This is a Skills for Travel and Tourism Start-up Assignment in which we discuss entrepreneurial skills required for travel and tourism start-up.
Using an appropriate format, carry out a self-assessment of entrepreneurial traits (characteristics) that you may possess and the entrepreneurial skill required to be a travel and tourism entrepreneur. This requires you to do skills and trait audit and analysis of your strengths and weaknesses as well
Travel and tourism industry is a fast growing industry and hence it attracts many of the young entrepreneurs towards it. It is a very diverse industry and has got lots of opportunities for the passionate individuals. Travel and Tourism industry has been divided into various areas like accommodation, restaurants, transportation, entertainment etc.An entrepreneur is one who identifies the opportunity and starts a new business taking into consideration all the risks involved in it.
Travel and tourism industry is considered to be as one of the creative industry and hence the entrepreneur will be expected to provide creative but feasible options to the customers. In order to start a business in the field of travel and tourism there are certain skills required (Alos et al, 2014). The most important skills are as following:
Creative thinker:It is believed that the tourism and travel industry is one of the most creative industries, as the customers are most satisfied if they get something which is not being offered by any other company. So to provide such a service, the entrepreneur needs to be an out of the box thinker so that he can come up with some brilliant ideas to serve the customer.
Information seeking: As mentioned earlier, travel and tourism industry consists of various areas, and hence to start a business in this sector it is very important that the person has got an ability to fetch information from different sources. Until and unless all the information is collected, it will be very difficult to combine all the areas properly and start the business.
Systematic Planning: Systematic planning is the most important skill required to be a good entrepreneur. There is an involvement of so many things. If there will be no organized method to carry forward the things, there will be lot of confusion. Travel and tourism is the sector in which the ultimate goal is to satisfy the customers and for this the entrepreneur must be capable enough to take the things forward in a systematic manner (Hallak et al, 2013).
Problem solving: Any start up business comes across many problems, so the entrepreneur must possess the ability to handle the situation properly i.e. he must come out of a solution which is best for all. He should be able to understand the reason behind the problem and then give the solution for it.
Goal setting: The entrepreneur must be capable enough to set the goals for him as well as for the team. Until and unless, the goals are set the team does not get motivated to work. The goals also give the right direction to the employees to move ahead.
Interpersonal skills: In this industry there is lot of customer interaction involved and hence interpersonal skills need to be excellent. The team will be able to keep the customers happy if they themselves are happy, in order to keep them motivated, it is very important that the head of the company communicate with them properly (Phelan & Sharpley, 2011).
Influence: Specifically to be an entrepreneur for travel and tourism industry the person must be capable to plan the strategies which can persuade others. This is an industry where companies have to attract the customers towards their attractive tourism plans. So the entrepreneur must possess that quality of influencing others.
Management Skills: The last but not the least skill required is management skill. This is not a skill which is specifically needed for travel or tourism sector, but it is a skill which is must for any entrepreneur. He must be capable enough to handle all the things and should be able to get the things done efficiently by others (Jaafar et al, 2011).
So these are the traits and skills which will be required by a person to start a business in the travel and tourism sector. If I do a self-assessment for my skill set, more or less I possess all the qualities needed to work in a travel and tourism sector. My strengths to work in this sector are my interpersonal skills, creative thinking etc. Since I am not very good in seeking information, I may face some problem there, but I am sure I can work hard on that and will be able to get the required information. I have done a SWOT analysis in order to check if I am capable enough to start a travel and tourism business.
If I need to rank myself on various traits identified for the entrepreneur, then the ranking will be as following:
|Skill or trait||Ranking||Reason|
|I am part of various programs in the college because I am capable of giving innovative ideas to the team|
|Information seeking||5||I am not very good in seeking information as I am not very well aware of the ways through which the information can be assessed|
|Systematic Planning||7||I ranked myself 7 on this because I am able to manage the things systematically only if there is sufficient time, in case there is urgency then sometimes my work gets unorganised|
|Problem Solving||7||I am able to solve the problems most of the time but not always|
|Goal setting||8||I always set goals for myself to move ahead|
|Interpersonal skills||10||I am able to communicate with others effectively and efficiently|
|Influence||8||I am able to convince others with my ideas most of the time.|
|Management Skills||8||I am able to manage the things mostly|
According to the analysis, I did in order to judge whether I can be a good entrepreneur or not, I found that I possess most of the qualities to be a good entrepreneur in tourism and travel sector, but still there are many traits on which I have to work hard and make them strong so as to get success in the business. Like any other business, one must possess self- confidence in order to start the business.
