Travel and Leisure Franchises UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running a successful UK Travel and Leisure Franchise.
Travel and Leisure Franchises UK offer a variety of opportunities to those who are willing to put their foot down. Find out all about the eventful and vibrant world of Leisure and Travel Franchises UK.
In a digital-heavy and lifestyle-centric world, it’s no wonder that leisure and travel agency franchises have managed to carve out a spacious niche for themselves.
In the past few decades, service provider businesses have transformed themselves into true economy shapers. The global economy doesn’t favour manufacturing powers as heavily as it used to about a century ago. Lifestyle – and above all, technology – are the prime movers, especially in demographics with higher levels of disposable income.
So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that the three top service sector entities – financial, travel and technology – have come together to create some unique business models. From offshore weekend gateaways to elaborate, month-long, customised tours of distant parts of the world – people are willing to indulge.
Leisure and travel agency franchises UK have benefitted immensely from this boom. In this article, we’ll be discussing what travel and leisure franchises UK are, how you can buy one, what the cost considerations are and what it really takes to make it all work.
Travel Agency Franchises UK – Industry Overview
As is the norm for our franchising blogs, before taking a good look at what travel agency franchises UK are in terms of investment potential and performance, let’s see how the overall travel and tourism industry in the UK has been performing of late.
- The inbound and outbound travel industry in the UK is much larger than most people give it credit for. In 2018 alone, for example, the industry is estimated to have contributed over £200 bn to the UK economy. These figures are certainly comparable with other service industries like health and wellness. (Source: Statista)
- In July 2018 (according to the latest data sets made available by the ONS), nearly 4 million overseas visitors visited various tourist destinations in the country.
- These tourists are estimated to have spent well over £2 billion during this one-month window.
- The tourism and travel industry is estimated to have employed over 3 million UK residents. This accounts for over a tenth of the entire UK workforce. Deloitte estimates this number to touch 4 million, come 2025. The rising clout of travel franchises UK has, no doubt, played a pivotal part in creating these employment opportunities.
- While the domestic and inbound travel accounts for the biggest share of the overall travel and tourism pie, it’s important to consider the outbound travel segment too. Britons spend over £40 billion each year on overseas trips (70% of which are to Europe).
- On an average, brits are among the most frequent vacationers in Europe.
A cursory look at these numbers should be enough to understand that there’s a wide, deep pool of opportunities available for tourism and travel agency franchises UK. That they have been among the consistently efficient performers in all franchising sectors shouldn’t, then, come as a surprise.
How Do UK Travel Franchises Work?
If you aren’t familiar with how franchising works, a good place to start is our series of free franchising guides.
Travel franchises UK work similar to all other franchise sectors in the UK.
A successful business with a proven business model franchises their business operations to bring on board new investment and fuel growth in new districts and territories. The franchisees benefit from the brand name and the already-proven business model, without having to start from the scratch.
Many travel agency franchises UK have also set up franchises overseas. While we won’t be covering them here, it’s a good point to note if you’re willing to set up shop in countries like Spain, Portugal and France.
How Much Do Travel Franchises UK Cost?
Since travel agency franchises UK are service providers, they tend to cost a lot less – particularly because there’s no extravagant spending involved in getting a franchises unit up and running.
Much of the costs that you – as a franchisee – should be aware of will revolve around the franchise fees, staff salaries, utilities and marketing.
During the first few months, most travel agency franchises UK tend to spend a great share of their budget on marketing and networking. Advertising online through PPC ads is the most common technique used by travel and tourism franchises UK, followed by social media marketing, referral marketing and local (offline) advertising.
As long as you work with a reputed franchisor, you will have their native marketing system to benefit from (for a fee, of course). If you wish to operate in a competitive territory, you will need to pour in additional funds on your own to stir up enough buzz and attract a steady stream of customers.
