Investing in Africa-How to Become a Kenya Travel Agency
As any seasoned tourist will tell you, the best Kenya safaris are borne of meticulous planning and collaboration between a Kenya travel agency and its client. Lately, there is a heightened demand for more tourism products, and a substantial number of entrepreneurs are thus eyeing the industry as a haven for investment.
That growth in tourism has partly been spurred by a burgeoning local middle class and its appetite for luxury and mid-luxury Kenya vacations. The new market is a welcome addition to the traditional international arrivals who troop to a country that is globally revered for its sterling safari experiences.
In view of the above, what does one need to know before establishing a Kenya travel agency? In this article, we discuss the key elements you need to address when delving into Kenya travel and tours.
1. Pick a niche
Kenya is a melting pot of different attractions and cultures. As such various travel packages emerge.
To distinguish yourself as one of the best travel agencies in Kenya, you will therefore need to identify a niche market. Doing so clarifies your area of focus and helps you deliver the best Kenya vacation experiences within that niche.
The most known types of tourism found in Kenya are wildlife and beach tourism, sports tourism, adventure tours, and cultural and heritage tours.
However, there are also lesser known segments which include agro-tourism, business tourism, and eco-tourism.
When choosing a niche, you may opt to narrow down your options according to the geographic location you wish to operate. That will depend on the attractions you hope to cover.
Alternatively, may pick a niche based on who your target market is, and the kind of safaris you will offer them. Here you consider whether it will be a budget safari, luxury safari, or mid-luxury safari.
2. Pick your business partners
The other crucial consideration is who your business partners will be.
Based on your niche market, which hotels operate within the location you intend to cover? Are there native professional guides you can hire? Who are the most reliable ticketing agents?
Establishing a good working relationship with other industry players is vital as businesses are highly symbiotic ventures.
It is thus advisable to know which kinds of galleries, parks, museums, and reserves have a presence in your proposed area of operation and their admission requirements.
An excellent travel company in Kenya is one capable of seamlessly delivering the ultimate Kenya vacation by combining the best that all these different players have to offer.
In other words, the client should be able to remember the experience. With most memorable safari excursions, clients may not even be able to tell who did what- just that the entire experience was exhilarating.
Such is the power of the best travel agencies in Kenya- they harness the input of each of the industry players and weave a unified cohesive product out of it.
As we shall see below, one of the requirements of registering a travel company in Kenya is having a registered place of business or office.
The office needs to be staffed with the relevant personnel and equipment. That includes furniture, computers, etc.
Since tourism is a travel intensive affair, you will also need to consider how your company intends to meet its client’s transport needs.
Typically, the best travel agencies in Kenya are those that avail dependable and suitable domestic transport for their clients throughout their Kenya vacation.
Where road trips are concerned, the company provides comfortable safari vans and 4X4 Land Cruisers suited to the terrain the visitors are about to embark on.
Such companies also handle the traveler’s airport transfers and domestic ticketing where domestic flights are required.
4. Registration requirements
Now for the most formal part of the entire planning process; the registration of your business.
For it to operate legally, a Kenya travel and tours company must be duly incorporated as per the law. Incorporation is the process of registering the company with the Registrar of Companies.
To incorporate the company, you shall be required to have following documents:
- The company’s memorandum of association
- The company’s articles of association
- Copy of the lease agreement where your offices are located (if under lease)
- Copy of the company’s KRA PIN certificate
- List of directors, copies of their KRA PIN certificates and ID cards/ passports.
- Proof that the company director is certified by IATA (International Air Travel Association). This is applicable for those travel companies in Kenya that intend to engage in air ticket sales.
A lawyer would be able to help you with this.
Upon incorporation, the company must also take out the necessary trade licenses required within its area of operation. These include being licensed by the Tourism Regulation Authority and taking out county government licenses and permits.
5. Marketing strategy
Last but not least, you will need to consider your company branding and marketing.
What does your brand stand for and which marketing strategies are best suited for it?
To offer the best Kenya safaris, your brand needs to stay conscious of the needs of its clients and keep itself updated of their interests.
One of the best ways to go about this is by having an online social media presence where your staff can constantly engage with your clients.
Also, be sure to come up with attractive and lucrative packages that will appeal to your market segment. On the same note, you could consider having price variations within your niche; such that you have different products for different types of clients in your market.