Travel n Tour

Travel and Make Dollar Online Travel Industry

7 Mins read

Yes, it is true. You can make money online working from home and make a lot of money if you work hard, stay focused, and execute. You can build a home travel business and live the Internet lifestyle you always dreamed of by operating an online home travel business. This article will restate any misgivings you may have had about starting an online travel business. I will not sugarcoat it. Much of what I say will probably cause an uproar in some parts of the online travel industry. I am aiming to tell it like it is.

Who Makes Money in Online Travel? The truth is that you can’t make a lot of money reselling other businesses travel products. This statement is directed toward the home-based travel agent market. Yes, it’s easy to get started as a home-based travel agent, and online travel agencies can provide you with your personalized white-label branded website, including quality customer support, but in the end, you are NOT building a business; you are only paying yourself a salary.

Don’t be fooled.

I am amazed at the amount of junk out there catering to the make money online from the home crowd, touting selling travel as the route to freedom and riches. This truth is probably the most important fact anyone will ever tell you if you are thinking about entering the online travel business. Let me repeat this for you one more time. It isn’t easy to become rich and build a company reselling other companies travel products. You can become wealthy over time by doing a business that sells uniquely branded travel products. You can get rich and build a business if you “own the travel product.”

Travel Industry

Owning the travel product means that you are contracting directly with travel suppliers under your company’s contracts. You are not just reselling a travel product owned by another travel business, tour operator, travel agency, or travel consolidator. Your business creates the travel product by doing deals directly with travel suppliers. Your contracts with the travel suppliers become your business’s unique inventory for the travel products you sell. The new travel product becomes your brand. Your online travel business sells the travel product directly to consumers online or wholesales it to other travel agencies, travel agents, tour operators, and resellers.


The Home-based Travel Agent Dilemma.

I am opening up a can of worms here by disclosing this information, but it’s true. My intent is not to knock anyone down but to provide insight into how the online travel business works and to show you WHO is making money and how you can make real money by deciding to build a business from the get-go. If you want to make $20,000-$50,000 working from home, reselling cruises or popular travel products will be your best option. Still, if you want to make real money, six or seven figures, and build a business with total tangible value thatt can be sold later, you must develop and market your travel products.

The Internet is NOT causing Travel Agencies to shut down.

I believe that the main reason brick-and-mortar travel agencies are closing is not because of the Internet but because they are reselling other companies’ travel products. The Internet contributed to the destruction of the traditional brick-and-mortar travel agency. Still, the most significant factor in the downfall of travel agencies and travel agents in the travel industry is that they are not selling anything unique or different. It’s a business model established to fail in the long run. How do you own your travel product? You can hold your travel product in two different ways.

1. Your business acts as a travel supplier providing tours, guiding, travel, and tourism-related activities, or you own a lodging property.
2. Your business partners with two or more travel suppliers to resell their travel products under a unique package that you own. What type of Online Travel Business do I need to start holding my travel product, selling packages, and building a real business?

  • -Online Travel Agency
  • -Online Tour Operator
  • -Online Tour Guide
  • -Online Travel Broker
  • -Receptive Tour Operator
  • -the Hybrid

Let’s discuss a little about each type. There are many directions you can go.

OTAs or Online Travel Agencies traditionally sell everything underneath the sun, including lodging, air, cars, vacation packages, etc. On a hierarchy level of all online travel businesses, this would be the most expensive and most challenging type of online business to start. It’s doable, doesn’t get me wrong; it would take much longer and be more expensive to startup. If you second-tier niche and focus on contracting your lodging deals and contracting with activity suppliers, you could quickly build a smaller, more focused OTA. Another option would be to utilize the Global Distribution System (GDS) for air, car, and lodging that you could not contract yourself. I don’t recommend this last option as you’ll be just reselling the product you don’t own, but as long as you can combine the non-owned GDS products with your own contracted travel products, you could create a nice win-win for the bottom line.

Online Tour Operators sell dynamically packaged trips and pre-packaged trips to vacationers. Building an online tour operator business is your best option for building a successful online travel business. First, let me state that the name is a little miss conceiving because of the word “Tour.” There is a big difference between a tour and a trip. On-time, t tour guide or person usually leads the time with the travel participants. On a trip, the traveler travels alone or with other people, but no tour guide is involved. The travel business calls this a FIT trip, Drive vacation, or Fly-Drive package. I favor selling trips, where the traveler buys a tour or trip product stand, and hen attends the trip alone. The reason for this is two parts.

1. You don’t have to be the tour guide, and you don’t have to hire one, either.
2. You have 100% more freedom by not participating in the tour. Think of the time involved in even going on a tour with a group or individual people.

We operated tours when my wife and I owned the Yellow Breeches House Fly Fishing Lodge and B&B. We ran fly fishing excursions with lodging and guiding. Guess who was one of the guides? Yes, you got it. Yours truly. I would not change the past for anything. I learned such from being a fly fishing guide and owning a lodging property. I wouldn’t want to rerun that type of business. There are much better travel business models out there. That part of this report’s beauty is that I can share some real-life realities with you.

Sell Trips, not Tours. This is the most important thing I can tell you regarding wanting to live the Internet lifestyle, working from home, and enjoying the freedom of owning your own online travel company. You won’t be living any Internet lifestyle if you give tours every week. Online Tour Guests provide tours to individuals and groups. If I didn’t scare you off from above, that’s ok, the tour guide business is great, and it’s easy to start with a limited investment. This is a great business to enter the travel business and start learning how to build one

If you love dealing with people and spending much time outside, this is probably the best travel business for you. This is serious work, day-in-and-day-out, as you are always in the elements. This travel business could be a stepping-stone for you to go ahead and build an online tour operator business. I have a perfect friend that owns a kayaking guide service. He runs eco-adventures that include islands hoping for three to five nights. He loves it.

Let me share a little strategy that will change how you build or grow your existing tour guide business. Hopefully, by now, you’ll already see it and be way ahead of me, but if not, here it is. Create packages for your tour guide business that includes lodging, meals, and your guide or tour service. You probably sell trips, guiding, and or tours as an hourly or day product. Take the next step and package in lodging, meals, and maybe a third activity. Sell packages to your clients, and you will hugely supercharge your revenue.


Take an existing kayak guide that sells day trips for $250 for 2twopeople. Now create overnight packages. Create a new product line for your business.

1. Contract with a lodging supplier to buy lodging for your kayak packages.
2. Contract with two local restaurants to buy dinners for your kayak packages.
3. Sell a two-night, 1-day kayak excursion with two dinners. Make money off the lodging, dinners, and a 3rd activity, and you can seriously start adding more profits to your business.

Online Travel Broker

this is a new business category I stumbled upon. I believe this type of business you could start with literally no money. It’s just a matter of understanding the travel business. Here is how an online travel broker operates. Every travel supplier needs sales representatives. Your travel broker business contracts with travel suppliers to represent their business and help them sell more of their travel products. Many smaller travel businesses don’t have sales representatives. This may be your entry into the online travel business industry.

Let’s say you live in a resort town or area with4 golf courses nearby or 3threeski resorts. You represent the travel supplier’s products, finding larger partners and resellers to sell or distribute your client’s products. This business is just a matter of finding other travel suppliers that need sales representatives and finding larger companies looking for new travel products to sell and distribute. You make money by earning a percentage of all future sales booked or learning a flat fee per contract you sign. This would be a great way to enter the travel business as a part-time business. You could start with not much investment and build out slowly.

Receptive Tour Operators receive inbound travelers from foreign countries. This is a B2B business (business-to-business). You build an Online Tour Operator business, but you don’t sell your travel products directly to consumers or vacationers online; you sell your owned travel products to wholesalers or other tour operators in foreign countries that resell them now to travel agencies and the consumers in their country. If you live in a world-renowned destination area or region where foreigners visit, you can build a successful receptive tour operator business.

The receptive tour operator business takes longer to develop as the buyers of your travel products will be other travel companies, tour operators, and seasoned travel businesses who won’t necessarily want to do business with a new or just startup mode. Adversity can be overcome through focus, determination, and having an owned travel product that a wholesaler or foreign tour operator believes he can sell and make money. The Hybrid – build an Online Tour Operator business that caters to individual vacation travelers. After the company starts selling trips aor tours, build a Receptive Tour Operator business component.

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