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Select a successful travel and tourism entrepreneur and analyse his or her entrepreneurial and business development strategy and process by evaluating the success of entrepreneur’s business organization
The successful travel and tourism entrepreneur that I am going to analyse here is Pablo E. Centeno who is a General Manager of Costa Rica Dream World. Costa rice dream world is a tour operator where all the tour related activities like travelling, accommodation, entertainment, food and beverages are being provided. Initially this was a small start-up started by Pablo E. He was the man who wanted to do something on his own. He was a person who used to get pleasure in serving others and making them feel good. So he thought that travel and tourism is the best industry for him. Initially he did not know anything about the travel industry but only the basic. Then he took some classes and lectures from the online sources like “Entrepreneurs in Travel”. These lectures helped him a lot to develop himself to start the business in the field oftravel and tourism (Ramos et al, 2012).
His strategy from the beginning was to give customers complete information to the customers. There was no hidden information which the guests used to know at the time of arrival, this actually became the key point for them. The customers started to believe them. The customers had a faith that they will not be cheated by these people. The best part of Mr. Pablo was that he himself was so much involved in the process that it motivates the employees a lot. Once a package is booked for some customers, he used to co-ordinate with all the accommodations and transportation places. He also ensures about the safety of the guest and hence he used to be two days ahead of the customers. He gets all the information from different locations regarding their weather condition. If he thinks that the place is safe to send the guests then only he used to send them otherwise, he used to plan something else. If the guests were not ready to go ahead with some other plans, then they were a provision to adjust the same money in the next trip. These kinds of services were not provided by any other tour operators and hence it makes them stand out.
The most important skill of an entrepreneur is to understand the needs of the customers and then move ahead with the business. Mr. Pablo was actually able to get the nerves of the customers. He always knew that the customers are always interested in going out and enjoying the tours. So he did his marketing in that way only, his caption line for marketing was “where nature means adventure”. This means that they have lot of focus on the outdoor activities. All the people who are more interested and excited by the outdoor activities, the Costa Rica was the right choice. They used to have some fixed packages as well as there was an option to customize the packages also. The customization could be done based on the kind of the activities the guests were looking for (Rimmington et al, 2013). There were experts at the office, who help the customers to customize their package. These consultants can be reached through emails or the telephones. With this kind of service, the customers and guests feel happy and they return to Costa Rica again and again.
The company had a very strong networking with almost all the top hotels and transport companies. As soon the guests are out for the holiday, Costa Rica takes the responsibility of their comfort. The guests are being picked up from the airports, dropped at the hotels and then taken out for the excursions. The customers were also given choice about the vehicle; they can choose the vehicle to travel during the excursion. Mr. Pablo always focused on customers only; he always believed that the travel and tourism sector can only be a success if the customers are satisfied and happy. It is business where relationships with the customers play an important role. Most of the marketing is done by word of mouth and hence, it is very important to make sure that the customers leave the place happily, and then only they will go and tell other about the company and their great services.
The entrepreneur of this company kept all the important points in his mind, he planned everything according to the requirements of the customers. Due to this only he was able to start a company, which initially was not able to make much revenue because, the customers were not aware about the services, but once the customers experienced the services, then slowly it became famous and more and more customers started to approach to them (Skokic & Morrison, 2011). Pablo always believed that it is always better to compromise on the quantity but not on the quality. If the quality will remain good, then the quantity automatically will increase, but if the quality will not be there then it will be very difficult to get the number of customers in long run. So in order to achieve success for a longer period of time, one should never compromise on the quality of the services given to the guests. The core idea behind the service industry is the customer satisfaction and hence one must never compromise on that.
