decisions!

But whether you’re starting a traditional travel agency in a detestable downtown office or a modern online travel agency with a good website.

1. Define your niche

Did you spend your teens and early twenties white water rafting and rock climbing? Are you the kind of person they would normally give sports plans to?  These kinds of interests and experiences can help a start-up travel agency get started on the right foot. You would have to define which niche to major in.  Here are some types of travel niches:

  • Honeymoon vacations
  • Corporate travel
  • Adventure tours
  • Sporting events travel
  • Medical travel
  • Destination weddings
  • Foodie tours
  • Pet-friendly travel
  • Senior travel
  • Family travel

By starting out with a limited focus on your defined niche, you can shape the rest of your business accordingly.

2. Research the current market and trends

Once you have found the niche for your travel agency, you’ll want to do some market research to make sure your niche actually presents a viable business opportunity. It’s also important to learn about the people who may be interested in your services.

Here are some questions you can answer while doing market research:

  • What demographics will be most interested in your travel services?
  • What problems does this target market face that you can solve?
  • How do customers currently overcome the problem your travel agency solves?
  • Which competitors, if any, are already present in the market?
  • What type of travel agency model are competitors using?
  • What sets your travel agency idea apart from your competitors?
  • What technology solutions and price points are competitors using?
  •  With the  information you’ll be getting, you’ll be able to easily polish out your business goals and strategies.

3. Look into travel tools and ensure you have the necessary skills

Once you’ve outlined the type travel agency you want to open, take a closer look at the technologies and resources people typically use to find success in your arena.

When you’re opening up a new, independent travel agency, consider how you want to set up your sales and booking operations, for example, using a website and booking software.

Here are some types of software you may want to get familiar with:

  • Travel booking software, such as TravelWorks or Rezdy
  • Itineraries software, such as Nezasa or TripCreator
  • Accounting software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software

Another way to make sure you have the right skills to open a travel agency is to get some training that would make your business look reputable and some of these top certification programs includes:

  • The Travel Institute Travel Agent certifications
  • Certified Travel Associate (CTA)
  • Certified Travel Counselor (CTC)
  • Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE)
  • Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Travel Agent certifications
  • Certified Cruise Counselor (CCC)
  • Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC)
  • Master Cruise Counselor (MCC)
  • Elite Cruise Counselor (ECC)
  • Travel Agent Executive (TAE)
  • Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)
  • Verified Travel Advisor® (VTA) certification by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA)
  • Travel Agent Accreditation by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)

4. Make a budget

The next step in developing your business strategy is to spend some time calculating how much money you’ll need to spend to launch your travel agency, poised for success.

The startup costs for your travel agency don’t need to be exorbitant, especially if you’re running an online-only operation.

  • Below are some startup expenses that you would need for a new travel agency:
  • Business formation essentials, such as licenses, insurance, etc.
  • Computer and related equipment (printer, surge protector, etc.)
  • Travel agency software, such as booking, itinerary, and accounting software
  • Website and other marketing collateral, (online and offline).
  • Office space and furniture if opening a physical location.
  •  Calculate a total estimate for your entire startup budget.

5. Create a travel business plan and company name

You would need a brand name to be recognized and you should also consider how the name would serve your interest in the online space. On the other hand, writing a business plan can seem like a lot of work, but it’s an important step as you’ll need a guide to look into as you go through your business.

A business plan can include a wide variety of information, like  your market analysis, your financial forecast, the number of employees you plan to have, and how they will be compensated.

But it’s important that first, you decide if you’ll operate a traditional physical agency or just an online travel agency or if you’ll be using a website.

You also need to decide what type of business your agency will be. Currently, most common options for startup business owners in the travel market are to operate as a sole proprietor or a limited liability company (LLC). Sometimes hiring an expert business writer would help you to be more thorough and to avoid missing out any details.

6. Obtain all necessary licenses and registrations

There are at least two main sets of paperwork you need to complete when formally starting your own travel business; standard business licenses and registrations and occupational travel agent licenses.

7. Promote your new business

As you count down to your grand opening, you will need to make some noise and turn on every jingle possible to promote your new business.

Below are some common ways to promote a new business:

  • Social media posts and ads
  • SEO blogs
  • News releases
  • Referral by friends and family
  • Website optimization
  • Paid search ads: You can also consider hiring a marketing consultant who can create high-quality marketing materials, advertise your agency and find your first potential customers quickly.


Running a successful travel agency will demand commitment and quality service, from setup through your first sale and beyond. It’s easier with smart, experienced partners by your side.

Also, meticulously following the steps and not excluding any, would get you to your dream, which would be well deserved.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *