Do you want to start a business in the travel and hospitality industry? Find here 40+ profitable travel business ideas in the tourism industry.
Actually, travel and tourism are the evergreen industry on this planet. Broadly, you can categorize the industry into two segments. These are domestic and international travel. The U.S. travel and tourism industry alone generates over $1.5 trillion in economic output in a year.
Of the more than 25 subsectors of the industry, three sectors – food services, air travel, and accommodations account for over 45% of total output. However, the accommodation segment holds the first position. In addition to that, air travel and foodservice segment hold second and third positions respectively.
List of 44 Profitable Travel Business Ideas in the Tourism Industry
#1. Adventure Club
Irrespective of your location, you can start an adventure club in any area. Generally, adventure clubs arrange adventure trips, activities, and adventure sports for the members. Apart from the membership fees, you can earn advertising revenue from the different companies who want to promote their products.
#2. Travel Agency
Starting a travel agency is one of the most common and lucrative business opportunities in the tourism industry. Broadly, you can start the business in two ways. Either as an independent travel operator or as a franchise partner of a reputed travel company. This business is easy to start. And it doesn’t demand huge capital investment initially.
#3. Airport Game Arcade
If you want to start a small kiosk retail business, then you can consider this opportunity. In most of the international airports, people spend a lot of time waiting for their next flights. And definitely, they look for an entertainment opportunity for passing time. Hence, you can earn a lucrative income from an airport game arcade.
#4. Airport Shuttle Service
This is another great opportunity if you live in a location near the airport. Basically, you have to provide a fast, easy, cost-effective way to book airport ground transportation. Additionally, you may consider providing two different services also – shuttle and private sedan. However, the business demands moderate capital investment and strategic planning.
#5. Beach Hotel
Actually, beach hotels are very popular worldwide. Beach hotels or resorts are the best places for spending time with ultimate leisure and fun. Generally, these hotels provide hotels, conference rooms, restaurants, and SPA among other services such as business center, laundry, and others. Establishing a beach hotel is a highly cash-intensive business. However, you can earn a lucrative ROI in long run.
#6. Bed & Breakfast Business
If you want to start and run a home business in the tourism industry, then you can consider this opportunity. Offering bed & breakfast service is a perfect business for the housewives, moms, and stay-at-home parents. However, it is important to check the licensing issues in your location before commencing the business.
#7. Boutique Hotel
Basically, boutique hotels are small in size. Typically, they have 10 to 100 rooms. Generally, boutique hotels attract upscale consumers to provide luxury accommodation with a spa, yoga, etc. In addition to that, these hotels come with a specific theme. Before initiating a boutique hotel business, you must craft a business plan with the right marketing strategy.
#8. Canoe Rental Service
Basically, you can start a canoe rental service in the river or sea. Apart from the canoe, you need to provide skilled manpower for personal assistance. Basically, tourists who want to enjoy the natural scenic beauty of the water are your potential clients in this business. As a value-added service, provide information on camping, hiking, fishing, exploring, or picnicking.
#9. Car Rental
Basically, the car rental business allows you to start with a small investment and with a comparative laser risk. However, the industry is highly competitive these days. The globally rising disposable incomes together with enhanced road infrastructure are the key factors for propelling the number of leisure and business trips. Hence, it boosts the industry growth.
#10. Charter Helicopter Service
Starting a helicopter company is not everyone’s cup of tea. Actually, the business demands a lot of investment towards procuring the copter, licensing, and maintenance. Additionally, the business demands the right marketing strategy and funds for implementing that.
#11. Coffee Shop
If you want to start a food retail business in the travel industry, then you can consider starting a coffee shop. Basically, coffee is one of the most preferred drinks worldwide. However, location is the most important aspect of this business. Apart from the different types of coffee including hot, cold, espresso, you can offer cookies and snacks items also.
#12. Corporate Event Planning
Basically, corporate event planning is one of the most lucrative service-based opportunities in the travel industry. As an event planner, your primary responsibility is to design inspiring and innovative corporate events that bring some great ideas to the fore. Like any other service-based business, you need good manpower in this business.
