What a Tour Broker Is and How to Become One

A person who operates a tour company is a broker. A broker is a middleman. Brokers buy or arrange items or services and sells these items or services to the end buyer. Some examples of brokers are:

Independent insurance agents. These agents do not provide insurance; they arrange insurance for you from an insurance company. Insurance agents usually get a commission from an insurance company.

Stock brokers. Like insurance agents, stock brokers help you buy and sell stock. They don’t own the stock. These brokers also receive a commission based on the amount sold.

Real estate broker. Again, these brokers do not own the properties they sell and they get a commission based on the value of what they sell.

There are also tour brokers. Tour brokers serve a variety of customers. This article is about what a tour brokerage is and the basics of this business.

Here is a good description if what a tour is: A trip with visits to various places of interest for business, pleasure, or instruction.

Here travel is defined: To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey.

A tour, then, is not only travel but it is travel with the purpose being pleasure or interest. You may think of a tour as extended travel with the object being to see and experience an area. Travel, on the other hand, is usually only about moving from one place to another.

A tour broker works with people on a continuous basis. If you are going to get involved in this type of business you should like working with people – you have to be a people person.

Tour brokers are not travel agents. Travel agents arrange for the travel needs of their customers. Usually a travel agent will only work with individuals or small groups (families, for example). Travel agents also always buy something that is already in place (air travel, car rentals, hotels, etc.), they do not originate anything.

Tour brokers originate – they arrange tours, they arrange the transportation, they arrange the lodging, they arrange the meals, and they arrange other services for their clients. A tour broker plans on what kind of tour he/she wants to operate.

Next, the tour broker makes arrangements for the various components of the tour – transportation, food, lodging, attractions, etc.

There are many types of tour companies. Some offer guided tours of a local area – tours of a city or an attraction, for example. Some offer tours in a natural setting – guided tours through the Grand Canyon fall into this category. Some offer tours to various national and state parks. Some offer tours through a large area, a multi-state tour is a good example.

IF YOU LIKE TO TRAVEL – FOR FREE – THIS IS A GREAT BUSINESS TO BE IN

You may have to do inspections of the hotels and attractions that you will be making a part of your tour. If you have been taught correctly you will know how to get “comp” (short for complimentary or Free) rooms and meals. If you will go along with the tour, you should expect to get comps again. How to set it up so that you get comps is something your mentor should teach .

NOTE THAT THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HERE ONLY APPLIES TO THE US. OTHER COUNTRIES MAY HAVE DIFFERENT RULES

As I mentioned before, this is a people business. Liking to work with people and liking to solve problems is a prime requirement.

Like a church is a church because someone calls it a church, a tour broker is a tour broker because someone says that they are a tour broker. There is no requirement for a license. If you do operate a business there may be a need for you to get a federal tax number and your county or city may require you to get a business license. As far as needing a license to become a tour broker – there is no license required. From the mid 1930′s until the 1980s transportation was strictly controlled by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). Under the Deregulation Act of 1982, competition was allowed and the need for federal authority became a thing of the past.

Depending on where you are you may need some sort of business license. Call your local county office and ask for the office in charge of business licenses. This should be easy as all they really want is for you to file some paperwork and pay them a small fee.

If you are going to be making money (and why else get in the business?) you are going to have to get a federal tax number. This number is called a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and is used in business much as your Social Security number is used for benefits.

I have looked at various sites on the Internet purporting to be concerned with how to become a tour operator. Most do not seem to understand what a tour operator is or does. Those which got close to the concept either offers to teach or provided links to sites which may prepare someone how to be a tour guide. A tour guide is not a tour operator – at best, a tour guide works for a tour operator.

A tour operator runs his/her own business

It’s as simple as that – you own and run the business. If you plan to make a profit you follow this rule – buy low, sell high. People tend to make things too difficult. You buy at one price and sell at another price, easy, huh?

The real “trick” to making money in the tour business is to understand that concept of breaking even (BE). The break even point is where you don’t lose money and where you don’t make money. To help you understand this idea you have to understand that there are two types of costs in most businesses – fixed and variable. A fixed cost is one that will occur whether you have 10 clients or 46. Office rent is a fixed cost. You have to pay the rent whether or not you operate any tours. A variable cost is a cost that is dependent on something else. An example of a variable cost would be the cost an attraction (theme park). If you have 20 clients the total cost of the attraction is dependent (variable) on the number of clients you have.

The lack of good information on this business led me to believe that those in this business do not want competition or they don’t have time to write about how they run their business. A well thought out tour, advertised correctly, can bring in thousands in revenue. For example, suppose that you operate a seven- day bus tour. The tour sells for $985.00 (per person, double occupancy) and you have 36 people go on your tour. The gross revenue on this tour will be over $35,000.00 and you should be able to retain at least $10,000.00 of that amount.

IS THIS THE SORT OF BUSINESS FOR YOU?

It is possible to may some serious money in this business – you could also lose money. Here are some basic requirements that you should have before starting such a business.

