Navigating the Tourism Industry: How to Start Your Own Business

Navigating the Tourism Industry: How to Start Your Own Business
In this guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know about setting up a tourism business in Australia, from the legal requirements to tips on how to make it successful.
by Square Jun 01, 2023 — 3 min read
Navigating the Tourism Industry: How to Start Your Own Business

Tourists are flocking to Australia in record numbers, with 11x as many people visiting in Australia in 2022 compared to the previous year, there’s never been a better time to start a tourism enterprise.

In this guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know about setting up a tourism business in Australia, from the legal requirements to tips on how to make it successful.

Why the tourism industry?

Australia’s tourism sector contributes over $152 billion to the economy annually and comprises hospitality, accommodation, entertainment and travel businesses.

We’re very lucky to call this beautiful country home. With its pristine beaches, diverse wildlife and laidback way of life, Australia is a primetime holiday destination for many around the world. As an Aussie local, your intimate knowledge of the area, the culture, and the unique attractions means you’re in a prime position to create an amazing tourist experience.

How to start a tourism business

As an entrepreneur, you are the best person to decide which business model will work for your tourism venture. However, there are some key things you need to be aware of before you get started.

1. Register your business: This is especially important if you plan to employ staff or offer any services that involve charging money – without registration, your business won’t be eligible for certain tax benefits or grants.

This is huge, as the Government is constantly offering grants for things like marketing, research and development, and more in the tourism industry. You can check current Government grant offerings for tourism businesses here by refining to ‘accommodation and food services.’

2. Get the right insurance: Business insurance can get pretty complex, but protecting your business from potential financial loss is essential. By law, you’ll need workers compensation insurance, public liability insurance and a third-party personal injury insurance if you own a business vehicle.

3. Understand your market: You know what’s great about your tourism business – now it’s time to uncover who’s actively looking for the special experiences you’re offering. Knowing the needs and wants of your target market can help you tailor your offering to maximise impact and appeal.

4. Plan for success: Creating a comprehensive business plan is essential for any successful business. Need some tips and tricks on how to write a business plan? Check out our article here.

5. Taking payments: One of the biggest things to consider when setting up your business is how to receive customer payments. As a tourism vendor, you’ll likely need to be able to accept credit/debit, and international transactions. That’s where we come in – Square has a dynamic suite of tools that connect every side of your business. Take payments on the go with Square Terminal or in-store with Square Register.

What support is available for Australian tourism businesses?

There’s a lot of federal support for Aussie tourism businesses. For starters, you can access the Entrepreneur’s Programme, a national program providing advice, connections and other services to small businesses.

The National Indigenous Tourism Mentoring Fund is available to help first nations tourism business operators adapt to and address current challenges within the industry, partnering them with local Indigenous mentors in their area.

Also, Tourism Australia lists a wealth of resources available to tourism entrepreneurs, like the Digital Solutions program and grants for specific projects.

Profitable tourism business ideas to start in 2023

1. Local Tour Guide: You can charge for guided tours, offer packages and discounts and even have online bookings.

2. Homestay Accommodation: Providing homestays or other accommodation options could be a great way to make a tidy profit.

3. Food Tour Operator: Eating is one of the most popular activities for tourists, so why not create food-based experiences for them? You can lead food tours, offer cooking classes and even provide catering services.

4. Adventure Travel Guide: Why not become an adventure travel guide if you love adventuring outdoors? All you need is a good understanding of the area, safety protocols and an adventurous spirit.

5. Event Planner: Planning events is a great way to make money in the tourism industry. You could plan corporate retreats, conferences, weddings or other special occasions that require expert organisation and creative flair.

The world of tourism is constantly changing, and now more than ever, the industry is full of potential. As an Aussie business owner looking to break into this space, understanding the legal requirements, insurance needs, and market research is key.

Start by exploring current government grants, and consider registering your business as a first step towards success. With the right plan in place, you can create a thriving tourism business in Australia.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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