If you live in a tourist destination or in a metro city, you can make good money by offering translation services to people coming from outside. You can also contact tour operators who need translators for package tours outside and incoming guests.
#14. Ecotourism Business
Nowadays, ecotourism or nature tourism is the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry. As people are becoming environmentally conscious, the demand for this type of travel is growing. In ecotourism, tourists enjoy nature without leaving a harmful impact on nature. Additionally, ecotourism can provide a viable economic development alternative for local communities with few other income-generating options.
#15. Ferry Business
Basically, a ferry is a merchant’s vessel. It offers regular service through the water with many stops. Ferries form a part of the public transport systems of many waterside cities and islands, allowing direct transit between points at a capital cost much lower than bridges or tunnels. Before initiating a ferry business, you must conduct thorough market research.
#16. Healthy Vending Machine
Basically, a healthy vending machine makes healthy food more convenient than junk food. Generally, these machines provide healthy snacks, drinks, and meals. In getting success in this business, the location plays the most crucial role. You must provide quality foods according to the taste of the demographics of that area.
#17. Hotel Management Institute
If you want to start an education-based travel business in the tourism industry, then you can consider this opportunity. Basically, a full-scale hotel management institute provides several courses and programs for the students. The list may include BA in International Hospitality, BA in Hotel Management and Catering Technology, B.Sc in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, etc.
#18. Houseboat Rental Service
Basically, houseboats are some specific boats that are perfect for staying on the water. These are also popular as float houses. If you stay in a tourist destination that has waterbodies, you can consider starting this business. The modern houseboats offer comfortable staying with other amenities and food.
#19. International Trade Fair
Organizing international trade fair is a lucrative business in the travel industry. The business demands a lot of thoughtful planning and substantial capital investment. Basically, companies who look for international expansion often participate in this type of fair.
#20. Jet Ski Rental Service
If you stay in a coastal location that attracts people, you can consider starting a jet ski rental service business. Basically, the business demands small capital investment and proper business licenses for operation. Additionally, you must conduct thorough research about the potential of that particular location.
#21. Kayak Tours
If you are passionate about kayaking, you can turn your hobby into a successful business venture. First of all, decide where you want to offer kayaking tours. Additionally, learn about the area, wildlife, water currents, trivia, and history of your tour. Before initiating the business, check the licensing issues of your location.
#22. Luggage Delivery Service
Actually, luggage delivery or luggage shipping services are getting huge popularity these days. Generally, these companies provide safe and on-time luggage delivery in exchange for a cheaper rate than flights. In addition to that, they offer a wide different type of services like shipping cycles, bikes, and other household items.
#23. Luggage Store
Basically, you can open a luggage store business in two ways. Either as your individual store with a product line of multi-brand. Otherwise, you can start as a franchise partner of a reputed luggage company. The business is easy to start. Additionally, it is a profitable retail business in the tourism industry.
#24. Medical Tourism
Nowadays, medical tourism is a multi-million dollar industry. And both the developing and developed countries get the benefits of this. However, initiating this type of specializes service-based business demands adequate knowledge about the industry.
Initiating a microbrewery in a travel destination is a highly lucrative business. Generally, microbreweries serve craft beer with other snacks and food items. The business demands moderate capital investment and strategic planning.
#26. Night Club
Basically, a nightclub is an entertainment venue that comes with a bar. Typically, a nightclub consists of a stage for live music, one or more dance floor areas, and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays recorded music. This is a very lucrative opportunity both in the metro cities and tourist destinations.
#27. Online Hotel Booking Site
If you want to start an online business in the travel industry, you can definitely consider this opportunity. Currently, there are numerous options that are available for establishing an online platform. However, the business demands intensive research and moderate capital investment.
#28. Online Ticketing Service
This is another great online business in the tourism industry. Typically, online ticketing sites offer online ticket booking facility for air, train, bus, taxi, shuttle, etc. However, you can include other value-added services like hotel booking also.
#29. Photography Business
Actually, the photography business is highly related to the travel and tourism industry. Each and every tourist places have the potential for this business. However, you must have the skill for clicking the quality photo and quality equipment like a camera, light, etc.
#30. Pilgrimage Traveling Company
Simply, if you want to start a niche travel company, you can consider starting this travel business. Pilgrimage traveling companies offer packaged tour and individual tours with numerous value-added services. There is a huge number of the population who spend a lot of money visiting religious places. And that demographic is your target audience in this business.
#31. Private Security Service
Private security or escort service is getting huge popularity in the leisure and tourism industry. And this is perfect for starting this business. With very small capital investment, you can start this business. However, it is important to understand the market potential in your locality first.
Basically, the restaurant business is itself a very lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to start a food retail business. And if you open a restaurant in a tourist place, then definitely the chances of success become higher. However, selecting the right menu and providing the right taste of the food are the most crucial aspects of this business.
#33. Scooter Rental Business
If you want to start a small localized business, then scooter rental is absolutely perfect for you. Even with 3 to 4 scooters, you can start this service. Definitely, the business demands upfront startup capital investment and proper advertising.
#34. Shuttle Service
Definitely, opening a shuttle service company demands a lot of hard work and planning. However, the business is highly lucrative in metro cities and tourist places. First of all, conduct market research and try to understand the exact demand. Finally, determine what type of shuttle service you want to provide.
#35. Specialty Travel
If you want to start and run a travel company that attracts a niche audience, then you can consider this opportunity. There are several options you can consider. The list includes seniors, families with small children, women traveling alone, music lovers, and so on.
#36. Tour Guide
If you are looking for a travel business without investment, then you can consider starting a tour guide business. However, you must stay in a tourist place. And you must have enough knowledge about the local culture and history.
#37. Translation Service
This is another a great service-based business you can start almost without investment. Basically, international tourists often look for this type of service. If you have sound knowledge in several languages, you can consider this business.
#38. Adventure Travel Agency
Basically, adventure travel agencies organize adventure tours. Adventure travel is a type of niche tourism, involving exploration or travel with a certain degree of risk, and which may require special skills and physical exertion. Generally, teens and youths are the major participants in this type of tour.
#39. Travel Fair
Organizing travel fair is a very lucrative business. However, the business demands moderate capital investment, proper planning, a good connection of potential prospects, etc. Basically, people visits travel fair to know several trends in the industry. And companies who are in the travel related business spend a lot of money on showcasing their products to the targetted audience.
#40. Travel Insurance Selling
If you are passionate about financial services, then you can consider selling travel insurance. there are several reputed insurance companies who offer insurance facility for the travelers. The first thing that you have to do is getting a certified agency code for that company. And then only, you can sell travel insurance to the people who look for the same.
#41. Travelling Blog
If you have some specific expertise in the travel segment, you can set up a travel blog. Creating a blog is extremely SIMPLE and it does not require any coding skills (HTML). In fact, the whole process is somewhat automatic. Irrespective of your age you can start creating a blog.
#42. Travel Magazine
If you want to start a travel business in the media and publication segment, then start a travel magazine. However, this is not at all an easy business to start. It definitely, demands a lot of planning and capital investment. However, the business is highly profitable and ensures a good return.
#43. Water Taxi Service
The success of the water taxi business hugely depends on the location. So, you must understand the specific market demand in the location where you want to operate the business. This travel business demands small startup capital and hard work.
#44. Welcome Service
If you want to start a home-based business in the travel industry, then you can consider starting a welcome service business. Basically, a welcome service greets newcomers and helps introduce them to the local services they may need. The business doesn’t demand a lot of capital for starting. However, you must have the solid networking and communication skill for getting success in this business.
Leisure and tourism are the highly growing industry these days. So, you can find several business opportunities that fit with your passion, skill and investment capacity. We hope, this list of 40+ travel business ideas will help you in starting your own business.
Editorial Staff at NextWhatBusiness is a team of Business Consultants having years of experience in small and medium scale businesses.