How to Start a Profitable Travel Agency in Nigeria

A travel agency works with hotels, railways, cruise lines and airlines. They offer services as agents by selling travel related products to the general public.
They sell tickets at discounts and profit from the advertised price in form of commissions. The startup cost to establishing a travel agency is about N30, 000,000 million naira.
You need funds for association fees, operational license, office space and furniture. Other fund requirements are staff, CAC registration, office materials, promotions and website.
Basic Startup Requirements
You need to decide on the agencies business template. Then choose a business name and incorporate the company.
Write a travel agency business plan and create a brand identity. Get a logo, domain name and hosting. Build a website and develop a good marketing strategy.
Hire qualified staff and register with the national association of Nigerian travel agents. You also need to register as a member of International Air Transport Association.
Go for continue training and get a global distribution network. Don’t forget travel agency insurance and tax identification number.
Startup Basics
  • decide on the agencies business template
  • choose a business name
  • incorporate the company
  • write a travel agency business plan
  • create a brand identity
  • make a logo
  • buy a domain name and hosting
  • Build a website
  • develop a good marketing strategy
  • Hire qualified staff
  • register with the national association of Nigerian travel agents
  • register as a member of International Air Transport Association
  • go for continue training
  • get a global distribution network
  • get travel agency insurance
  • tax identification number
  • Travel Magazines That Pay Writers
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Organizational Structure of a Travel Agency
The organizational structure of a travel agency starts with the chairman or CEO. Then you have the managing director, director and general manager.
The departments include financial department, reservation, advertisement and marketing department. You have the out bounded department, MICE and Human resources department.
Travel Agency Jobs and Departments
The reservation and travel department works closely with the tour consultant and tour guide.
Duties and Role of Departments
Reservation and Tour Operation Department
The reservation department has programs that offer best value, timing and itineraries. They offer travelers competitive rates and discounts.
Their job description includes quotations, after sales follow-up enquiries. The department also liaisons with destination offices, agents, travel booking agents and hotels.
  • offer best value
  • timing and itineraries
  • competitive rates
  • discounts
  • quotations
  • after sales follow-up enquiries
  • liaison with destination offices
  • agents
  • travel booking agents and hotels
Accounts Department
The account department takes care of the finances and ensures that entries are properly documented. They review ledger and prepare financial statements.
Other functions are analysis of spread sheet, payments, cash at hand and expenses. They also reconcile branch office accounts, debtors and maintain the books.
  • finances
  • proper documented
  • review ledger
  • prepare financial statements
  • analyze of spread sheet
  • payments
  • cash at hand
  • expenses
  • reconcile branch office accounts
  • debtors
  • maintain the books
Special Event Department
The special event department provides team activity and event organization. They create souvenirs, room gifts and coordinate accommodation issues.
Sales and Advertisement Department
The advertisement department is responsible for attracting new clients, maintain existing ones and targeting. They plan appointments, develop new products, visit outstations and create promotional. The sales department generates sales leads, offer products and collect sales.
  • attracting new clients
  • maintain existing ones
  • targeting
  • plan appointments
  • develop new products
  • visit outstations
  • create promotional
  • generate sales leads
  • offer products
  • collect sales
How to Become a Travel Agent
There are two types of travel agents, those that accommodate both local and international flight and local agents. To become an international travel agent you are required to obtain a license from the IATA.
The international Air Transport Association regulates air travel worldwide. It is mandatory your register your agency with them. Here are steps on how to become IATA Agent
How to Become IATA Agent
They provide a travel agent handbook to ease the registration process. The first step is to visit the iata website and select your country.
Then submit your application as specified by the guide. Pay the accreditation fees once your application is accepted.
IATA Travel Agent Application Guide for Nigeria
Every step of the application form must be filled. Any omission would result in immediate rejection of the application.
1. Use the IATA portal to fill the form- Here
2. Statement of International sales
3. Staff listing
4. Financial statement- certified by a public accountant-minimum paid share capital of N30, 000,000 million naira
5. Copy of trade license or certificate of incorporation
6. Minimum paid share capital of N30, 000,000 million naira
7. Memorandum and article of association
8. List of bank guarantees
9. Photograph of interior and exterior of agency
10. Sample of travel agency’s letterhead
11. Attested Agency Banking Details
12. Direct Debit Form Filled
If your application is accepted the IATA would contact you for payment of joining fees. They will also contact regarding the amount of guarantee if required.
Specific Sales Activity
13. Specific Sales activity form signed by authorized person in agency
There are also the agents banking detail form to fill.
There are 2 different types of fees. They are the branch joining fees and annual fees. They also have the specific sales activity joining fees and annual fees.
How to Become a Travel Agent
The travel agents career map starts with a degree program. Although earning a degree isn’t require a certificate or university degree is beneficial.
Get a degree in related fields such as tourism, travel and travel planning. You can enroll in certificate or associate degree programs.
Try to get a bachelors or masters degree in hospitality, business administration , travel or tourism. Other career moves are internship in a travel agency to gain first hand knowledge.
You can enroll for an online course to learn multiple travel agency models. It is important you gain work experience and pursue voluntary certification.
Join an association in your area for certification as a member and credibility. Continued education is important in the travel business. This is because of the fast pace of changing technology, practices and trends.
Career Requirements
  • Earn a Certificate or University Degree
  • Gain Work Experience
  • Become an Intern
  • Consider Certification
  • Try Continue Education
  • Join an Association
Agents Requirements for Foreign Airlines
 There are some guidelines for travel agents of foreign airlines. The procedure for application requires the agent to submit an application to the director general Nigeria civil aviation authority.
This comes with a non-refundable fee of N250, 000. Each applicant should obtain and complete the NCAA form.
Documentation you need for the application process is certificate of incorporation and management staff curricula vitae. Others are current tax clearance certificate, memorandum and article of association.
More documents are evidence of publication in a national daily newspaper. You need to submit your directors certificate obtained in aviation related courses.
You must add evidence of agency agreement with foreign airline and the aviation related services on offer.
Submit an Application to
  • director general Nigeria civil aviation authority
  • non-refundable fee of N250, 000
  • complete the NCAA form
  • certificate of incorporation
  • management staff curricula vitae
  • current tax clearance certificate
  • memorandum and article of association
  • evidence of publication in a national daily newspaper
  • directors certificate obtained in aviation related courses
  • evidence of agency agreement with foreign airline
  • aviation related services on offer
General Requirements
The general requirements include minimum authorization share capital of N1, 000,000 one million naira. It is essential the applicant organizes refresher course. They need to have an office at airport and secure clients documents.
Services Offered by Travel Agencies
A travel agency offers different services to their customers. They offer consultancy services, event tickets, flight tickets and book flights. Others are tour pages, hotel accommodation, transportation and tour travel
  • offer consultancy services
  • event tickets
  • flight tickets
  • book flights
  • tour pages
  • hotel accommodation
  • transportation
  • tour travel
The marketing and sales operations include printing of brochures and distribution. Others strategy are agency promotions, evaluating strength of competitors and creating packages.
They penetrate the market through retail outlets, internet, direct or through independent travel agents. The agency can use electronic and print media to sell the company through adverts. The travel agency should have a website to highlight their services and products.


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