Types of Tourism and Travel Franchises UK
On the whole, the tourism and travel franchises UK can be divided into two broad categories – businesses that facilitate travel (travel agencies, immigration agencies, tour planners and so on) and peripheral businesses (hotels, B&Bs, lodges, holiday homes and so on).
In this article, we will be focussing mainly on travel agency franchises and other tourism franchises.
Travel Agency Franchises UK
This is the most common type of tourism and travel franchises UK. A UK travel agency franchise aims to facilitate the important aspects of travels and tours for their customers. These usually include ticketing, lodging and insurance.
While it’s true that the business is slower for such franchises in the internet era, it’s worth noting that there’s a significant demand for pre-planned travel packages that are cheaper, more convenient and less demanding for customers.
Tour Planner Franchises UK
UK tour planner franchises are an extension of travel agent franchises that we discussed just now. As a tour planner franchise, you will be onboarding customers for the packages set up by the franchisor business. Essentially, you will be acting as a local representative of the franchisor business, and netting a large share of commissions in the process.
Tour planner franchises typically handle every aspect of the entire tour – from booking return tickets to managing accommodations and arranging for sightseeing to streamlining visa procedures.
Immigration Assistance and Visa Franchises
Visa franchises UK form a special category of their own.
A typical UK visa franchise will have operations that extend well beyond tourism. Facilitating visa procedures for education, medical treatments, business trips and tourism account for the important facets of such businesses.
Specialty Niches – Cruise Franchises and Entertainment Franchises UK
Entertainment is an integral part of travel and tourism.
Cruise franchises UK combine entertainment, leisure and travel into one irresistible package. As a franchise unit of the parent business, you will be acquiring customers for various cruise tours and packages that the franchisor has affiliations with.
How Much Does a Travel and Tourism Franchise UK Cost?
The costs of buying a franchise unit vary, depending on three main factors:
1. The business model of the franchisor (agency franchises usually cost a lot less than leisure franchises)
2. The territorial competition
3. The seasonal demand spread
Most travel and tourism franchises UK have an unevenly spread out revenue, with the summer months bringing in most of their money, followed by the Christmas holidays. This seasonal spread usually reflects in the low franchise fees for travel franchises.
A typical travel agency franchise UK will cost you anywhere between £3,000 to £15,000.
Travel agency and tourism franchise units usually break even within first 18 months of trading.
What Does It Take to Run a Successful Travel Franchise UK?
Running a successful UK travel franchise is all about shrewd marketing and efficient networking.
Here are some personality traits that you may need to have in order to run a travel and tourism franchise UK smoothly:
- Ability to work with a small group of employees
- Getting the most out of every marketing pound you spend
- Working without friction with the franchisor
- Maintaining cordial relationships with customers
- Having an innate passion for travelling
Top Travel Franchises UK
Here’s our selection of some of the most popular travel franchises in the UK:
1. MTC Travel
- Minimum Initial Investment: £1,495 (plus VAT)
- USP: Affordable tours and travel packages
- Business development support
- Specialty cruise packages
- No hidden costs
- Full training on offer
- Minimum Initial Investment: £9,700 (plus VAT)
- USP: Luxury lodges, cabins and holiday homes
- Uncapped earnings
- Home-based franchise business
- Vibrant community of vacationers and homeowners
- Minimum Initial Investment: £13,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: UK’s leading cruise agency
- Network of 60+ franchisees
- Full training and support
- Sales-centric business model
- Finance assistance
- Full BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £9,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: One of the fastest growing travel companies in the UK
- Home-based travel franchise opportunities across the UK
- Pre-training programme
- Exclusive five-day training (residential programme)
- Ongoing support and mentoring
- Marketing support
Tourism and Travel Agency Franchises UK – The Takeaways
- Study your local travel market carefully (here’s our franchising market research guide to get you started).
- Choose a franchisor that brings a wide range of travel products on board.
- Invest in opportunities that your local market can identify with.
- Learn the ropes of marketing to grow your franchise business.