You should like working with people
You should not panic when things go from good to bad to even worse
You should be able to organize things easily
You should have at least a working knowledge of certain computer programs – word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail
You should have a copy machine and a fax machine
You should have at least one telephone
You should have at least one fairly up-to-date computer

What sort of tours and what do I do next?

The world is your oyster

This is really the fun part – you can go anywhere! Successful brokers operate three-day tours from Denver into the nearby Rocky Mountains and seven-day tours to Branson, Missouri. Brokers on the east coast offer tours into New England and parts of Eastern Canada as well as longer tours into the American southwest.

Brokers in Seattle do a good business operating tours into the Copper Canyon of Mexico. Some brokers offer tours to musical events, art showings, and short trips to New York City for Christmas shopping.

Where to go is up to you as long as you keep it reasonable. Going to Iraq now may not be the best choice but there is a company in the UK offering and operating tours into Iraq – make sure that your clients sign many disclosures stating that you are not at fault in case of your death. Given the current state of the economy it may be wise to limit your offerings to North America but tours to Costa Rica seem to sell very well.

To find out more about this exciting business click here.

The author spent many years in the transportation business including driving interstate buses, operating tours, and managing land transportation companies. For 10 years he operated a group tour company which took clients to most of the US and specific attractions in Canada and Mexico. This article was written to help readers decide if this is the sort of business that they may like and have success in.

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Travel Tours

People travel specifically because they want to enjoy a rather relaxing time away from their everyday lives. But with the hassles of building itineraries and planning your trip from start to finish may be somewhat of a hassle. Thankfully, there are travel tours that do that for us that also include tours to take you around your destination without all the hassle and the fuss.

Travel globally are made available by different local and international travel companies to provide great value vacations that fit your needs. Like travel tours, packages come equipped with all the necessary information you need from a complete itinerary to the hotel or hotels you will be staying in for your entire trip.

But the most important thing to note is that they are cost efficient and definitely maximize your time of stay in your destinations. Because they already have the itinerary ready even before your trip, time of arrival and departure to these destinations are carefully planned out to give you enough time to learn and see more of the places. Also, they will also map out the essential sites that you need to see so you won’t miss out on anything.

However, it makes traveling a lot more comfortable as well. With all these transfers from airport to your hotels and to wherever you need to go (as long as it is on the itinerary) are all provided for. The tours also lessen the chance of spending a little too much money and the occasional “lost tourist”.

Despite the assurance of a smooth travel, sometimes it may tend to be hectic and may require moving faster than your usual pace to keep up with the itinerary. Some tours are definitely more tiresome than the others and so you should really see first which travel packagers you will be able to keep pace with.

Depending on what travel tours you avail of, the itinerary varies from included sights to sights that you may opt to pay for to see or not. The activities also vary depending on what travel tour you decide to go for.

Some of the well-known international travel tours include Globus, Cosmos and Contiki Tours just to name a few. These travel companies have been tried and tested throughout the years and provide a wide number of travel tours to suit your every need. From first class travel tours to budget tours and tours for the younger travelers, these companies have all lined up tours that are sure to tickle your fancy.

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Travel Website Dictionary

For the benefit and convenience of the traveler and adventure lover travel dictionary is compiled. This dictionary provided a complete guide to all the aspects of traveling. You might be a regular business traveler looking for some discount on travel cost or the wanderlust looking out for a vacation that many travelers do not take. For every kind of traveler with whatever their requirements, website dictionary is the solution.

There are a number of things that go into planning a vacation and without a good travel dictionary this is impossible on your own. The road map has to be conceptualized and the itinerary must be sorted out. While you can get a customized itinerary for you self you can also select one suitable to your travel destination from an array of great tours travel website dictionaries boast of.

Only a travel website dictionary will be able to get you the latest updates on prices of tours, discount packages and the umpteen frills all travelers look out for. You can get them right in your inbox by signing up with them. The latest fares and the festivals are all listed on travel website dictionaries.

Before spending your hard earned money on a lavished tour it’s always a good idea to sample its preview. And what better way to do that than through the eyes of experienced travelers and their travelogues. On a travel website dictionary you get the opportunity to communicate with there travelers who have been to the sites where you plan to go. Get the best tips and cultural information on the food habits, dress code and religious customs before you arrive.

A travel website directory is one that gives you the chance to sit back in your easy chair and book a travel guide over the net. Isn’t it a better proposition to have your travel guide waiting for you on arrival than to scout the alien city seeking one out. Travel agents who register on travel website dictionaries have a name for themselves, and can give you the right information which many guide books are unable off.

A travel website dictionary is also regularly updated and you will get all the latest information about new sites to visit, the recent change in hotel room tariffs and what is new in town. You can source contact numbers and get more information from their websites and agencies that have been listed. A Travel dictionary has a huge list of hotels, taxi services, insurance companies, travel guides and travel tips that you cannot expect to find any where else.

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