There are a number of potential small businesses to choose from within the travel industry. To choose the best travel business ideas for you, you'll want to consider a number of factors, including your personal abilities and experience, your available start-up budget and the amount of time you have available to invest. You will also want to consider market opportunities and location.
When evaluating travel business ideas, it is wise to begin by evaluating your available funds against the probable financial requirements of each idea. The funds required to start such businesses vary widely depending on the specific nature of the business. For example, a bed-and-breakfast establishment is likely to require a substantial up-front investment. Even if you already own a suitable property, it may require renovations, furniture, insurance, marketing, food and more. A concierge service for out-of-town visitors, however, generally has very low overhead and can begin with a limited start-up budget.
You will also want to consider the time investment involved. Some travel business ideas are ideal for part-time work, while others require long hours. Decide how much time you are willing and able to spend on your business before making a choice.
It also is important to think about which travel business ideas fit with your personal strengths and goals. Certain types of businesses, including inns and transportation services, require you to be specially licensed. Some may also require you to have specific skills, such as business acumen or good driving skills. You will want to choose a travel business idea that complements your personal abilities and experience.
Another major factor is the potential marketplace. This often ties closely to location, but in some cases, does not. For example, a travel agent can book reservations from almost anywhere. One who specializes in a niche travel market, such as vacations in a specific geography or for a certain group of people, however, will need to be sure that the potential market is big enough to support the business.
For other types of travel business ideas, location is key to evaluating the market. For example, a successful inn must be located somewhere people want to visit. A transportation service, such as a taxi or shuttle company, may struggle in a location that has no airport or train station and no conference centers. In general, any business dependent on tourism must be located in a tourist center in order to succeed.