You may be equipped enough to arrange, host, accommodate, transport, and choose tourists sites to visit for tourists who wish to visit South Africa, then this article is going to help you by serving as an educative model to enlighten you about how to start a tour operator business in South Africa.
So, we entreat you to keep reading because the detailed information on how to commence, run and manage a tour operator business is discussed in the next chapters of this article.
Tour operator strategizes a tour plan by themselves and sells it directly to customers for amazing services, therefore choosing the tour operator business is one of the lucrative business with South Africa being the top country with the most tourists destinations on the African continent.
The hospitality and tourism industry attracts over 10 million visitors yearly into the country, and the figures of people who travel to see the amazing and beautiful nature of South Africa are proving how lucrative the business is, and it’s never a bad choice of business to venture into.
In the following chapters of this guide, you will be presented with a piece of detailed information on how you can start your tour operator business in South Africa.
Table of Contents
What You Need To Start A Tour Operator Business In South Africa
To make a reality out of your tour operator business dream, consider the following requirements:
1. Business Plan: write down your business idea, covering every aspect of your business, finances, documentation, challenges, services, and many others that you can think of.
Understand that your plan is what determines the startup cost of your business, so it is advisable to plan within your financial range.
2. Location: choose a part of the country that has some good and attractive tourist sites. This is an assurance that the business location is always going to welcome tourists, and therefore, the location is good for your business to run
3. Office Premises: lease an office that is more central, easy to locate, and accessible
4. Business Registration: register your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to gain legal certification for your business operation.
For your tax registration, contact SARS.
5. Tour Operator Certification: you’ll need a complete course certification from an institution that offer tour operator courses
6. Hiring a Tour Guide: hire a qualified tour guide who has a good communication skill and fully equipped with the history of tourists sites
7. Tourists are not just coming to watch, but they also want to learn, so feeding them with accurate information and history about tourist sites will keep them coming for your service
8. Transport Vehicle: a transport vehicle is required to help carry out the daily schedule of tourists from place of residence to tourists sites and any other service destination
9. Road Transportation Permit: acquire a road transport permit from the department of transportation to help offer legal transportation of tourists within the country
10. Professional Drivers Permit: a professional drivers license is required to attest that the driver who takes tourists from one destination to another is qualified to assure the safety of clients
11. Research the Tourism Market: conducting extensive research into the hospitality and tourism market will help you know identify where and when the market is profitable
12. Arrange for Accommodation: arranging for accommodation must be included in your services, find an affordable but welcoming accommodation which will make tourists feel at home when away from home
13. Service Packages: your package must be convincing enough to attract many customers, nobody wants something cheap with bad services, same as a high rate package with bad services
Then, it is best to contact thriving tour operators and gain more understanding and information about services and packages to help attract many clients with your good services and packages
14. Pricing: affordable pricing attract more in the business sector, so be mindful of where you place your price because it is the key to sustaining customers and gaining more
15. Advertisement: advertise your business by sharing your business flyers, business cards, advertising on billboards, local newspapers, social media, business websites, and many others.
It is always advisable to go in for effective advertising. You can choose 2 or 3 effective platforms for an advertisement to cut down on cost.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Tour Operator Business In South Africa
It doesn’t cost much to start a tour operator business. All you need is a leasing office, connections with travel agents and tour operators.
In an estimation, setting up a tour operator business can cost within the range of R5,000 – 30,000 depending on the kind of services you can offer.
Is The Tour Operator Business Profitable In South Africa
The hospitality and tourism industry keeps growing every year, and the industry needs more hands to be successful. Therefore, choosing the tour operator business among other businesses is the right step you’ve taken.
Best Places To Start A Tour Operator Business In South Africa
Below are some of the best places to set up your tour operator business in South Africa:
1. Cities with many tourist sites
2. Near main roads and highways which is visible and accessible
3. Near regional airports
How To Make The Tour Operator Business Successful In South Africa
The following are some of the factors to consider to help run a successful tour operator business in South Africa:
1. Provide what you promised
2. Put tourists safety first
3. Affordable and reasonable packages
4. Good customer relationship
5. Good communication skill
6. Breaking the language barrier
Challenges In The Tour Operator Business In South Africa
Below are some of the challenges facing the tour operator business in South Africa:
1. Duplicate data entries
2. Unknown requirements of clients
3. Operational management is challenging
4. Flooding inquiries
5. Rude clients
6. Bad tour guide
That is the information we can provide on how to start a tour operator business in South Africa.