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This task is about developing a business plan. You are required to develop a brief business plan that consists of your niche travel and tourism business concept, product/service description, market potential analysis, operational plan and financial projection and a brief cash-flow analysis
The tourism industry is growing at such fast speed that, there are a lot of opportunities open in this industry. There are a number of tourists who are visiting at different locations for the holidays and leisure trips. So in order to make full use of this opportunity, we thought to go into the market to provide service to the customers. We will do this with the help of experienced staff and attractive tour packages. At the initial level we thought to go with the pre-arranged trips, customized tour packages as per the guest’s specifications and travel discussions. Later we will also move into the accommodation and travelling details. We will try to give complete comfort to the customers with our top class services. The marketing strategy which we will follow will be focused mainly on the services provided by us. So, we will make sure that all the required information reaches to the customer (Tassiopoulos, 2011). We will make sure that the customers are satisfied and happy when they go back after the trip. We will make sure that all the employees are appointed at the right place so that they can also grow along with the growth of the company. We have prepared a sales projection and will work to achieve the anticipated projections.
The company’s main service will be to provide the customers with the exclusive leisure trips. There will be different packages available to the customers which will be based on different criteria like:
- Type of activities
- Duration of the trip
The guest can choose their package based on their requirement from the list above. This will help to choose the destinations based on their budget and the duration of the travel.There will be a lot of other services included in the package. The destinations included in our trips for excursions will consists of combination of various elements like sporting zones, wildlife watching, cultural heritage, shopping areas etc. We will try to provide a good combination of all the possible entertainment services so that members of all the age groups and gender can enjoy them. We will also provide the customers with the sufficient literature about the place so that they can know about the place before visiting it. There will be provision of tour guides so that all those who will be interested in guides can hire them.In order to provide the best services, we will ensure that all the guests have a company’s email id so that they can contact with us immediately as and when required. We will ensure the quality of the services to be the best so that the customers get back to us again and again.
Since the government brought in lot of changes in the foreign exchange policies, the foreign customers are attracted a lot. This has opened up a new market for the travel and tourism industry. As more and more customers started to come, now looking at the market trend, there was a need to tie up with a travel company so that a comfortable ride can be given to the guests. With the increase in the number of customers, now it won’t be possible to just handle the customers with few transport vehicles. Hence the demand of the market was to make network and relations with the good transport and accommodation hotels.
Our market segmentation will be completely focused on the foreign customers those who come to spend lots of money and enjoy their trips. We will try to focus the customers from various parts of the world but we cannot ignore the local tourists also they used to be our regular and permanent customers (Thomas et al, 2011).We will also try to target customers those who do not want to spend much on transportation but want to look at maximum number of places. So these customers basically higher someone likes us so that they can look at the maximum number of sights without spending much on transportation.
Strategy and Implementation Strategy
Being a new company in the market, our strategy will be to focus on the quality of the services we provide. As mentioned earlier our target customers will be local customers for all the destinations in the list and the foreign customers those who do not want to spend mush on the transportation.We will start with focusing on the local market, then the regional market and then finally will go at national level. Some of the important points of our market strategy will be as following:
- Try to attract customers and place ourselves in the market differently. The help of media can be taken for this purpose.
- Focus more to get the repeated business, this means that the quality of the service should be so good that the customer feels like coming to the place again and again.
- The promotion should be aggressive and should include all the required information.
- Must focus on building a brand image as the best customer service provider.
The central point of market strategy will be to be different in the market. There should be an aggressive and extensive marketing so that every customer is aware about the company.
Financial plan is the most significant part of any business plan. The main aim of any business is to grow financially with the help of cash flow and equity. The price of the packages should be accepted by both the parties i.e. by the company as well as the customers (. The next most important point is that, one cannot force customers to make the full payment immediately, usually the payments are done in parts, and hence there should be an arrangement so that the payments can be received on the continuous basis (Zhao et al, 2011). The three important points for a financial plan are as following:
- Customers’ worth should be given respect
- The most important thing should be cash flow, then growth and then profits
- Always plan for realistic values
While decision making in financial plans, there are some major assumptions done like assuming the economy strong with no recessions and also there is an assumption that there will no sudden changes in the economy.
The projected cash flow for the business plan is as following: