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How to Start a Travel Agency Business Philippines

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A surprising fact is that starting a travel agency business in the Philippines does not necessarily require a huge amount of capital. Therefore, aside from being profitable, it could be exciting and fun for an entrepreneur who loves the travel industry.

With people showing a lot of great travel destinations on social media, it is no wonder many Filipinos have become more interested in traveling. Therefore, owning a travel agency in the Philippines may be a profitable business as we look into the near distant future.

Let us take a look at the steps on how to set up a travel agency in the Philippines. We will also be exploring the option of a travel franchise in the Philippines for those interesting in the franchising option!  

Table of Contents

Steps On How To Set Up A Travel Agency In The Philippines

1. the travel agency business plan.

Because your business plan is the draft for your travel agency business , you could consider including the following information:

Executive Summary: This briefly introduces the business and summarizes your plan. For instance, you could decide whether to have a travel franchise in the Philippines or your travel agency (and what benefits and restrictions both possess). Its also wise to include a description of the business, the target market, financial estimates, and the solutions to possible difficulties in setting up a travel agency in the Philippines.

For those who have significant capital to start a travel agency in the Philippines, you could apply for accreditation from the International Air Transport Association, which will prove valuable in brand trust.  

* The International Air Transport Association manages airlines, passenger agents, and cargo agents internationally. Therefore, getting accredited would allow travel agency owners to sell domestic and international plane tickets acting as agents for airline companies. The business would also be allowed to re-book, re-issue, or re-validate issued tickets and endorse them to other airlines if needed.

On the other hand, those who do not have accreditation do not have the authorization to release tickets. Therefore, either they purchase from an accredited agent or the airline. 

Travel Business Summary: This summary details the distribution of the ownership and the requirements for starting up, such as the capital and location.If you plan to have a fairly small travel agency, a capital of 50,000 PHP to 100,000 PHP could be enough to cover required documents, office equipment, utilities, and lease. 

More space and more people would be needed for more travel agencies with critical operations such as partnerships or corporations since there could be more clients. An estimate of 450,000 PHP + is often wise with this scale of business.

Services And Products: You would determine what services or products you could provide to the visitors in this section. Always remember the upsell and cross-selling to maximize your business profit 😉

Market Analysis : This provides more detailed information about the target market and the business’ competitors. 

Business Strategy: This section describes the plan on how to operate and build a travel agency business in the Philippines further through marketing and product or services pricing. 

Financial Summary : This states the business’ income and costs projections . Even those this is the last section on our list. However, some would suggest that this is one of the essential areas of business. Therefore, it is recommended to spend time studying the costs, prices, and any potential opportunities/threats.

2. Philippines Travel Agency Permits And Licenses 

When setting up a travel agency business in the Philippines, you will need to register at the Department of Trade and Industry . This is also required if you plan to start your travel agency business in the Philippines alone or at home. For a corporation or partnership travel agency, the business would need to be registered at the Security and Exchange Commission . 

You can refer here for the detailed list of requirements of how to set up a travel agency in the Philippines. In addition, you may wish to familiarize yourself with other legal requirements for setting up a travel agency business in the Philippines. Republic Act 1478

3. The Office Location And Space

Owners need to consider many factors when looking for an ideal location. The most important could be the accessibility to the intended market. Second, the location should be convenient for them. Lastly, the business owner needs to make sure that the space is affordable. 

Although office space can be expensive, starting a travel agency in the Philippines does not need a large office space as long as the staff could effectively attend to the clients.

A space of 10 to 15 sq meters could be enough for a home-based travel agency. If you are considering a commercial space with high foot traffic, a space of 60 to 200 sq meters could be also enough to entertain walk-in clients. 

4. The Travel Agency’s Equipment

One of the essential steps on how to set up a travel agency in the Philippines is choosing the equipment. These could include computers with good specs, printers, fax machines, landline phones, mobile phones for office use, photocopying machines, CCTV cameras, and vaults.

Sofas and tables to accommodate walk-in clients, desks, chairs, cabinets, and tables are some of the office interior essentials. 

5. The Travel Agency Staff

When you are starting to build a travel agency in the Philippines, one of the most critical areas is hiring the right people and having the right team. If your budget is low, Fear not! This is because some travel agency tasks can be computer-generated, saving you time and money. (such as squareup that can make an appointment fast and effortless)

As the business flourishes, having at least two staff members in the office to attend to more customers would be ideal. Aside from catering to walk-in clients, you could offer a more variety of your services.

Expanding the business further, you have the option to hire two employees responsible for ticketing and making reservations, a cashier or an accountant, a receptionist to take calls and take care of the walk-in clients, and a messenger to bring and pick documents. 

Although it is not difficult to train staff to make travel reservations, it would be an advantage to get graduates in tourism with a computer reservation system background. Hiring people with experience working for a travel agency is always a good option.

6. Travel Destinations, Packages, And Promos

Depending on your target market, you could decide on what destinations are most famous or profitable. For example, you could target families with children, young adults, senior citizens, backpackers with different tastes, interests, and lifestyles, or business and corporate travelers. 

Since destinations are different, the travel agency needs to collect data on hotels, air flight schedules, a list of tourist spots and beaches, and insurance, among many others. But, again, you could anticipate what information your clients would need. 

Moreover, you could be open to specific preferences clients could have. You could also offer travel packages to make their decision easier. Preparing packages for some destinations could help your clients. Although pamphlets could be helpful, owners could not expect all clients to decide right away due to some considerations such as travel duration and price. 

Since you would prepare a database, you would choose airlines, hotels, resorts, and tour operators to partner with. Clients who are on a budget usually check out promo packages. Nevertheless, it still depends on the travel experience they want and their travel schedule. 

Therefore, the ones you would choose could be based on affordability, the convenience of the target market, and profitability.

It would not be a good idea to risk cheaper options with a partner that has a questionable reputation. Even though the price would come at a premium, working with a good reputation partner could go a long way. 

7. Marketing For Your Travel Agency In The Philippines

Just like other industries, there are many ways to market a travel agency business. If you were able to build a travel agency in the Philippines with great branding, you could reap many benefits. 

To do this, you could give attention to your business’ brand name and logo. Then, you may promote by putting up signages outside your office, malls, and other public places.

You could also take part in travel events and expos or sponsor a booth. Aside from promoting, you could meet people from the same industry, such as vendors and potential partners. 

Having a travel agency in the Philippines, it is crucial to establish an online presence. This method is cost-effective and affordable since it can be targeted and measured. You could have a website that contains destinations, packages, airfare promos, and blogs so that potential customers can access much information. (also helps with SEO/website visibility)

Moreover , it could save more time for receptionists since they can focus on other work or clients. 

In this age, social media is vital in advertising businesses. Creating a Facebook page , Instagram, or Twitter account is an essential step on how to set up a travel agency in the Philippines. On Facebook, you could promote your agency’s travel packages and create engagement. On Twitter, you could answer queries and post whenever you have a new blog post. On Instagram, you could highlight photos of different interesting destinations.

Nevertheless, the most effective promotion would be word of mouth. Therefore, it is a good idea to make clients happy by offering competitive rates and top-notch service. 

Starting A Travel Agency In The Philippines: Bonus!

8. client profiling.

You could include this step after you see the initial turnout of having a travel agency business in the Philippines. You could start establishing a client profile based on the clients you had. In client profiling, you could make an outline of the client type, travel preferences, packages or services availed, travel months, and destination. 

It would be a great idea to create a system for managing customer relationships. You could send a promotional email that is relevant to the previous services they had.

For instance, you could offer a previous client a cheaper package with a similar experience at a different destination. Upselling could work if you keep track of your previous clients’ preferences. Offering group travel for seasonal travelers would also be a good idea at the early start of your travel agency in the Philippines. Some are delegates for school or a religious group who would go on a pilgrimage. 

The goal is to make these customers return. Nevertheless, the competition is stiff. To stand out, it would be best to be better and stand out from others. Here are some good selling points:

  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Truthful Advice About Travelling
  • Great Prices
  • One-Of-A-Kind Product Packages And Services
  • Supporting Charities
  • Complete Support Post-Sales

9. Making Profits From Your Travel Agency Business

With hard work in the right direction, there is often a reward. Many factors affect a travel agency’s income, such as the target market, packages offered, and partners. As an estimate, the profit could be around 10,000 PHP for a small travel agency per month, and on peak seasons, it could be 50,000 PHP or more. This profit could be x5, x10, or more depending on the scale o the business.

Commissions and airline bookings’ markups from tours could anyways between 3% to 10% . A more significant number of customers might be needed depending on the business design.

Once you have enough budget, you could hire more staff to add services and equipment such as visa processing at consulates and embassies, passport applications, and assistance in completing the documents, photocopying, or travel insurance application. 

Travel Franchise In The Philippines, Hosting And Tips

It does not matter if it is your first time to start a travel agency in the Philippines or an experienced owner; having a travel agency franchise or host agency could be easier and less risky. Since a travel franchise in the Philippines would mean working with big travel businesses, you could establish a professional network and boost your profits. 

Having a franchise, you could have your travel agency operate it and take advantage of an established name in the industry at the same time. Furthermore, as a franchisee, you would be provided with training, systems, promotions, and building a travel agency business in the Philippines. 

As for having a host agency, you are a member of an organization. So, by joining one, you could get reasonable rates. However, the marketing, training, and support are limited and not as strong as what a franchise could give you. 

If you are still confused about whether to get a franchise or host to start a travel agency in the Philippines, here are essential points you could consider:

Tools And Assistance: When you find a franchise, the marketing programs, training, technology tools, and business advancement coaching are reliable in terms of starting and growing your travel agency business in the Philippines. For a host agency, these are limited. Therefore, you might need to find external sources for support and training. 

Cost: Getting a franchise would mean paying higher upfront costs, including tools and assistance. It would be cheaper if you opted to go with a host, but a word of warning, obtaining the tools and assistance, could add up on costs. 

Commission: Royalty is paid for most of the franchises. Royalty is a small percent of your overall sales. For a host, the amount varies, and it usually uses commission splits or shared commission. 

Brande Name: You could gain integrity when you find a franchise from an established and reputable name in the industry. This could be most helpful when you are just starting. As for a host agency, you would have to create a name and awareness alone since it does not offer a recognizable name. 

Here is an original package from WOW Philippines Travel Agency . For a 250,000 PHP franchise package, you would get:

  • Use Of The Name And Logo
  • Professional Training For Staff
  • Usage Of The Agency’s Website
  • Hotels, Tours, Airlines, Resorts, And Transfers Proprietary Contract Rates
  • 3-Year Renewable Contract
  • Laptop With Information And Proprietary Program
  • All-Year-Round Support
  • Marketing Assistance Through Social Media
  • Promotional Use Of The Agency’s Travel Photos And Videos

Addional Tips When Starting A Travel Company Philippines

Tip 1: niche.

As mentioned, the competition in the travel industry is stiff. Therefore, it is essential to decide the niche that owners would like to succeed in. The agency could focus on giving services to corporate clients or offering domestic travel. You could further expand if you had enough budget. You could offer tours abroad or take on foreign clients.

Tip 2: Suppliers

The success of your travel agency could depend much on your tie-up with airlines, resorts, hotels, tour guides, and bus operators. Therefore, you could choose your supplier based on the quality of its service, how cost-effective it is, and the convenience it would give to your clients. It would not be good to take risks here, so it would be best to deal with trustworthy suppliers. 

Tip 3: Promos

Most people are busy, so they would want everything to be convenient, even traveling. Therefore, they may be willing to spend more if that means going on vacation stress-free. Owners could take advantage of this by creating pre-arranged tours. A package that provides the airfare, transfers if needed, hotel accommodation, and itinerary on the destination of choice. 

Tip 4: Website Optimization

With a lot of people using the Internet, it would be crucial that potential customers could see your travel agency when they type keywords and search online. This is termed search engine optimization ( SEO ). Most customers would not likely access if the site did not make it to the top search results. Therefore, you could focus on making your business website rank. You could do this by obtaining a fast site and utilizing keywords in your site’s content. 

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Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines

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Are you passionate about traveling and want to turn your love for exploring new places into a successful venture? Starting a travel agency in the Philippines can be a lucrative business opportunity for those who have a passion for travel and a flair for organizing unforgettable vacations.

However, setting up a travel agency from scratch can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin. That’s why we have prepared this step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process and get your travel agency up and running in no time.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand the legal requirements for starting a travel agency in the Philippines. You will need to register your business with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and obtain the necessary permits and licenses. This will involve preparing the required documents, such as a business plan, financial statements, and proof of capitalization.

Once you have completed the legal formalities, it’s time to focus on building your travel agency’s brand. This involves choosing a memorable name and designing a visually appealing logo that reflects the essence of your agency. Creating a strong online presence by building a professional website and leveraging social media platforms can also help you attract potential customers.

You may also consider partnering with reputable airlines, hotels, and tour operators to offer a wide range of travel packages and ensure the best deals for your clients. Building strong relationships with these industry partners will not only enhance the credibility of your agency but also provide you with access to exclusive offers and promotions.

Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of any business, and your travel agency is no exception. Utilize both online and offline marketing strategies to create awareness about your agency and attract customers. This can include online advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and participating in travel expos and events.

Providing exceptional customer service is vital in the travel industry, as word-of-mouth recommendations can make or break your business. Assemble a team of knowledgeable travel agents who can provide personalized recommendations, handle bookings, and ensure a seamless travel experience for your clients. Utilize technology to streamline your operations and provide real-time assistance to your customers.

Starting a travel agency requires careful planning, dedication, and a thorough understanding of the travel industry. By following these essential steps, you can lay a solid foundation for your travel agency and embark on a rewarding entrepreneurial journey in the Philippines.

Table of Contents

Research and Planning

Starting a travel agency in the Philippines requires thorough research and careful planning. Before diving into the business, it is important to gather information and understand the industry. Here are some key steps to help you with your research and planning:

1. Market Analysis:

Conduct a detailed analysis of the travel industry in the Philippines. Look into the current market trends, customer preferences, and demand for different types of travel services. Identify your target market and understand their needs and expectations.

2. Competitor Analysis:

Analyze the competition in the travel agency sector. Identify the key players, their services, pricing strategies, and target audience. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to identify opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantage.

3. Legal Requirements:

Research the legal requirements for starting a travel agency in the Philippines. Familiarize yourself with the necessary permits, licenses, and registrations. Ensure compliance with regulations and consider consulting with a lawyer or legal advisor.

4. Business Plan:

Create a detailed business plan that includes an executive summary, company description, market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and operational plans. A well-written business plan will serve as a roadmap for your travel agency.

5. Funding:

Determine the financial requirements for your travel agency and explore funding options. Consider personal savings, loans from financial institutions, partnerships, or seeking investors. Develop a financial plan to estimate the costs of setting up and running your business.

6. Partnerships:

Establish partnerships with travel suppliers such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, and transportation providers. Research and negotiate contracts to ensure competitive pricing and availability of services for your clients.

7. Technology:

Research and invest in travel agency management software that can streamline operations, reservations, and bookings. Having a user-friendly website and online booking system will also be crucial for attracting customers and providing convenient services.

8. Marketing and Promotion:

Create a marketing plan to effectively promote your travel agency. Utilize a mix of traditional marketing methods such as print media, brochures, and direct mail, along with digital marketing strategies such as social media, online advertising, and search engine optimization. Be active on relevant travel forums and platforms to build your reputation and reach potential customers.

By conducting thorough research and careful planning, you can set a strong foundation for your travel agency in the Philippines. Keep in mind that the travel industry is dynamic and constantly evolving, so staying updated with the latest trends and innovations will be essential for long-term success.

Identify Market Opportunities

Before starting a travel agency in the Philippines, it is important to identify the market opportunities available in the industry. Understanding the market trends and demands will help you tailor your services and target the right audience.

One way to identify market opportunities is through market research. Conduct surveys and gather data to analyze the preferences of potential customers. This will provide insights into what services they are looking for, their preferred destinations, and their budget range.

Another way to identify market opportunities is by researching competitors. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses to get an idea of their target market and the services they offer. Look for gaps or areas that are not being fully served by existing travel agencies. This will allow you to position your agency in a unique way and offer services that cater to an untapped segment of the market.

Stay updated on the latest travel trends and developments in the Philippines. Monitor changes in traveler preferences, such as the rise of eco-tourism or the increasing demand for experiential travel. These insights will help you adapt your services to meet the evolving needs of the market.

Furthermore, consider partnering with local businesses or hotels to leverage their customer base and expand your reach. This could include collaborations with tour operators, airlines, or even travel bloggers to promote your services and attract more customers.

Identifying market opportunities is crucial for the success of your travel agency in the Philippines. By understanding the market and tailoring your services to meet the needs of customers, you can position your agency for growth and profitability.

Conduct Market Research

Before starting a travel agency in the Philippines, it is essential to conduct thorough market research. This research will help you understand the current trends, demands, and competition in the travel industry.

Here are some key steps to conduct market research:

1. Identify your target market: Determine the specific demographic or type of travelers you want to cater to. This could be honeymooners, adventure tourists, budget travelers, etc.

2. Analyze the competition: Study your competitors in the travel agency industry. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, and unique selling points. This will help you position your agency effectively in the market.

3. Understand customer preferences: Conduct surveys or interviews to gain insights into what customers look for in a travel agency. This will help you tailor your services to meet their expectations.

4. Research travel destinations: Stay updated with the latest travel destinations, attractions, and activities. This knowledge will allow you to offer unique and exciting travel packages to your clients.

5. Study market trends: Keep an eye on the latest industry trends, such as the growing popularity of sustainable travel or the rise of digital nomads. This will help you adapt your services to the changing needs of travelers.

6. Evaluate potential risks: Identify potential risks that may affect the travel industry, such as natural disasters or political instability. This will help you develop contingency plans to ensure the smooth operation of your agency.

By conducting comprehensive market research, you can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions to set up a successful travel agency in the Philippines.

Legal Requirements

Starting a travel agency in the Philippines requires compliance with certain legal requirements. Here are the key steps you need to follow:

1. Business Registration: Register your travel agency as a business entity with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Choose a unique business name and determine its legal structure, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.

2. Mayor’s Permit: Obtain a mayor’s permit or business license from the local government unit (LGU) where your travel agency will be operated. This permit ensures that your business complies with local regulations.

3. BIR Registration: Register your travel agency with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for tax purposes. You will be issued a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and need to comply with tax obligations such as filing tax returns and paying taxes.

4. DTI Registration: If you choose to operate your travel agency as a sole proprietorship, register it with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to secure your business name and establish its legitimacy.

5. Tourism Accreditation: Apply for accreditation with the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT). This accreditation ensures that your travel agency meets the quality standards set by the government and allows you to promote and sell tour packages.

6. Travel Agency License: Apply for a travel agency license from the DOT. This license grants you the legal authority to operate as a travel agency in the Philippines.

7. Insurance Coverage: Obtain insurance coverage for your travel agency, including general liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. This coverage protects your business and clients from potential risks and liabilities.

Ensure you comply with all the legal requirements to operate your travel agency legally and protect your business interests. It is advised to consult with a lawyer or business consultant to navigate through the legal process smoothly.

Register Your Business

Before launching your travel agency, it is important to register your business with the appropriate government agencies in the Philippines. This will give your agency the legal recognition and authority to operate.

1. Register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Contact the SEC and submit the necessary documents to register your travel agency as a corporation or partnership. The required documents usually include articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other supporting documents.

2. Register with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

If you are operating your travel agency as a sole proprietorship, you will need to register with the DTI. Submit the necessary documents, such as a completed application form and payment of registration fees.

3. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses

Check with the local government unit (LGU) where your travel agency will be based to determine the specific permits and licenses you need to operate legally. This may include a mayor’s permit, barangay clearance, and other permits depending on your location.

4. Secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate as a Travel Agency

Apply for a Certificate of Authority to Operate as a Travel Agency from the Department of Tourism (DOT). You will need to submit various documents, including your business registration papers, proof of financial capability, and a list of your tour packages.

Note: Always consult with a lawyer or business advisor to ensure you comply with all legal requirements and regulations.

Once you have completed the registration process and obtained all the necessary permits and licenses, you are ready to start operating your travel agency in the Philippines.

Get the necessary permits and licenses

Before you can legally operate a travel agency in the Philippines, you need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses. This ensures that you are compliant with the regulations and guidelines set by the government. Here are the steps to get the required permits and licenses:

It is crucial to complete the necessary paperwork and meet all the requirements to avoid any legal issues in the future. Keep in mind that the requirements may vary depending on your location, so it’s best to reach out to the respective authorities for specific instructions.

Once you have obtained all the permits and licenses, you can confidently start your travel agency business in the Philippines and begin offering your services to clients.

Setting Up Your Office

Setting Up Your Office

Once you have successfully registered your travel agency and obtained all the necessary licenses and permits, it’s time to set up your office. Having a professional and organized workspace is crucial for the success of your travel agency. Here are some steps to help you set up your office:

  • Choose a suitable location: Look for a location that is easily accessible and convenient for both your clients and employees. Consider factors such as foot traffic, parking availability, and proximity to major transportation hubs.
  • Furnish your office: Invest in comfortable and functional furniture such as desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and shelves. Make sure to choose furnishings that match your brand image and provide a welcoming atmosphere for your clients.
  • Equip your office: Purchase the necessary office equipment such as computers, printers, scanners, and telephones. Install software that will help you manage bookings, keep track of client information, and generate reports.
  • Set up a reservation system: Implement a reservation system that allows you to easily book flights, accommodations, and other travel services for your clients. Choose a reliable software or online platform that integrates with your back-office operations.
  • Organize your paperwork: Create a filing system to keep track of important documents such as client contracts, vendor agreements, and financial records. Use folders, labels, and digital storage solutions to ensure everything is organized and easily accessible.
  • Establish a professional image: Display your travel agency’s logo and branding throughout your office space. Use professional signage, brochures, and business cards to create a cohesive and professional image for your business.
  • Ensure a comfortable waiting area: Create a comfortable waiting area for your clients with seating, magazines, and perhaps a small refreshment station. This will help create a positive first impression and make your clients feel welcome.
  • Implement security measures: Install security systems such as CCTV cameras and alarm systems to protect your office and ensure the safety of your staff and clients. Implement data security measures to protect client information and comply with data privacy regulations.

Remember, the key to setting up a successful travel agency office is to create a comfortable and professional environment where clients can trust and rely on your services. Take the time to plan and invest in setting up your office properly, and it will pay off in the long run.

Choose a Location

When starting a travel agency in the Philippines, choosing the right location is crucial to your success. The location should be easily accessible to both tourists and locals and ideally situated in a popular tourist area.

Consider factors such as foot traffic, proximity to transportation hubs, and the presence of other travel agencies in the area. Being in a location where tourists naturally gather will increase your visibility and boost the chances of attracting potential customers.

Additionally, you want to select a location that aligns with your target market. For example, if you plan to specialize in adventure travel, consider setting up shop near outdoor recreational areas or popular hiking spots.

It’s also important to consider the cost of renting or purchasing a space in your desired location. Keep in mind that in highly sought-after tourist areas, rental prices may be higher. Conduct market research and budget accordingly to ensure that you can afford the location you choose.

Finally, do your homework and check local regulations and requirements for operating a travel agency in the chosen location. Some areas may have specific zoning restrictions or licensing requirements that you need to fulfill. Be sure to abide by all legal requirements to avoid any future complications.

Key points to consider when choosing a location for your travel agency:

  • Easily accessible and in a popular tourist area
  • Consider foot traffic and proximity to transportation hubs
  • Align with your target market
  • Cost of renting or buying a space
  • Check local regulations and requirements

Taking the time to carefully choose the location for your travel agency can greatly contribute to its success. So be sure to evaluate all the factors and make an informed decision.

Purchase Equipment and Supplies

Purchase Equipment and Supplies

Once you have completed the necessary legal requirements and obtained your license to operate a travel agency in the Philippines, it is time to purchase the equipment and supplies you will need to run your business.

Here are some essential equipment and supplies to consider:

  • Computers/laptops and related accessories such as keyboards, mice, and monitors
  • Printers and scanners for printing travel documents and scanning important paperwork
  • High-speed internet connection for research, communication, and online bookings
  • Telephone lines and mobile phones for effective communication with clients and suppliers
  • Furniture such as desks, chairs, and filing cabinets for a comfortable and organized office space
  • Travel agency software and booking systems for managing reservations, itineraries, and customer information
  • Office supplies like paper, pens, files, folders, and stationery
  • Marketing materials including brochures, business cards, and promotional items
  • Travel guides and maps to assist clients in planning their trips
  • Insurance policies to protect your business and clients from unforeseen circumstances

Make sure to research and compare prices from different suppliers to get the best deals. Consider the quality and durability of equipment and supplies to avoid frequent replacements and repairs.

Having the right equipment and supplies will help you provide efficient and professional services to your clients. It will also contribute to the overall success and reputation of your travel agency in the long run.

Developing Your Services

Once you have established your travel agency, it is important to develop a range of services that will attract customers and meet their travel needs. Here are some steps to help you develop your services:

By researching the market, you can gather information about popular travel destinations, customer preferences, and competitors’ offerings. This will help you identify gaps in the market and create unique travel packages that cater to the needs and interests of your target audience.

Offering a variety of travel packages, such as adventure tours, beach getaways, and cultural experiences, will attract a wider range of customers and increase your chances of making sales. Additionally, providing personalized services, such as customized itineraries and tailored recommendations, will make your agency stand out from the competition.

Collaborating with local partners, such as hotels, tour operators, and transportation providers, can help you offer competitive prices and unique experiences to your customers. Building strong relationships with these partners will also enhance your reputation and credibility within the industry.

It is important to stay updated with industry trends, such as popular destinations, emerging travel technologies, and sustainable tourism practices. This will enable you to adapt your services and stay ahead of the competition.

Lastly, providing excellent customer service is crucial for the success of your travel agency. Make sure to respond to customer inquiries and concerns promptly, go the extra mile to exceed their expectations, and ask for feedback to continuously improve your services.

By following these steps and continuously refining your offerings, you can develop a strong and competitive range of services for your travel agency in the Philippines.

Define Your Target Market

Before starting a travel agency, it is crucial to define your target market. This will help you tailor your services and marketing efforts to reach the right audience.

To determine your target market, consider factors such as demographics, interests, and travel preferences. Identify the type of travelers you want to attract, such as adventure seekers, luxury travelers, budget-conscious individuals, or corporate clients.

In addition to demographics, consider psychographics, which include factors such as personalities, attitudes, and motivations. For example, some travelers may prioritize relaxation and leisure, while others may seek cultural immersion or outdoor activities.

Research existing market trends and competition to identify any gaps or opportunities. Look at the demand for different types of travel experiences and destinations among your target market.

Consider creating buyer personas to represent your ideal customers. These personas can help you understand their needs, pain points, and desires. Use this information to develop tailored products, itineraries, and marketing messages that resonate with your target market.

Remember that your target market may evolve over time, and it’s important to stay agile and adapt your strategies accordingly. Regularly review and refine your target market based on customer feedback, industry changes, and emerging travel trends.

By defining your target market, you can focus your efforts on reaching and serving the right customers, increasing the chances of success for your travel agency.

Create Attractive Packages

One of the key factors in attracting customers to your travel agency is the packages you offer. Creating attractive and enticing packages can help you stand out from the competition and capture the attention of potential clients. Here are some tips on how to create attractive packages for your travel agency:

By following these tips and creating attractive packages, you can increase the chances of attracting customers to your travel agency and stand out in the competitive travel industry.

Establish Partnerships

One crucial step in starting a travel agency is to establish partnerships with various travel suppliers and service providers. These partnerships will help you offer a wide range of travel options and services to your clients.

Here are some key partnerships to consider:

  • Airlines: Collaborate with airlines to secure competitive rates and special deals for your clients. Partnering with multiple airlines can provide your agency with more options and flexibility.
  • Hotels and Accommodations: Establish relationships with hotels, resorts, and other accommodation providers to offer your clients a variety of options. Negotiate discounted rates and exclusive deals to attract more customers.
  • Transportation Services: Partner with car rental companies, tour operators, and other transportation service providers to offer your clients convenient and reliable transportation options during their travels.
  • Travel Insurance Providers: Collaborate with reputable travel insurance companies to offer your clients comprehensive coverage and peace of mind during their trips.
  • Local Tour Guides and Agencies: Establish partnerships with local tour guides and agencies to offer unique and customized experiences to your clients. These partnerships can provide insights into local attractions, culture, and customs.

Building strong and reliable partnerships is essential for the success of your travel agency. Regularly communicate with your partners, stay updated on the latest offerings and deals, and ensure excellent customer service.

Marketing and Promotion

Once you have set up your travel agency in the Philippines, marketing and promotion are crucial for the success of your business. Here are some strategies you can use to effectively market and promote your travel agency:

  • Create a Professional Website: Having a well-designed and user-friendly website is essential for attracting potential customers. Make sure to include detailed information about your services, packages, and contact details.
  • Utilize Social Media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be powerful tools for reaching a wider audience. Regularly update your profiles with captivating travel content, promotions, and discounts.
  • Engage with Influencers: Collaborate with popular travel influencers or bloggers who have a significant following. They can promote your services and create engaging content about their travel experiences with your agency.
  • Offer Special Deals and Packages: Attract customers by offering exclusive deals and packages. This could include discounted rates, free upgrades, or additional perks for booking with your agency.
  • Attend Travel Expos and Events: Participating in travel expos and events will give you the opportunity to showcase your travel agency to a targeted audience. Network with potential customers and establish partnerships with other related businesses.
  • Partner with Hotels and Airlines: Establish partnerships with hotels and airlines to offer special rates and packages to your customers. This will not only attract more customers but also add value to your services.
  • Collect and Display Customer Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews or testimonials about their experience with your agency. Display these testimonials on your website or social media platforms to build trust and credibility.
  • Optimize for Search Engines: Implement search engine optimization techniques on your website to improve its visibility in search engine results. This will help potential customers find your travel agency when searching for related keywords.
  • Offer Referral Programs: Incentivize your customers to refer your travel agency to their friends and family by offering discounts or rewards for successful referrals. Word-of-mouth recommendations can significantly boost your client base.

By implementing these marketing and promotion strategies, you can effectively showcase your travel agency in the Philippines and attract a steady flow of customers.

Build a Professional Website

Having a professional website is essential for any travel agency. It acts as a virtual office where potential customers can learn more about your services and make bookings. Follow these steps to build a professional website for your travel agency:

1. Choose a domain name: Select a domain name that is relevant to your travel agency and easy for customers to remember. It should also be available for registration.

2. Purchase web hosting: Find a reliable web hosting provider that offers fast and secure servers. Consider the amount of storage space, bandwidth, and security features they provide.

3. Design your website: Depending on your budget and technical skills, you can either hire a professional web designer or use website building platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Joomla. Choose a clean and user-friendly design, and make sure to include important information about your agency, such as contact details, services offered, and testimonials if available.

4. Create engaging content: Write compelling and informative content for your website’s pages, such as a home page, about us section, services page, and blog (if applicable). Use relevant keywords to optimize your website’s visibility in search engines.

5. Add booking functionality: If you offer booking services, integrate a secure and user-friendly booking system into your website. This will allow customers to make reservations directly from your site.

6. Optimize for mobile devices: Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive. With more people using smartphones and tablets to browse the internet, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for attracting and retaining customers.

7. Include social media integration: Link your website to your travel agency’s social media accounts. This helps increase your online presence and allows customers to connect with you through multiple channels.

8. Test and launch: Before launching your website, thoroughly test all its features and functionality to ensure everything is working correctly. Make any necessary adjustments or fixes before making your website live.

9. Update and maintain: Regularly update your website with fresh content, promotions, and news. Also, ensure that your website’s security measures are up to date to protect customer information.

By following these steps, you can build a professional website that showcases your travel agency’s services and helps attract more customers.

Utilize Social Media

Social media platforms are one of the most effective ways to promote your travel agency in the Philippines. With millions of active users, these platforms provide a vast audience to engage with and attract potential clients. Here are some tips on how to effectively utilize social media for your travel agency:

Remember to regularly monitor your social media accounts, respond quickly to messages and comments, and analyze your analytics to track the effectiveness of your social media strategies. With a well-planned and executed social media presence, your travel agency in the Philippines can reach a wider audience and attract more clients.

Advertise Your Services

Once you have set up your travel agency in the Philippines, it’s important to advertise your services to attract potential customers. Here are some effective ways to advertise your travel agency:

By implementing these advertising strategies, you can effectively promote your travel agency and attract a steady flow of customers in the Philippines.

Can I start a travel agency from home?

Yes, it is possible to start a travel agency from home in the Philippines. With the advent of technology and the internet, more travel agencies are operating virtually, with agents working from home or remote locations. This setup can help reduce overhead costs and offer flexibility to both the agency and its employees. However, you would still need to fulfill all the necessary legal requirements and obtain the required permits and licenses from the government.

What are the requirements for starting a travel agency in the Philippines?

The requirements for starting a travel agency in the Philippines include obtaining a business registration from the Department of Trade and Industry or the Securities and Exchange Commission, securing a mayor’s permit from the city hall, registering with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and obtaining accreditation from the Department of Tourism.

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How to Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines

  • Home Based Business

Starting a travel and tour agency needs only little capital. It can be a fun, exciting, and profitable business for any aspiring entrepreneur. The business has a high potential since the travel and tour industry is steadily growing as the population increases and per capita income continuously expands its market. Besides the income from the business is the chance to enjoy the perks of traveling at wholesale prices.

A travel and tour agency sells services and products relating to travel. As such, besides the expected airline tickets; you can also sell tour packages, car rentals, cruises, hotel accommodations, and many other items to supplement your main product line.

Here are the important things to do in setting up this business:

1. Decide first on the type of travel agency you want to setup. If you have substantial capital you may want to be an IATA (International Air Transport Association) member so that you can issue airline tickets. However, it is possible for non-IATA agencies to partner with IATA agencies to be able to obtain tickets for their customers.

2. Register your business. Come up with a meaningful name that will leave a favourable impression on your target market and register it with the DTI if sole proprietor or SEC if a corporation. Then get a barangay clearance before obtaining a mayor’s permit and registering with the BIR. Later on you may want to be accredited with the Department of Tourism to improve your marketing.

3. Find a suitable location. Go to where your customers are plentiful. Your place will also make a statement on the quality of your service. So do not locate in a rundown, crime ridden, out of the way location.

4. Apply with IATA if you wish to issue tickets yourself. After you have established your local legal requirements you can now apply for IATA membership. Note that you will need several million pesos for this. If you plan to be an IATA agency you should go to their website at www.iata.org where you can download their application form and read carefully the procedures on how to fill out this form.

5. Buy the necessary equipments. Only standard office equipment is needed. A computer with internet connection, a fax machine, and at least two telephones.

6. Train your employees well. A wrong booking may land your customer in the wrong country! Therefore those in charge of talking with the customers must already know what to do because mistakes will be very costly. Training in computer reservation systems like Amadeus or Abacus is important for efficient operations.

7. Join a trade association. It would benefit your business if you will join a travel agency association. You get trainings, familiarization tours, plus the credibility in belonging to a national group. Besides the other requirements, you usually would need the endorsement of a member of the association for your application to be accepted.

8. Market your business. There are many ways to market your business. Travel agencies here often resort to advertising in the newspapers. Some pay for spots in the yellow pages. There are many who focus on direct marketing and have a sales person or themselves make sales calls on corporate clients. However, besides all these, it is now vital to have a website and do some internet marketing for there is where an increasing number of customers look for their travel agencies.

The travel business is booming and now may be the best time to take advantage of this trend. With only a moderate amount of capital and a lot of energy, a person may find financial success and personal fulfillment in this venture. To find out more about this business you may attend a one-day seminar on the topic.

Click here to view details of the training program: http://www.businesscoachphil.com/how-to-start-a-travel-and-tour-business

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach , Inc.) All rights reserved. Re-posted with permission. By: Business Coach, Inc.

Tags: IATA Philippines profitable business Travel Agency

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' src=

Hi po. Is anyone here have the idea or details how to start up a small travel agency? Please help me. Thanks in advance

' src=

Hello, I am so much interested in putting up a travel agency business. I appreciate anyone’s assistance.

' src=

STARLEGENDS ADVENTURES CEO can HELP YOU https://web.facebook.com/CEOinPajama/

' src=

Please send me detailed information. I’m very much interested in setting up a Travel Agency.

' src=

Hi, are you now operating your travel business?

' src=

www.dreamtravels.world [email protected]

Hi, We are travel wholesaler in India and we have team of hardworking Filipinoes working with us. If you wish to know about travel business and our company, kindly contact me through my email address or directly to our website. We can provide you our best rates in the market. We can provide you with trainings that you needed to be travel agent.

' src=

Hi, interested with the wholesale rates.

' src=

if you want to try the business homebased I highly recommend Ms Monica. She has community and guidance for beginners http://homebasedtravelagencybusiness.com

' src=

May CP number po ba sya or email? interested din po ako to know how

' src=

Hello, pwede pong malaman if magkano ang capital para po sa travel agency? and paano po ang process? thanks in advance

Hello, nakapag start ka na ba ng travel business mo? Ako rin kasi 🙁 i want to start but idk how 🙁

' src=

You can check WCA Travels system…pwd ka homebased lang

' src=

Hello, Sir! This is EG owner of Travellopedia. We can help you start your own travel agency business with a very minimal capital. Kindly text me at 09518135517.

Hi, can you go to our website@ www.dreamtravels.world and kindly send me a shout out. I can call you directly on your WhatsApp. Let’s discuss this further if you’re interested. I can’t ask your private number here to protect your privacy if you know what i mean.

if you will start homebase roughly 10k -40k you will have na. as for me I only invested 10k+ with mentorship na.

' src=

can you send me details mam about travel agency to start up

' src=

How much the Capital? Where I can take the seminar?

' src=

is there any seminar dates po for starting a travel and tour business po ? Thank you po

' src=

Try to attend ng seminar sa Travel Depot. Di pa ako nagttraining pero I think it’s a good company. They will give you direct suppliers na mismo and no royalty fees whatsoever. Seems promising din iba nilang affiliates na successful na ngayon so super excited nako to start my business soon!

' src=

Hi.. To those interested in put up their own travel agency portal.. You can check wca travel and tour we are looking for affiliate and franchisees ..you can text me for the details 0915 064 8982.. Thanks

' src=

Im planning to have a home based travel agency. Please help. Thanks

' src=

Seminar on How To Put Up Your Own Travel Agency by The Travel Depot, check us out https://www.facebook.com/TravelDepotPH/photos/a.10151700934818087/10156225098108087/?type=3&theater

Hi ms sheila.. You can check wca travel and tour we are looking for affiliate..you can text me for the details 0915 064 8982

' src=

Good day! I’m planning to put a Travel Tour Agency, (Non-IATA), How to start it and to whom i can partner with AITA agencies?

' src=

Hi. I’m planning to start a home based travel agency. do I still need the required documents like dti/permit etc? TIA

' src=

How to start a home based portal ticketing agency? How much is the capital

' src=

Hl Van. May I get your email so I can send you the details about how to start the travel business? Or, you can call at 09176800968 or view our website at www.thetraveldepot.ph to know more.

' src=

How to start a home based portal ticketing agency?

Hello Nazma! We can help you put up the travel agency home-based or officebased. Please view our facebook @The Travel Depot or website at www.thetraveldepot.ph or call 09176800968 to know more

Hello po… Pwedi malaman ilan Ang capital for home based ticketing agency..

' src=

Hello Kindly send me sa dettails How much po salamat po

' src=

hi good day mam/sir im looking for travel agency on how to get home base portal travel agency. please let me know. thank you so much:) looking forward to your precious response.

' src=

Hi. Pwede po pasend ng lahat ng mga detalye regarding s travel and tour business

' src=

Papano mag avail ng portal at magkano po

' src=

Good day! This is from Far Eastern Travel Agency! We are offering our home based portal travel agency. May I know your email address so we can send you an email. If you’re interested you can contact me 09179450042 or email me [email protected]. For more info you can check our website, http://feta.com.ph/.

' src=

Hi pwede pa send lahat ng kailangan regardig based travel and tour business..tnx

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Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Travel Agency 

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Disclosure: Small Business Philippines strives to provide relevant and accurate information in all its articles. However, some information in our articles may differ or might be outdated from what you can see or read directly from the establishments’ or businesses’ websites. Please get in touch with us directly for any discrepancies.

A travel agency is a business that specializes in providing travel-related services, such as booking flights, accommodations, tours, and other travel arrangements for clients. As an aspiring entrepreneur looking on how to start a travel agency in the Philippines, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of this exciting industry.

Why Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines?

When is the right time to start, where to set up your travel agency, step 1: research and planning, step 2: legal requirements and licensing, step 3: creating your brand identity, step 4: building supplier relationships, step 5: online presence and marketing strategies, step 6: reservation and booking systems, step 7: providing exceptional customer service, 1. niche specialization, 2. collaborations and partnerships, 3. embrace technology and innovation, key takeaways.

The Philippines is a tropical paradise and an increasingly popular tourist destination. With its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality, the country offers tremendous potential for a thriving travel agency. Starting a travel agency in the Philippines allows you to tap into the growing tourism industry and cater to both domestic and international travelers.

The Philippines boasts a diverse range of attractions, from pristine beaches and world-class diving spots to historic sites and vibrant festivals. The country’s unique blend of natural beauty, friendly locals, and diverse cultural experiences make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking unforgettable adventures.

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The tourism industry in the Philippines has been steadily growing, making it an opportune time to start a travel agency. With the world gradually recovering from the pandemic, travel demand is expected to rise. As restrictions ease and travel resumes, there will be a surge in people’s desire to explore new destinations.

It’s important to stay updated with market trends and consider factors such as seasonality and peak travel periods when planning your business launch. Take advantage of emerging travel trends and target niche markets to create unique travel experiences that cater to specific interests and preferences.

Choosing the right location for your travel agency is crucial for success. Consider setting up your office in a tourist hotspot or a strategic urban area with good accessibility. Popular tourist destinations like Manila, Cebu, and Boracay are excellent choices due to their established infrastructure and high visitor numbers.

In addition to a physical location, establishing a strong online presence through a website and social media platforms is also essential to reach a broader audience. Invest in a user-friendly website that showcases your services, provides detailed information about destinations, and allows clients to make bookings online.

How to Start a Travel Agency: Step-by-Step Guide

Begin by conducting thorough market research to identify your target audience, competitors, and the unique selling points of your travel agency. Understand the needs and preferences of your potential clients to tailor your services accordingly. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, marketing strategies, financial projections, and operational framework.

Comply with the legal requirements for starting a travel agency in the Philippines. This includes registering your business, obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, and adhering to local regulations. Consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance and avoid any legal complications.

Craft a compelling brand identity that aligns with your target market. Your brand should convey the essence of your agency and differentiate you from competitors. Develop a memorable brand name, design an eye-catching logo, and establish your agency’s unique value proposition. Building a strong brand image will help you stand out in the competitive travel industry and attract customers.

Forge partnerships with airlines, hotels, tour operators, and other travel-related suppliers. Negotiate favorable contracts, secure competitive pricing, and establish a reliable network of suppliers to offer diverse travel options to your clients. Strong relationships with suppliers can lead to better deals, exclusive packages, and enhanced customer experiences.

Create a professional website that showcases your services, destinations, and contact information. Implement effective digital marketing strategies to promote your travel agency. Search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content creation, and email marketing are some of the key tactics to drive traffic to your website and generate leads. Engage with potential customers through engaging content, captivating visuals, and personalized experiences.

Invest in a reliable reservation and booking system to streamline your operations. This will enable you to efficiently manage travel arrangements, handle payments, and provide excellent customer service. Automation tools can save you time and enhance the overall client experience. Choose a system that is user-friendly, secure, and offers seamless integration with your website and other platforms.

Deliver outstanding customer service to build a strong reputation and gain repeat business. Train your staff to provide personalized assistance, prompt responses to inquiries, and handle unexpected situations with professionalism and efficiency. Going the extra mile to exceed customer expectations can lead to positive reviews, referrals, and long-term loyalty.

Examples and Tips for Success

Consider specializing in a specific niche to differentiate your agency from competitors. This could be adventure travel, luxury vacations, eco-tourism, or even catering to specific demographics such as solo travelers, families, or retirees. Catering to a specific target market allows you to tailor your services and provide unique experiences that resonate with your customer’s interests and preferences.

Collaborate with local businesses, influencers, and tourism boards to expand your reach and attract more clients. Participate in travel expos, sponsor relevant events, and engage in joint marketing campaigns to increase brand visibility. Partnering with complementary businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and transportation services can create mutually beneficial relationships that attract more customers.

Stay updated with the latest technological advancements in the travel industry. Embrace innovations like virtual reality tours, mobile apps for seamless travel experiences, and automation tools to enhance your business operations and stay ahead of the curve. Adopting technology not only improves efficiency but also enhances the overall customer experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Starting a travel agency in the Philippines offers immense opportunities for success. By understanding the basics, conducting thorough research, building strong supplier relationships, creating a compelling brand, and implementing effective marketing strategies, you can establish a thriving travel agency. Remember to prioritize exceptional customer service and stay adaptable to changing market trends.

Starting a travel agency in the Philippines requires careful planning, market research, and strategic implementation. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your entrepreneurial journey and create a successful travel business in 2023 and beyond.

  • Conduct thorough research and create a comprehensive business plan.
  • Comply with legal requirements and obtain the necessary licenses.
  • Build a strong brand identity and establish a unique value proposition.
  • Forge partnerships with travel suppliers and negotiate competitive contracts.
  • Implement effective online marketing strategies and create a professional website.
  • Invest in a reliable reservation and booking system for streamlined operations.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to build a strong reputation.
  • Consider niche specialization, collaborations, and technological innovations for a competitive edge.

Ready to embark on your journey as a travel agency entrepreneur? Start planning today and unlock the endless possibilities of the Philippine tourism industry!

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Tips on How to Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

The internet is a wonderful place to be able to share your moments with friends and family. This is especially good for those who love to travel. All around the web (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) there is no shortage in showcasing the wonders of the world.

Even if you are not that kind of traveler, and would prefer a vacation, there will be a lot of things you need to do before you are able to land in Bali. You would have to make an itinerary of the places you will go, then search for the best prices available. But seeing that you need a vacation, you are probably not the type of person to have time to do these things.

This is not to exclude business people who are always on the go and are travelling from country to country for meetings with various companies that may require immediate scheduling.

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Which is why a travel agency is made! Yes, there is a business out there that makes quick work for you as they are used to the type of bookings that you need with experience of handling multitudes of clients. A travel agency is still a profitable venture amidst the creation of booking applications on smartphones. An app can not compare to the capable hands of a travel agency when it comes to juggling multiple clients with sudden commitments to a schedule.

If you are a keen entrepreneur and interested to start a travel agency business in the Philippines, then you should continue reading to give you tips before you make it big!

Know what type of travel agency you will operate

Currently, there are two kinds of travel agencies that you can run:

IATA Agents – These agencies are accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA is an international regulating body for airlines and their related departments. Although optional, being credited by them provides you a credible reputation that says that you are a trustworthy agency to issue tickets to customers.

Furthermore, you are granted access to reissue, rebook, and revalidate tickets.

Non-IATA Agents – These agencies are the opposite end of the spectrum. Essentially, they can not book tickets themselves but instead buy them from respective IATA-credited agents or through the airline itself.

Remember to register your business

Any kind of business must always go through the process of registration to properly legalize your operations and validate that you are compliant with all the requirements needed.

If you are the sole proprietor of the business, then you can head to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For partnerships and corporations, you must head to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

You also have to obtain a barangay clearance, mayor’s permit, and BIR certificate at the barangay and city where your business is located.

Optionally, you can further your validity and credibility as a travel agency by being accredited by the Department of Tourism (DoT).

Acquire the essential equipment that you need

A travel agency is basically an office. It needs to do transactions through online websites and thus an internet connection is needed alongside a computer. The computer does not need to be the top of the line and can be a basic package that can handle day to day operations.

A phone line is also handy for handling inquiries, as well as a fax machine to get request to clients information when it cannot be made online.

Sometimes you deal with customers who would rather engage in less formal conversation through applications such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, or WhatsApp. As such, an office smart phone should always be available to accommodate these kinds of customers.

Hire the right people

As you start your business, the travel agency can be run just by yourself. As your business grows, however, you should consider hiring people to take care of the accounts, inquiries, and ticketing services of your business.

At most, there should be two available staff at the office at any given time to answer inquiries and manage walk-in visits to the office.

A good employee should be screened first for any excellent background that they may have, preferably those with a degree in tourism and a knack for using a computer for reserving tickets.

Market your business

A brand and logo should always be timely and relevant so as to minimize the change throughout the years and make people remember your business.

Flyers and signages should be utilized to its potential by being put up at the best locations possible such as malls and media such as newspapers sections.

Festivals are also a good way to promote travelling using your travel agency as there are likely a number of people present who are interested in touring around the world.

3 responses to “Tips on How to Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines”

How much to start a travel agency including business permit and etc.?

i want to start this buisness and tell me how

I’d like to start this bussiness Travels agency, in 30k which include?

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how to register travel agency business in the philippines

Boom in domestic travel, propelled by expanding destinations offered by airlines, easier access to information about tourist spots shared on social media, and growth in government spending on transportation infrastructure, has opened up more opportunities for travel agency businesses.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, domestic tourism expenditure in the Philippines has grown 19.1% from 2015 to 2016. Tourism industry’s contribution to the Philippine economy has likewise grown from 6.8% in 2011 to 8.6% in 2016.

Just as the Internet revolutionized how people shop, listen to music and access film entertainment, travel industry has also benefited in many ways. From selling destination packages, airline tickets, organizing local tours and selling travel insurance, travel agencies have several ways to make money.

So how do you start your own business of travel agency?

Factors to consider before deciding to put up a travel agency business 1. Background in business skills and passion for travel. For someone to start the business, not only you need to be business savvy, you (or your appointed staff) also must have knack and passion for travel, general knowledge about immigration policies, able to answer question about insurance claims, lost luggage and which seasons to visit a tourist destination.

2. Accreditation from recognized travel bodies. To become a credible  authorized travel agent, membership to certain groups is highly recommended. For example, those selling international travel packages with International Air Transport Association authorized agent status.

3. Identifying your target market. Would you want to start off as a part-time travel agent who helps book air tickets for a small fee? Or maybe set up a small shop at a commercial arcade to accommodate a wider audience such as business travelers, government officials or families? Do you want to expand on cruise travel, hotel bookings and provide all-around travel advice to inbound tourists who visit a local tourist attraction nearby?

4. Identifying  your existing competition. The presence of an established competition indicates such market for travel agents exist. What you need to also find out is that whether  your competition covers all market or simply established a niche for some reason (already profitable, lack of human resources to expand, etc). A market research could uncover untapped target customers.

5. Establishing partnerships. Travel agents thrive even further with partnerships because the industry encompasses a wide range of clients. Airlines, hotels, package tour companies and payment gateways would love to get preferential option, so getting them on board would be a win-win situation; the airline gets a booking, you get a tidy margin and travelers experience professional service that warrant return business in the future.

How to setup your travel agency business

It can be a challenging space to be in , but with proper market research and out of the box thinking to address current trends, your travel agency can thrive in this vastly innovative tourism space.

Capital money. Initial investment costs for a low-key travel agency is between P50,000 to P100,000 which will cover licensing and paper works, office equipment and space rentals and utilities. Bigger operations such as a corporation or partnership that requires more staff, larger operating space and more clients will have an initial capital investment of at least P500,000.

Government license If you are operating a sole-proprietorship business, such as solo home-based travel agency, register your business at DTI . List of DTI offices are listed here .

If you are planning to set up a partnership or corporation, your travel agency business needs to register at SEC . Here’s a list of SEC offices in the Philippines .

A reservation fee is required for a certain number of days to allow your business to prepare the required documents such as articles of incorporation and notarized bank certificates of deposit.

Once you have copy of SEC registration, go to the city or municipal business licensing office and secure Mayor’s Permit.

Getting accredited. IATA or non-IATA agents – travel agencies can either apply to be accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the international regulating body for airlines, passenger sales agents and cargo agents. Being an accredited agent allows them to sell international and/or domestic tickets on behalf of the airlines. They are also allowed to do rebooking, reissuance, or revalidation of tickets issued, or cause the endorsement to other airlines in case needed.

Non-IATA agent are not authorized to issue tickets and need to buy from an accredited agent or directly from the airline.

Click here to apply for IATA accreditation, and select “Philippines” from the drop-down menu for appropriate document and procedure.

Operating space. Space comes at a premium but travel agency offices need not be huge, as long as staff can attend to the needs of customers in a well-organized office layout. Home-based travel agency may only need a minimum of 10 to 15 sq meter space for a couple of staff, and machines. Commercial spaces typically measuring between 60 to 200 sq meter space and located at high foot traffic areas can accommodate walk-in clients.

how to register travel agency business in the philippines

Office equipment. Essential travel agency equipment include high-performance computer systems, printer units, fax machine, telephone lines, photocopier, surveillance camera and storage vault. Complementing them are office furniture to accommodate walk-ins, chairs and desks, storage cabinets and tables.

Some customers prefer less engaging enquiries by using mobile messaging such as Whatsapp, FB messenger or Viber so getting an office-use mobile device should address such types of inquiries.

The heart of air ticket booking system lies in the airline reservations system that incorporate airline schedules, fare tariffs, passenger reservations and ticket records. Popular ones include Amadeus, Travelport, Sabre and Shares.

Human resources. For startups, you can develop a simple travel agency operation with basic services — sourcing your booking online through the Internet.

However, as the business grows or you wish to start accommodating wider spectrum of customers on a variety of services, having at least two travel agents stationed in the office is the ideal arrangement for an agency that caters to walk-in customers. Expanding the workforce can have an agency consisting of two people under reservations and ticketing section, cashier/accountant, receptionist to answer calls and manage walk-in visits, and messenger to deliver or pick up documents.

It is easy to train staff to perform reservation tasks, but it helps to hire tourism graduates who have exposure to computer reservation system. For more seamless operations, hiring for staff with previous hands-on experience in another travel agency is the way to go.

Marketing and advertising. There are many ways to promote a travel agency business. First off, it pays off in the long term to have a notable brand presence, from brand name to brand logo. It can be promoted offline through signage outside of the shop, mall directory or local newspaper’s travel section. Exposure on local festivals and activities that attract tourists such as sponsoring a booth.

Your agency should also be represented at travel expos and tourism activities to be able to meet like-minded people not only target customers, but also potential partners and vendors. For example, if you are a travel agency whose office is located close to beach resorts , you should reach out to these businesses for partnership — you promote their business and they refer other clients to you.

Putting your travel agency business online makes it cheaper and cost-effective as it’s not only measurable, it’s also targeted. Your company website’s features include travel destinations, tour packages, air ticket promos and travel blog for the information of interested travelers. It is important to have as comprehensive information as possible. Not only will it be helpful to your potential customers, it also saves time answering questions through your receptionist on a call or travel agents during a walk-in visit.

You can advertise on Google AdWords and Facebook Business, both of which has rich targeting options that allow you to customize your audience according to your preferences.

Your business can establish social media presence, with Facebook page to promote tour packages and attract engagement, Twitter to answer travel enquiries or promote your website’s latest blog update. Instagram will also feature photos of travel destinations.

The best advertising, though, can come from your happy customers built off the excellent customer service and competitive rates.

Choosing destinations. Deciding on what are popular and profitable travel destinations boils down to the customer profile you have researched. They can be young couples, families with young children, retired senior citizens, business travelers, corporate travelers or backpackers who have varying lifestyles, tastes and travel interests.

Within the Philippines, it’s a given that your agency will provide air tickets not only to a few destinations but all available within the network of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia and other domestic or regional carriers for destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo or Bangkok.

As destinations vary, your agency must have a database of hotels, schedule of air flights, list of tourist attractions, beaches, insurance options and other information customers might be looking for.

Be prepared with options for customers to choose from. For example, a family of four wish to get a quote for a four-day stay in Bohol, a number of  package tours complete with itinerary, hotel accommodations and flights should be presented on the fly for them to choose from. Others might just look at flyers of travel package to influence their decision so preparing a few options per destination can help them make prompt decisions.

Travel agency brochure

As many customers mull over price, length of travel and other factors, don’t expect all of them to make immediate decision. Having those pamphlets available will be handy.

Managing your partners. Based on your priority type of audience, you can pick the right partners to deal with among airlines, hotels, tour operators, resorts and so on.

Budget conscious clients often are attracted to promo packages, but this also depends on their availability to travel and type of experience they want to try. So your decision should be based on client’s convenience, along with affordability and, of course profitability.

You don’t want to get carried away with low-cost travel options from a partner with tainted reputation. A good travel agency’s reputation goes a long way, so only deal with reputable and experienced business partners, even if it comes at a premium price.

Creating a profile of clients. Based on early turnout of customers, you might be able to establish a profile which outlines the type of clients you had, along with their travel preferences, services they availed, months they traveled and destinations they chose.

A customer relationship management system will help manage your customers as you gather information about them. Using email marketing, you can send them promotional items that are relevant to their past choices.

Was it a year since your family customer who made a trip to Palawan traveled? Why not introduce a similar experience (Bohol or Cebu) but on a different destination, with price lower than their previous package? This is possible if you have a comprehensive record of their past trips, their preferences, budgets, and restrictions, if any.

You also take note of seasonal travelers, such as a city school delegation often travels to Palarong Pambansa in April, or a religious group makes a pilgrimage the Holy Land in December. You can then offer them discounts for group travel.

The aim is to convert them into repeat customers.

Making money. As you can see, it takes a lot of effort and investment of time and money to operate a travel agency. But this is often rewarded with returns. Although travel agency revenue vary according to many factors such as types of packages being offered, types of customers it serves and existing agreements with partners, typically an agency starting up earns profit of P10,000 during lean periods and P50,000 during peak seasons.

Markups from airline bookings and commissions earned from tours range between 3 and 10 per cent. So depending on this business model may require large volume of customers to get bigger profits.

If you have enough staff to handle extra services and available machinery, your travel agency can also offer photocopying service, travel insurance application, visa processing at the embassy / consulate, passport application and securing of required documents

Good luck on your travel agency business plans!

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how to register travel agency business in the philippines

How to Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

If you are looking for a bank loan, they may need a business plan. While it`s not technically a necessity, it`s something I highly recommend. I didn`t write a business plan when I launched this website, but I also knew about online marketing and the travel industry front and back and had the connections to the industry to make it work. Most people who start a home travel agency have no experience in starting a business or they have no experience in traveling. This is where a business plan can help. Hello Nazma! We can help you set up the travel agency at home or in the office. Please visit our Facebook @The Travel Depot or website at www.thetraveldepot.ph or call 09176800968 to find out more hl van. Can I receive your email so I can send you the details on how to start the travel business? Or you can call 09176800968 or visit our website at www.thetraveldepot.ph to learn more. A surprising fact is that starting a travel agency business in the Philippines does not necessarily require a large amount of capital. Therefore, in addition to being profitable, it could be exciting and fun for an entrepreneur who loves the travel industry.

How much does it cost to set up a travel agency with a business permit, etc.? Since many customers think about price, travel time, and other factors, don`t expect them all to make immediate decisions. Having these brochures available will be convenient. How do you know if you should choose a host agency or a travel agency franchise, or if you need to be independent and get your own accreditation? How do you decide which travel consortia to join if you are self-employed? How to choose a host agency if there are more than 100 listed on the site? Accreditation. IATA or non-IATA agents – Travel agents can either apply to be accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the international regulator of airlines, passenger sellers and cargo agents. As an accredited agent, they can sell international and/or domestic tickets on behalf of airlines. You also have the right to book, issue or revalidate tickets issued or, if necessary, to have other airlines approved. Your agency should also be present at travel fairs and tourism activities so that you can meet like-minded people, not only target customers, but also potential partners and suppliers. For example, if you are a travel agent whose office is located near the resorts, you should contact these companies to form a partnership – they promote their business and refer you to other customers. Maybe we want to grow our brand as a travel and travel agency here in the Philippines, and this article really gave me some information about that, so thank you very much. Market Analysis: This provides more detailed information about the target market and the company`s competitors. Whew.

That list was a bit overwhelming, wasn`t it? The fact is that there is a lot of preparatory work to be done to start a travel agency. Wouldn`t it be nice if someone just sent you a step-by-step guide with a list of things you need to do to start a travel agency from home? Wouldn`t it be even better if it was completely free? The Internet is a wonderful place to share your moments with your friends and family. This is especially good for those who love to travel. Everywhere on the web (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) it does not fail to present the wonders of the world. When you start building a travel agency in the Philippines, one of the most critical areas is hiring the right people and team. If your budget is low, don`t be afraid! This is because some travel agency tasks can be generated by computer, saving you time and money. (e.B. Squareup, which allows you to book appointments quickly and effortlessly) Just like in other industries, there are many ways to market a travel agency business. If you were able to build a travel agency in the Philippines with an excellent brand image, you could reap many benefits. Operating room. Space is scarce, but travel agency offices don`t need to be huge as long as employees can meet customers` needs in a well-organized office layout.

The home travel agency may only need at least 10 to 15 m² of space for a few employees and machines. Commercial spaces, which typically measure between 60 and 200 m² and are located in high-traffic areas, can accommodate guests without an appointment. As with fein, you don`t need a separate business account or credit card when starting a travel agency if you`re a sole proprietor, but you wish you had set up a tax period! Separating your personal bank account from the business account from the beginning makes accounting easier and helps you track the amortization of business expenses. However, if the business is growing or you want to accommodate a wider range of clients for a variety of services, at least two travel agencies in the office is the ideal facility for an agency for walk-in clients. Workforce expansion may have a two-person agency in the booking and ticketing area, cashier/accountant, receptionist to answer calls and handle walk-in visits, and messenger to deliver or pick up documents. To get started, check out our article “The Top 10 Benefits of Using a Hospitality Agency.” If you`re reading this and decide that a host agency is right for you, you`ll jump on to our article on choosing a hospitality agency and take a look at our best hospitality agencies of 2021. Here are the important things you need to do when setting up this business: Funny to mention this! Host Agency Reviews` FREE 7-day setup will guide you step-by-step through getting your travel agency started. free.

😊 Whether you choose a host agency or choose to become self-employed, you will need a name for our agency. Suppliers (hotels, cruise lines, airlines, etc.) need the name of the travel agency for their records, so prepare one before you can start selling trips. If you have already selected a niche, you can choose the name of your travel agency. Here`s why it may take a while to get started (especially if you`re starting a travel agency from home) According to the travel industry in the Philippines, there are two types of travel agencies. Are there seminar dates for starting a travel and tour business? Thank you po If you have a franchise, you can have it managed by your travel agent while using an established name in the industry. In addition, as a franchisee, you will receive training, systems, promotions and the establishment of a travel agency in the Philippines. Your business can establish a social media presence, with a Facebook page to promote tour packages and gain engagement, Twitter to respond to travel inquiries, or promote your website`s latest blog update. Instagram will also display photos of destinations. Let`s take a look at the steps of setting up a travel agency in the Philippines.

We will also explore the option of a travel franchise to the Philippines for those interested in the franchise option! Owners need to consider many factors when looking for an ideal location. The most important thing could be accessibility to the target market. Secondly, the location should be convenient for them. Finally, the business owner must ensure that the space is affordable. A travel agency is essentially an office. It has to carry out transactions through online websites and therefore an internet connection is required in addition to a computer. The computer does not need to be the high-end and can be a basic package that can handle day-to-day operations. The travel industry is booming and this may be the best time to take advantage of this trend. With only a moderate amount of capital and a lot of energy, a person in this business can find financial success and personal fulfillment.

To learn more about this company, you can attend a one-day seminar on this topic. With hard work in the right direction, there is often a reward. Many factors influence a travel agency`s revenue, e.B the target market, the packages offered and the partners. As an estimate, the profit of a small travel agency per month could be around PHP 10,000, and in high season it could be PHP 50,000 or more. This benefit can be x5, x10 or more, depending on the size of the company. To do this, you can pay attention to your company`s brand name and logo. Then you can advertise by installing signs in front of your office, shopping malls, and other public places. And money. You`ll probably want to know what to expect when it comes to money, right?! 😊I hate to admit it, but there is no firm answer. It depends on so many factors.

The good news is that we were so curious to answer this question that in the early years of setting up a travel agency, we surveyed a few hundred new travel agencies about their revenue. Business Strategy: This section describes the plan to continue operating and building a travel agency business in the Philippines through marketing and pricing of products or services. How do I start a home portal ticketing agency? When you open your travel agency, you may have registered it as Margarita Travel. But over time, that could change. Let`s say you`ve become the local wedding expert that everyone has turned to. Margarita Travel works, but you want to have a more romantic name for these customers and a different brand. Here`s how to create a new brand, Beach Romance, that specializes in destination weddings. .

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How To Start A Travel Agency In The Philippines

  • Post author By varun
  • Post date December 2, 2022

how to register travel agency business in the philippines

If you always wanted to get into the travel space in the Philippines, here’s a detailed guide on how to start a travel agency in The Philippines along with a few tips. 

In the post-pandemic world, the travel industry has bounced back and expanded to reach uncharted horizons. 

The tourism industry in the Philippines is one of the leading and developing industries in the country. It is also one of the main sources of income. Infact, the sector is growing rapidly due to increase in demand, and expansion of the hotel and resort industry there. Hence, it’s a great time and opportunity to start a travel agency in the Philippines now.

Here are quick steps and trip for you to start your own travel agency in the Philippines.

10 Tips To Start A Travel Agency In The Philippines

1. find your niche .

If you are thinking of starting a travel agency in the Phillippines, then it might not be a bad idea to think about a niche that you can serve better than others. But do remember, there’s a fair amount of money that can still be made from being a lot of things to a lot of people. So a niche helps with word-of-mouth growth, but having a wide service helps in getting more repeat business from the same customer. 

So, you must focus on your strengths as well as weaknesses and find out what works for your agency. And above all: you must know the nitty-gritty of your niche to gain the trust of your customers. For instance, a couple from Uttarakhand who loved to travel to offbeat locations renovated an old home and opened the much-loved Doi Homestay. Similarly, a young traveler started sharing his travel stories online and now takes people on treks. 

2. Get An Accreditation

In the Philippines, travel agents have to get accreditation to be able to sell domestic or international tickets on behalf of airlines. You can either choose to be accredited by IATA (International Air Transport Association), or non-IATA agents. IATA accreditation can be a little more expensive since it’s the international regulator of airlines, passenger sellers, and cargo agents, but if you have the required capital, you should go for IATA accreditation. 

3. Determine Your Travel Services

Before you do anything, you must figure out the travel services you’d like to provide to your customers. If you are daring, you can start off with holiday packages – a segment where you book hotels, flights, transfers, activities, and more! 

In case that’s too much, you can offer basic services such as airport, railway and bus station transfers as well as car rental services. Other essential services offered by a travel agency include bureau de change, travel insurance as well as consistent medical assistance. 

When you’re learning more about how to start a travel agency in the Philippines, this is a step that is of prime importance. While you can expand your services in the future, getting it right the first time is imminent. 

4. Create a Website

An optimized website is necessary for any contemporary travel agency that wishes to reach its target audience organically. Your website is your portfolio that displays all the trips you have arranged till now, the packages you are offering as well as what your customers think about you.

Having a business website is also an astute way to let your customers know what you stand for. In the age of immersive travel experiences, your customers want to know if your travel agency is just covering those tourist attractions that are swarmed with tourists all year long or if you believe in allowing the travelers to get a complete insight into the culture and traditions of a destination and unraveling its soul. 

If you want to start a travel agency and are wondering where to begin, you’re in the right place! Pathfndr is an AI-powered travel operating system. What this means is that with the help of Pathfndr, you can not only create a well-designed travel website, but also sell packages, hotels, and tours. Since it’s affordable and provides great customer service, you can get started in no time at all. 

5. Find Partners

If you are wondering about the next step of starting a travel agency in the Philippines, then we are here to guide you. As a young agency, it can be difficult to establish your presence in the industry and attract customers.

In this case, finding partners or organizations to collaborate with can be a good idea. There are several travel companies in the Philippines that invite travel agencies to collaborate and list their packages on their platform at nominal rates and gain organic leads from their websites.

6. Build an Online Social Media Presence

When starting a travel and tourism business, it is important to build a strong online presence. Your social media presence is as important as your offline activities. By maintaining a social media account, you can give modern-day travelers a glimpse of the picture-perfect trips you arrange for your customers. 

Not only is social media a wonderful way to invite travelers on a trip virtually, but it also allows tech-savvy travel agencies to keep a track of what is creating the most buzz in the community.

Wondering where you should take your customers next? Perhaps, the clue lies in your most-liked Instagram photos.

7. Finalize a Business Structure

Once you have decided to start your travel agency, it’s time to figure out the structure of your travel business. Finalize a name for your business & then, if you are a sole proprietor, register your business name with the DTI. If you are a corporation, register your business name with the SEC. 

Get a barangay clearance before you obtain a mayor’s permit. And then register your business with the BIR. You may want to be accredited with the Department of Tourism for better marketing in the future.

8. Choose Your Base to Expand Your Travel Agency

Another important step in the process of ‘how to start a travel agency in the Philippines’ is to choose the base from where you would expand your travel agency. Considering today’s day and age, you can always keep your entire business online and run a travel agency from your home. 

If not that, you can set up shop right in the heart of a popular tourist destination or metropolitan. You can also travel far and choose to run things from the outskirts. Regardless of the location you choose for your base, if you want to make a travel business happen, it will happen! 

9. Create Attractive Travel Packages

The next step regarding how to start a travel agency in the Philippines is to create travel packages that are not only profitable but can also offer an unparalleled experience to your customers.

From basic packages that include excursions to breathtaking destinations to adventurous packages that include outdoor activities and experiences, you can plan a variety of packages that may cover a broad range of customers or a narrow target audience.

10. Make Customers Happy

For most travelers, the journey matters as much as the destination. So, you have to make sure that your customers are getting the best value for money. Make sure that you are consistently in touch with your customer from the origin point itself and listen to what they actually need. A travel agency must develop its empathy levels if they wish to deal with various kinds of travelers. 

Moreover, do not forget to ask for their feedback. It not only shows that you care about what your customers think, but it would also help you to develop a more personalized travel experience that is the demand of the 21st century.

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Business Tips Philippines: Business Owners and Entrepreneurs’ Guide

Business Tips Philippines, an online entrepreneurship, management & marketing guide for Filipinos, business owners, leaders & entrepreneurs around the world.

How to Start Online Travel Agency in the Philippines

August 10, 2022 Businesstips 1 Comment

Travel

Venturing into the business world is one of the most crucial decisions anyone should make. If you love traveling, starting an online travel agency in the Philippines might be for you. This business involves offering a tour package in the Philippines and even booking accommodations and flights for your customers.

But how do you start an online travel agency in the Philippines? To find out, read our guide below.

Step By Step Process on How to Start Online Travel Agency in the Philippines

1. develop a travel agency business plan.

First off, you should develop a business plan. It is the initial phase for any business startup wherein you will decide if you’re putting up your travel agency or acquiring a travel franchise. During this phase, you should develop a business description, determine your target market, and estimate the startup cost to prepare your finances.

2. Choose Your Partners

The next step is to choose your business partners based on the services and tour package in the Philippines you’re going to offer. When selecting partners like airlines and hotels, you should evaluate their charges to determine your markup and potential income.

Also, since you’re new in the field, it is ideal to use platforms where you can book flights and accommodation and even process the passports of your customers. By doing so, you only need to pay the subscription fee until you get familiarized with the business.

3. Apply For Permits and Licenses

After you’ve figured out everything, it is time to apply for permits and licenses. To legally operate and maximize your potential earnings, you should register your travel agency business at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) . It only applies if you’re doing business at home or by yourself.

However, for partnerships or corporations, you should register your business at the Security of Exchange and Commission (SEC) . For more details on starting a travel agency in the Philippines, read R.A. 1478.

4. Set Up Your Office

While online travel agencies transact online, it is better to have an office at home or by renting a space. It gives your business more credibility and attracts more clients, knowing that your travel agency business has a physical office.

For instance, you can turn a vacant room in your home into an office and acquire the equipment needed for a travel agency business, such as a computer, printer, photocopy machines, landline phone, and CCTV cameras. You can also set up a small lounge for walk-in clients, especially for those who would avail of tour packages for big groups.

5. Workforce Planning

Since most business startups usually have the owner as the sole staff, you should do workforce planning. If you do everything from contacting your partners to finding customers, hiring one to two staff is necessary for the future to continue growing your business.

But if you don’t have the budget yet to pay full-time staff, you can outsource jobs from freelance workers. It gives you more time, allowing you to focus on other matters and expand your business.

6. Offer Popular Tour Packages

During the first phase of business planning, you must have known what tour package in the Philippines to offer. However, with many options available, it is frustrating to manage everything as a novice in the field. So as other successful businesses do, it is better to focus first on the most popular tour packages, such as Boracay, Coron, Palawan, Cebu, and other famous tourist spots in the country.

You can also offer tour packages near your area, so it would be easier for you to contact partners. By focusing on popular tour packages, you will have a higher potential of attracting customers even if you’re starting.

7. Start Marketing & Advertising

Lastly, good marketing and advertising strategy are essential to establish your business and increase brand awareness. Apart from offering popular tour packages, you’ll have a better edge than your competitors if your social pages and website are optimized, making your business more visible to your target market.

Overall, an online travel agency in the Philippines can be tricky at first. But once you have processed the legalities and understand what tour package in the Philippines to offer to your customers, you can certainly earn big with a travel agency business.

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BusinessTips.ph is an online Business Ezine that provides free and useful articles, guide, news, tips, stories and inspirations on business, finance, entrepreneurship, management and leadership, online and offline marketing, law and taxation, and personal and professional development to Filipinos and all the business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, marketers, leaders, teachers and business students around the world.

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December 29, 2023 at 4:38 pm

can I register just DTI for online travel agency, no meed mayors permit?

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Business, Investments, and Personal Finance

5 Quick Tips on Starting a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

Updated: May 15, 2019

It’s fun to travel. And with social media showcasing a lot of wonderful destinations, who wouldn’t be tempted to travel, right? I actually know someone who has his travel agency on speed dial in his mobile phone!

As you may know, traveling is not just about fun and leisure. A lot of people also travel for business. And this market will be your primary customers if you’re running a travel agency business in the Philippines.

Establishing a travel agency can provide you with a steady income as it is always in demand. Additionally, you actually don’t need a lot of capital to start this business.

If you’re interested to put up a travel agency business, then here are five quick tips that can come in handy.

1. Determine what type of travel agency you will be.

According to the travel industry in the Philippines, there are two types of travel agencies.

First, there is IATA Agents or the Accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). They are the international regulating body for airline and airline-related departments.

Having this kind of accreditation will let your customers know that you are reliable and trusted by airlines to issue tickets. You also have the power to rebook, reissue, or revalidate tickets if needed.

Second, is the Non-IATA Agents . These agencies are not accredited by the IATA, and are therefore not allowed to issue tickets.

The way they do business instead, is to buy tickets from the airline directly or an IATA-accredited travel agency. Setting up this type of agency is easier, but your profit will be smaller. It’s recommended for those with little capital.

how to register travel agency business in the philippines

2. Have both online and offline presence.

People are now comfortable with buying plane tickets online. This means most travelers will almost always check online first if they need a travel agency.

Have a website and maintain a social media account to serve as your sales and marketing channels online.

However, aside from the online presence, you must also have an office. Most corporate accounts will want to deal with an agency with a physical business address.

3. Market the destinations.

It’s important to provide quality service and competitive prices to your customers. But when it comes to your marketing strategies, your focus should be in promoting the destinations that you offer.

Especially in social media, you can do content marketing on popular tourist spots. This way, if the need arises to travel to that destination, your target market will remember your business first.

Creating packages for these destinations will also be helpful. If you can partner with hotels, then that would be advantageous also, particularly for group travelers and business travelers.

4. Register your business.

Register your travel agency business early on and don’t operate as a fly-by-night travel agent because you will not get corporate clients this way.

Before going through the usual process of registering a business, check first with the permits and licensing office in your city. Ask them about the requirements of a travel agency business.

Each city in the Philippines can have different processes, that’s why this will be your first step.

Lastly, it is optional but it would certainly be helpful if you can apply and get accreditation from the Philippine Department of Tourism. This will boost your credibility as a travel agency business.

5. Have the necessary equipment.

Travel agencies require minimal equipment to operate. The most important are a computer with an internet connection, preferably two phone lines, a scanner, a printer, and a fax machine.

When it comes to the aesthetics of your office, be sure to have comfortable chairs for clients. And showcase high-quality photos or posters of your destinations to attract visitors.

I hope you find these five quick tips helpful.

What to do next: Click here to subscribe to our FREE newsletter.

Thank you for this pointers it helped me and my wife when we started Masterway Travel and Tours in Taytay,Rizal.I hope that you would also write about tips on how to do marketing and advertising. God Bless!!

We might want to expand our brand as a travel and tours agency here in the Philippines, and this post truly gave me some information regarding that, so thank you.

My boss is considering to put up a travel agency here in the Philippines since He will be catering clients who want to travel Philippines

How much capital do we need to start this kind of business

Im planning to have travel agency business and I dont even know where and what to start. Can someone help me through it?

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how to register travel agency business in the philippines

Business Formation Guide: How to Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines

how to register travel agency business in the philippines

Tourism and travel have become one of the most expanded industries in the world, and the value and potential don’t seem to fade anytime soon. This includes sectors such as hotel management, predetermined plans, transportation, and other services. People love to go through different locations. And establishing a travel agency to accommodate their needs is worth the investment. So how do you set up your traveling business in the Philippines? Here’s a guide to follow.

Secure Finances

Forming a business would require capital. You would have to cover for equipment and paperwork, including significant operations and utilities. The business owner should open a bank account in the Philippines with a minimum amount of PHP 5,000 ($100). This involves compliance with additional requirements in terms of identification of your travel agency and articles of incorporation.

Register Business

Like any other establishment, it is crucial to come up with a unique name and register it to the department. However, the sector you would need to comply with is based on your type of business. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for Sole Proprietorships, Securities and Exchange Commission if your investment is corporate or partner-based, and Cooperative Development Authority for cross-parties. Licensing and applications should occur in the process. Moreover, you need other legal documents before starting. Here are the following:

  • BIR registration (Tax Identification Number, Books of Accounts, Revenue Taxes, etc.)
  • Mayor’s business permit (Local business taxes)
  • DTI Registration (Trade names)
  • SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig Fund registration (Employer and employee remittance)

Secure all your clearances and permits. Don’t forget to communicate with the local administration where you plan to establish your entity.

Alternatively, you can also decide for a  business takeover .

Get Accredited

Accrediting your business entity would enable you to sell and accommodate local and international tickets of most airlines. You could offer more services as your agents are allowed and capable of revalidating tickets, re-book, re-issue, and more. To commit so, you could apply to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It specializes in regulating airlines and travel agents. Non-authorized travel agencies would need to purchase directly from airlines or accredited ones.

Remember that those airline reservations and booking systems fuel your business entity. And as a startup, you could develop a strategy by reaching a broader spectrum through online services. Expanding your workforce and detailed offers are also acknowledged. Ensure that you hire the right people who share the same passion for assisting the people’s wonders.

Establishing a business requires effective communication and completion of paperwork. The process may seem extensive, considering the other factors you would have to evaluate. Hence, purchasing a travel agency is considered a wise option. The operations in conducting a business takeover are more convenient and cheaper. You wouldn’t have to worry about office residences. You could choose and buy a  business for sale  waiting for new owners.

If you are looking for platforms to sell your business in the Philippines, Easy Buy Sell Business, a Business for sales center will assist you. Purchasing and taking over establishments would be efficient and inexpensive.

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Certification Program For Travel Agency Business (A 3-Day Online Course)

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how to register travel agency business in the philippines

We’re excited to announce our next run of our Certification Program for Travel Agency Business!

Organized by Travel Depot, a DOT Accredited Tourism Training Center, know the requirements to legitimately set up a travel agency business in the Philippines, learn the basic knowledge of the travel business operations, and get Certified to be a DOT accredited Travel Agency!

If you are an existing travel agency whose in the works of renewing permits for reopening, A travel agent who needs a refresher learning covering the new normal operations of a travel business, or simply a new travel agency who needs to get a Certification to get accredited as a DOT Travel and Tours entity in the Philippines, this course is for you!

Register now for this LIMITED time Certification Program, an online course for 3 days! 50% discount for EARLY REGISTRATION

COURSE TITLE: Certification Program For Travel Agency Business (A 3-Day Online Course)

COURSE SCHEDULE:  June 27-29, 2022

COURSE VENUE: Virtual Zoom Meeting (Zoom login details will be given after payment)

COURSE FEE:  P40,000 Per Person

EARLY BIRD RATE: Get a 50% Discount! Pay only Php 20,000 per person (A reservation fee of P1,000 is required)  HURRY LIMITED SLOTS LEFT! REGISTER NOW! REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS ON JULY 31, 2021

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- 3 days convenient Online Training

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Note: Above program is designed and dedicated for DOT Certification. We offer a separate comprehensive program for a more complete Travel Agency Business Set Up.

Contact us to know more! Call Ms. Gail: 0917 581 5590 Email: consultancy [at] thetraveldepot.com Facebook: @TravelDepotPH Instagram: @thetraveldepotph

*Schedule may change without prior notice. Please call to confirm

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LuxuryTravelDiva

How Do I Start a Travel and Tour Business in the Philippines?

By Michael Ferguson

Starting a travel and tour business in the Philippines is a great way to make a living while exploring the unique beauty of this tropical Asian country. With its stunning white sand beaches, world-renowned diving spots, and vibrant culture, the Philippines has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of opportunities to make money through a travel and tour business in the Philippines.

A successful travel and tour business in the Philippines will require a lot of research and preparation. You should start by familiarizing yourself with the laws, regulations, and permits necessary for operating such a business in the country. It’s also important to understand the local customs, culture, attractions, and activities available to tourists. Once you have obtained all of this information, you can begin to select destinations based on your customer’s interests.

Once you’ve established your destination list, it’s time to start advertising your services.

You can use traditional methods like print media or more modern approaches like social media advertising. Additionally, it’s important to build relationships with local hotels and businesses that may be able to help promote your packages or provide discounts for your customers.

The next step is establishing partnerships with airlines and other transportation companies that will help get your customers to their destinations quickly and safely. You may also want to consider hiring agents who specialize in different regions so they can help provide personalized service for each customer’s needs.

Finally, once you have all of these pieces in place it’s time to start marketing your business. Developing an effective marketing strategy will be essential for success in this highly competitive industry. Consider creating promotional material such as brochures or videos that showcase your packages or create social media accounts where customers can learn more about what you offer. With an effective strategy in place, you can begin creating memorable experiences for travelers while making money at the same time!

Conclusion: Starting a travel and tour business in the Philippines is an exciting opportunity that has many rewards but also comes with challenges such as obtaining permits, understanding local customs and regulations as well as developing an effective marketing strategy. However with research and preparation it is possible to establish a successful travel and tour business that will generate income while providing enjoyable experiences for travelers.

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How To Register a Business in the Philippines: The Ultimate Guide

How To Register a Business in the Philippines: The Ultimate Guide

As more and more Filipinos are now venturing toward online businesses or are now earning from non-traditional sources of income, the government is reminding the public 1 of their duties as business owners (e.g. taxes , business registration, and labor laws).

 The general rule is that if you are regularly earning income outside an employer-employee relationship, then you are considered to be engaged in business regardless of the level of your sales.

We all want to earn money but failing to take into account the laws and proper procedures on how to register your business will surely backfire. We would like to guide your business registration to ensure that your business runs smoothly and help you avoid unnecessary penalties.

Disclaimer : This article shall only be used for learning purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice.

Table of Contents

1. tax returns are proof of income, 2. secures reputation as a legitimate business, 3. hassle-free transactions with other legitimate businesses, 4. low-interest loans and other government benefits, 5. avoid unnecessary penalties and avoid the risk of getting jail time, who are exempt from registering their business, a. sole proprietorship (self-employed individuals/professionals), b. corporations and partnerships, choosing the best business structure for you, a. dti (for self-employed individuals), b. sec (for corporations and partnerships), 3. apply for a certificate of registration with the bir, 4. apply for a business permit, additional requirements if you have employees, other government licenses, what are the penalties if i did not register my business, for sole proprietors, for partnerships, for one person corporations, for corporations, how long does it take for me to register my philippine business, 1. understanding the obligations of a business owner.

  •  2. Understanding tax returns

3. Basic computation of taxes

  • 4.  File tax returns on time

5. Keeping your books of accounts

6. attachments, 7. issuance of valid invoices/receipts on transactions including online-based payments, 1. can i do the business registration online, 2. i’m an online seller/youtuber/blogger. do i need to register my business, 3. i’m earning from google adsense which is based internationally. do i still need to report that income, 4. what if the foreign company already taxed my income should i still register my business, 5. what can i do with the withheld tax, 6. i earn less than php 250,000 a year, do i still need to register my business, 7. if i failed to register my business previously, is there a way to register without incurring penalties, 8. i’m done with the business registration. when can i start operating, 9. do i need to hire an accountant for the business registration (and beyond), 10. what is the difference between a trade name and a business name, what are the benefits of registering your business in the philippines.

These are documents that certify your ability to pay. If you have applied for a loan , a credit card, or rented a condominium, you may have been asked for your tax return documents as a requirement. 

Tax returns are a great way to say that you are earning regularly and are capable of paying your obligations. 

When dealing with other businesses or big clients, it is almost mandatory to provide a certificate of registration. This will allow you and other businesses to determine whether the other party is a legitimate business and is not just a scam. 

If you have ever dealt with ‘colorum’ or illegitimate businesses, you know how much of a hassle they are for your accounting records. The tax code requires businesses to list all their suppliers and compile all receipts pertaining to their transactions in order to claim business expenses 2 . Dealing with ‘colorum’ businesses means you can’t claim business expenses for your transactions with them.

 Conversely, if you are not registered, you cannot issue valid receipts. In turn, this will jeopardize your customer’s ability to claim their payments as a valid expense. This can be a reason why some businesses will avoid dealing with you, as an unregistered supplier. 

For all businesses: 

The government provides free seminars for registered businesses as long as they provide the required documents. For example, the BIR gives free tax briefings for new registrants to teach them about their responsibilities as business owners.

The DTI also provides free seminars, listed here , which allow business owners to learn from other successful entrepreneurs on what to do, where to get suppliers, when to expand, etc. The DTI also provides free services like logo making, branding, and consultations with professionals.

For BMBEs 3 : 

BMBE qualified businesses that are also employers are exempted from the Minimum Wage Law. This means that they can legally pay their employees an amount lower than allowed by law.

However, it is still required that the BMBE shall pay a reasonable amount to its employees and provide them with social security benefits (SSS and PAG-IBIG ) and mandatory healthcare (PhilHealth). 

Failure to register your business and timely filing of your tax returns are considered crimes.

Yes, if you neglect your responsibilities as a taxpayer, you may risk getting imprisoned. This is the most common form of tax evasion and is punishable by a fine of between PHP 500,000 and PHP 10,000,000, and from 6 to 10 years in jail 4 .

Fortunately, the BIR has made a compromise that the taxpayer has the option to just pay a specified amount instead of being imprisoned. Needless to say, the amount will make a dent in your pockets. 

  • Those who are earning income exclusively from an employer-employee relationship (Salaries or Wages);
  • Those who are earning exclusively from passive income (i.e. Pensions, Dividends from Domestic Corporations, Interests from Bank Deposits, etc.);
  • Those who are employees but at the same time earning passive income; and
  • Those who are not earning any income from any source.

Business Registration in the Philippines: 4 Steps

1. choose your business structure.

how to register a business in the philippines 1

This shall include all businesses owned by only one person, including freelancers and professionals. 

If you are planning to sell homemade food, clothes, medical paraphernalia, or want to raise money from digital advertising by blogging and vlogging , registering as a sole proprietor is beneficial because it usually has lower taxes and fewer regulations to comply with.

However, a sole proprietorship does not distinguish its owner from the business , i.e. any transaction made by the business reflects on the owner of the business. So if you have excess liabilities in your business, your creditors can sell your personal belongings to compensate.

Any business with more than one owner belongs to this group. The main benefit of creating a corporation or a partnership is that the business can have more funds to operate and expand since there is more than 1 investor. This will also make business management more flexible since you and your co-owners can share responsibilities based on your strengths.

However, the catch is that corporations and partnerships are heavily regulated and are taxed more than sole proprietors . They are generally taxed at a regular income tax rate of 30 percent and any transfer of wealth from the corporation/partnership to its owners is also taxed at a dividend rate of 10 percent.

They also have additional operating requirements, and different attachments when filing their returns. 

To illustrate: 

A business earning PHP 10,000,000 in taxable income will incur the following income taxes:

Corporations.

Sole Proprietor.

Related: How to Compute Your Income Tax Using the New BIR Tax Rate Table

  • There is a difference of PHP 558,500 in taxes;
  • Dividend Taxes are only incurred when actually withdrawn by the owner; and
  • This only includes the taxes that are different for both business structures. 

Determining which business structure works for you depends on your intention, ability to be compliant with different regulations, risk appetite, and capacity to produce capital for your business. 

  • Sole proprietorship/Self-employed professional – these are for people who want an easy way to own a business without worrying too much about highly technical laws. If you have the capital to set up and run a business, this is the best business structure for you. 
  • One-person Corporation – these are for people who want the prestige of owning a corporation with the benefit of becoming the only one responsible for decision-making while also securing your personal assets from creditors.  Related: What is the difference between a one-person corporation and a sole proprietorship?
  • Domestic Corporation – these are for people who want to create a large-scale enterprise since this business structure enables them to have more than 5 investors. Every industry leader creates a domestic corporation that allows them to gather more capital for expansion purposes. 
  • General Partnership – If you cannot create a business on your own due to a lack of capital but also do not want the added responsibility of a corporation, then this may be the best business structure for you. This will allow the owners to gather more capital by inviting more partners into the business while limiting the number of requirements when dealing with government agencies . Keep in mind that taxation is the same for all corporations and partnerships. 
  • Others – there are other business structures available for new registrants like General Professional Partnerships, Resident Foreign Corporations, and Cooperatives. However, their taxation and management are almost the same as the other four. 

2. Register Your Business Name and/or Corporate Name

how to register a business in the philippines 2

Applying for a business name is required for all business owners that wish to use names other than their birth name for their business. Businesses, by default, must be named after the owner (e.g. Juan Dela Cruz), so if you want to name your business “Aling Dolly’s Online Shop”, then you are required to apply for business name registration with the DTI . 

However, you may skip this step if you are a freelancer or a professional , whose income solely comes from providing services.

Business name registration is different for corporations and partnerships. Instead of DTI, you have to do the registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC. For more information about SEC business name registration, click here.

how to register a business in the philippines 3

All businesses are required to register with the BIR. This will allow taxpayers to pay their tax dues and enjoy the benefits of a legit business. The general process to register is as follows:

  • Accomplish BIR Form 1901 for sole proprietors or BIR Form 1903 for corporations/partnerships;
  • Submit the filled-out forms together with the requirements to the RDO where your business is located;
  • Pay the corresponding registration fee; and
  • Claim the Certificate of Registration on the scheduled date.  

Read More: How to Register a Business with BIR: An Ultimate Guide

how to register a business in the philippines 4

It is best practice to secure a business permit from the Local Government Unit (LGU) governing the city where your business is situated before starting your business. You can get this done at the same time as your BIR registration 5 .

To apply for a business permit/mayor’s permit, you must:

  • Secure all documents as required by your LGU;
  • Have your location assessed by the local fire department;
  • Pay the corresponding assessment fees; and 
  • Claim the mayor’s permit on the scheduled date. 

Learn More: How to Get a Business Permit in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide

Any business with employees must register with the DOLE, SSS , PhilHealth , and PagIBIG .

Fortunately, the whole process may be done in Philippine Business Registry (PBR) kiosks which are available in selected DTI and SEC offices. Meaning, if the kiosks are available, you may register all these employer IDs in one setting. 

  • Accomplish PBR Form ;
  • Submit to the DTI Teller together with 1 photocopy of the SEC Certificate (if applicable). Bring the original copy for verification;
  • Pay the corresponding fee; and 
  • Claim Employer Registry Numbers (SSS, PhilHealth, and PagIBIG).

Some businesses are required to secure special licenses from the government. This allows the government to keep track of and regulate the products/services that these businesses are selling to the market. 

  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Medical devices;
  • Processed Food;
  • Child care articles;
  • Veterinary products; and
  • Household/urban pesticides.
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – when dealing with finance companies like banks, pawnshops, and money service businesses. 
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – when dealing with investment companies.

Based on RMO 7-2015 6 (For All Businesses) .

Based on the SEC Scale of Fines series of 2005 7 (For Corporations Only) .

How Much Is the Total Cost of Business Registration in the Philippines?

Total Estimated Cost of Registration : PHP 6,600

  • For Professionals and Non-Licensed Professionals, you may skip the DTI Registration and secure a Professional Tax Receipt (for licensed) or an Occupational Tax Receipt (for non-licensed) from your City Hall. 
  • The business permit fee may vary depending on your LGU. 
  • The DTI fee may vary based on chosen territorial scope.

Application with LGU .

Application with BIR .

Total Estimated Cost of Registration : PHP 8,980

Total Estimated Cost of Registration : PHP 13,710

The amounts are based on the following:

  • Authorized Capital of PHP 1,000,000.
  • Estimated shares to be issued once you invested cash and inventory – PHP 500,000.
  • Application fee of LGUs shall include all necessary permits (e.g. fire fee, sanitary, etc.) 
  • DST on original issuance will be charged once the shares are actually received by the shareholder/s. 

It shall be computed as the total cost of registration of a one-person corporation (OPC) plus registration of By-Laws and Registration of stock worth PHP 1000 and PHP 150, respectively, which brings the estimated cost of registering domestic corporations to PHP 14,860.

  • Sole Proprietor – DTI and BIR Registration may be done within 1 to 2 business days; LGU (Business Permit) Registration may take up to 6 weeks. 
  • Corporations and Partnerships – SEC registration may take 1 to 10 business days while BIR Registration may be done within 1 to 2 business days; LGU (Business Permit) Registration may take up to 8 weeks.

How To Start Your Business Right

Starting your business right is just as important as having your business registered. Understanding your duties and responsibilities is essential for minimizing penalties and ensuring the continuity of operations.

a. Renewal of permits

  • Annual Registration Fee – paid annually to the BIR using BIR Form 0605 
  • Employer’s Number (SSS, PhilHealth, PagIBIG) – these do not expire, however, you are required to update your information if the business changed ownership, place of business, or created a new branch. 
  •  Business Permits – Mayor’s Permit and the supplementary licenses given by the LGU are likewise renewed annually. These are paid together with the local business tax. 
  • Official Receipts/Sales Invoices – The authority to use the BIR printed receipts (BPR/BPI) expires after a year while Principal Receipts/Invoices printed by authorized printers expire after 5 years. 

b. Employer’s Responsibilities

  • Pay salaries/wages on time;
  • Provide benefits to employees;
  • Pay overtime;
  • Pay night shift differential when total employees exceed 5 persons; and
  • Others as required by law and regulations. 

2. Understanding tax returns

  • Income Tax – this is filed using BIR Form 1701 series for sole proprietors or BIR Form 1702 series for corporations/partnerships. 
  • Other Percentage Tax – This is filed using BIR Form 2551Q by businesses who are not subject to VAT and did not avail of the 8% preferential rate . 
  • Value-Added Tax – This is filed using the BIR Form 2550 series by businesses who are mandated to pay VAT. 
  • Expanded Withholding Tax – This is filed using BIR Form 0619 series and the 1601 series by businesses who are required to withhold taxes i.e. Corporations, Top Withholding Agents, Online Sellers, etc. 
  • Local Business Tax – This is a requirement for renewing your City Hall business license. The rate depends on your municipality. 

Tax dues are now automatically calculated when using eBIR Forms and eFPS . However, it’s still important to know what amounts belong to each component, since failure to include or exclude certain items may be subject to severe penalties.

These are the main components used in all tax returns: 

  • Gross Sales – This shall include all earnings for the period without any deductions aside from sales discounts and sales returns. 
  • Gross Receipts – This shall include all cash receipts for the period without any deductions. 
  • Non-operating income – This shall include gains from the sale of properties that are not considered inventory. (i.e. Sale of Land, Dividend Income from Foreign Corporations, etc.)
  • Net Purchases – This shall include all purchased inventory for the period. This is particularly important for VAT taxpayers. 
  • Cost of Goods Sold – This is the cost of goods sold for the period. 
  • Gross Income – This is computed as Gross Sales plus non-operating income less the cost of goods sold. 
  • Itemized Deductions – These are the only business expenses allowed by the BIR to be deducted from the Gross Income.  
  • Taxable Income – This is computed as Gross Income less Itemized Deductions. This is generally the tax basis for income tax. 

4. File tax returns on time

The following is a summary of the deadlines for businesses using the calendar year:

According to the tax code 8 , all businesses are required to record their transactions using registered books of accounts . This enables the company to complete account information returns to be attached to its tax returns and helps certified public accountants to create the audited financial statements required by the SEC and BIR. 

One of the most common mistakes by new businesses is that they do not attach the required documents to their tax returns and they are surprised when they receive letter notices since they didn’t even know that these are important. 

According to the tax code and the current revenue regulations, the following must be submitted together with their corresponding tax returns:

  •   Audited Financial Statements (AFS) – Under Section 232 of the tax code, taxpayers whose sales exceed PHP 3,000,000 shall have their books of accounts audited by a CPA. They shall also attach a copy of the audited FS to their annual income tax return.  
  • Account Information Return (AIF) – If your sales for the year did not exceed PHP 3,000,000, you still need to submit an Account Information Return detailing the balances of your assets, liabilities, and equity and a comparative income statement. This shall be filed using BIR Form 1701-AIF if you are a sole proprietor or 1702-AIF if the business is a corporation/partnership. However, this is not required for businesses that used OSD or the 8% preferential rate. Related Article: Which should I choose: Itemized Deduction or Optional Standard Deduction?
  • Statement of Management’s Responsibility 9 – this shall signify the liability of the owner/managers of the company in the event that the financial statements and tax returns filed are fraudulent or false. This shall be attached to the annual income tax return.
  •   BIR Form 2304 – Otherwise known as Certificate of Income Payment Not Subject to Withholding Tax, this document shall be given to you by your customers who are engaged in business but did not withhold tax on their payments. This must be given to you on or before January 31 of the following year. The certificate shall be attached to the annual income tax return.
  •   Quarterly Alphalist of Payees (QAP) – This shall contain all the names of payees included in your 1601EQ and 1601FQ returns. This shall be attached to the 1601EQ and 1601FQ returns.
  • Summary List of Sales (SLS) – This is the complete list of all your customers. Fortunately, the BIR is only strict with the requirements when the taxpayer is transacting with other businesses. A CTA case allowed the usage of “various customers” when the customer is an individual. This shall be filed together with your monthly and quarterly VAT returns.
  • Summary List of Purchases (SLP) – This is the complete list of all your suppliers. The BIR is extremely strict when it comes to implementing this requirement. The format, form of the document, etc. must be followed exactly as the BIR intended. This must be filed together with your VAT Returns. This is the same with SLI except this only includes local suppliers.
  • Summary List of Importation (SLI) – Likewise, if you import any goods used in your business, you need to list those suppliers. This is the same with SLP except this only includes foreign suppliers.  

Under the tax code 10 , for every transaction exceeding PHP 100, the business must issue a sales invoice (for sale of goods) or an official receipt (for sale of services).

It does not matter if the customer asks for a receipt, it is your obligation to issue proof of payment, otherwise, you may face penalties. For online-based payments, BIR allows the seller to scan and issue the receipts to the buyer electronically 11 .

Related: How to Reduce Your Taxes Legally if You Own a Business

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can now register your business online. In January 2021 12 , the first phase of the Central Business Portal (CBP) was launched by the Anti-Red Tape Authority. The website is a one-stop portal for all business registration needs with the goal of turning the current 33 days processing time into only half a day.

As of May 2022, business registration is now easier with the expanded Central Business Portal (CBP) that consolidates business registration transactions with the following government offices:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Pag-IBIG Fund (HDMF)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
  • Social Security System (SSS)
  • Specific LGUs (Quezon City, Parañaque City, Pasay City, Caloocan City, Ilagan City, Mandaue City, Baler, Dipaculao, Limay, Macabebe, Paete, Lanto, Catarman, Santa Cruz in Marinduque, Santa Barbara in Iloilo, Dumingag, and Kabacan)

Any type of business 13 can now be registered through the CBP .

To register a business online, create a CBP account using an active email. Afterward, complete your User Account Information by indicating the following:

  • Business type (i.e., Sole Proprietorship, Corporation, Partnership)
  • Personal details
  • Residential Address
  • Business Address

If you opt to register via CBP, you can pay electronically or manually the Annual Registration Fee (PHP 500) and the Documentary Stamp Tax (PHP 30). 

If you pay through available e-Payment channels, you will instantly get an electronic copy of the following:

  • Certificate of Registration (COR)
  • Quick Response (QR) code

Print these documents in an A4-size bond paper.  Note that this CBP-generated COR can be posted in your business place just like a BIR-signed COR.

Meanwhile, if you wish to pay manually, you must complete the registration process at your Revenue District Office (RDO) and present the following:

  • CBP Unified Form ( “82” for Sole Proprietorship, Annex “BI” for Partnerships/Corporations)
  • Accomplished Tax Type Questionnaire (Annex C)
  • BIR Form No. 0605 (Payment Form – Annex D)
  • Checklist of Documentary Requirements (Annex A) 

CBP-registered taxpayers are instructed to proceed to the Revenue District Office (RDO) indicated in their CBP-generated COR. You shall complete your business registration in the RDO and acquire BIR-printed receipts and invoices (or secure an Authority to Print receipts and invoices).

Yes. As long as you intend to continuously earn income from these businesses.

RMC No. 55-2013 states that there is no distinction between online businesses and businesses with physical stores . This means that you are required to comply with the same obligations as an ordinary business (i.e. registration, payment of taxes, bookkeeping, etc.) 

Based on the existing jurisprudence 14 , as long as you are earning within the Philippine Jurisdiction you must be taxed under Philippine laws.

Therefore, as long as your content is made in the Philippines, or your product is sold within the Philippines, or you’re providing service from your home (as a freelancer) then you are considered as earning within the PH.

Related Article: Situs of Taxation: How to Know Which is Taxable and Which is Not Taxable

Yes. Withholding tax by your employers/customers does not exempt you from registering your business. You are still required to report your income in your tax returns and pay the corresponding tax dues.

You may claim them as tax credits. This lowers the tax due equal to the amount they withheld subject to a few requirements.  

Yes. There is nothing in the law that exempts businesses earning lower than PHP 250,000 annually from registering their business.

It is a common misconception that as long as you have 0 income tax due, you are not required to register. Remember, there are other taxes that a business must pay i.e. Value-Added Tax, Expanded Withholding Tax, and Local Business Tax.

With the rise of online businesses, the BIR acknowledges that the layperson is not always up-to-date on recent tax legislation. That’s why new registrants, online sellers, and businesses with physical stores alike, were given the opportunity to legalize their business 15 before September 30, 2020, without incurring any penalties.

However, they are still encouraged to report their past earnings and pay the corresponding tax due. 

Juan created an online store to sell clothes on the Facebook Marketplace in 2018. He earned a total of PHP 500,000 during the last 2 years of operations. 

Before RMC 60-2020, he would’ve been penalized for non-registration and non-filing of tax returns in the amount of PHP 20,000 and PHP 38,500, respectively. He is also liable for the PHP 70,000 tax due he should’ve paid.

This means that if Juan had been audited by the BIR, he would have been jailed unless he paid PHP 128,500 or about 25% of his total earnings. 

Thanks to the current circular, if he pays PHP 70,000 and registers his business properly with the BIR, he is now exempted from the penalties.

Computation: 

Penalty for non-registration = 20,000 Income Tax Due = 55,000 based on the graduated rates of 2018 and 2019 Other percentage tax = 15,000* Surcharge for non-filing of tax = 70,000*25% Interest for non-filing of tax = 70,000*12%*2.5 years

It is recommended to operate once you’re registered with all relevant government agencies i.e. DTI/SEC, BIR, and LGU. But since the LGU permits take a long time to process, some municipalities allow businesses to operate once the business has already received the Certificate of Registration from the BIR. 

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to hire a certified public accountant (CPA).

The only time when you are really required to hire a CPA is when you need to submit Audited Financial Statements. Apart from that, the decision boils down to the fact of whether or not you can handle the legal implications of your day-to-day operations, making sure that there are no unreported relevant transactions.

A Trade Name is the company’s legal name. If it is a sole proprietor, then the trade name is the owner’s birth name. Business Names, on the other hand, allow businesses to alter their trade names when transacting with other parties.

Think of it as a pen name for authors. Without business names, the Philippines will be flooded with unique, albeit ridiculously named businesses.

For example, Juan Dela Cruz is a freelance copywriter. His default trade name is “Juan Dela Cruz”. If he exclusively provides services, he is not required to register with the DTI since service providers can use their trade names as their business names. However, if he owns a sari-sari store , he must register a business name that accurately describes the store i.e. “Juan’s Sari-sari Store”.

Related: How to Register a Franchise Business in the Philippines

  • Manuel, P. (2020). BIR orders online businesses to register, declare past transactions, and pay taxes by end-July. Retrieved 22 July 2020, from https://www.cnnphilippines.com/business/2020/6/10/BIR-online-sellers-businesses-register-July-31.html
  • National Internal Revenue Code (1997), Section 34(A) and Section 34(K)
  • RA 9178 or Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002, Section 8
  • de Vera, B. (2021). BIR sets tougher fines, penalties for tax evasion. Retrieved 12 January 2022, from https://business.inquirer.net/325716/bir-sets-tougher-fines-penalties-for-tax-evasion
  • Ramirez, J. (2020). BIR ditches mayor’s permit as a registration requirement. Retrieved 12 January 2022, from https://mb.com.ph/2020/06/15/bir-ditches-mayors-permit-as-a-registration-requirement/
  • Revenue Memorandum Order No. 7-2015
  • Scale of Fines SEC Memorandum No. 6, Series of 2005
  • National Internal Revenue Code (1997), Section 232
  • BIR Revenue Regulations No. 3-2010 and Securities Regulation Code (SRC) Rule 68
  • National Internal Revenue Code (1997), Section 237(A)
  • Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 550-2013
  • Cada, S. (2021). BIR’s one-stop-shop: Central Business Portal. Retrieved 11 January 2022, from https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/13/2090688/birs-one-stop-shop-central-business-portal
  • Tax Notes: Central business portal for online registration of all types of business now available. (2022). Retrieved 23 May 2022, from https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1928722/cebu/business/tax-notes-central-business-portal-for-online-registration-of-all-types-of-business-now-available
  • National Internal Revenue Code (1997), Section 42(A) and Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and Court of Tax Appeals (1987)
  • Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 92-2020

Written by Miguel Antonio Dar II, CPA

in BIR , Business and Finance , DTI , Government Services , Juander How

Last Updated May 30, 2022 10:17 PM

how to register travel agency business in the philippines

Miguel Antonio Dar II, CPA

Miguel Dar is a CPA and an experienced tax adviser specializing in tax audits. He gives tax advice to different start-ups and clarifies tax concerns of individual taxpayers. This includes helping clients register their businesses, training in tax and bookkeeping for start-up businesses, settling open cases, tax planning for future tax compliance, and responding to tax-related inquiries.

Browse all articles written by Miguel Antonio Dar II, CPA

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How To Set Up A Travel Agency In The Philippines

Starting a travel agency in the philippines.

The Internet has made it possible to put up a travel agency at home with very little capital. Those with the resources could aspire for more by putting up an actual office and if you have sufficient capital you could become an IATA (International Air Transport Association) member. Here are some tips for those who may want to consider starting a travel agency business:   Consider your resources . You may want to directly issue your own tickets for airlines, but to do so, you must be an IATA member—to qualify, you would need millions of pesos. As of January, there are 114 members according to data from the PIATA website. PIATA is the Philippine association of IATA members. You could go to the IATA website (www.iata.org) to look for the requirements if you want to put up an IATA-accredited travel agency.   Look for a niche where you can compete. A start-up needs to focus on a market where his resources and capability give him a good chance of success against established players. Without a competitive edge, you will lose against those more experienced. You can add more targets later on once you have already secured a foothold.   Get a location that will suit your target market. If you will be selling to mostly corporate clients, then it would not only be convenient but presentable to have an office in a central business district. If you plan to cater to tourists, you are likely to do well if you look for a place where there are plenty of tourists, like the tourist belt in Manila. However, if you aim to concentrate on retail domestic travelers, you must study where they are most likely to need the services of a travel agency.   Register your business . Starting a travel agency is one business where it is critical that you are properly registered or else you would not be able to do business with airlines and other large transport providers. To save on time and effort, go online first to register your name. Go to the Department of Trade and Industry website (www.dti.gov.ph) if you will be a sole proprietor or to the Securities and Exchange (www.sec.gov.ph) if you will be a corporation. It would be best to get the services of a reliable accountant who is licensed and experienced in business registration and taxes to guide you in the process.   Make sure you have equipment needed. Only standard office equipment is needed. You must have at least a computer with a good Internet connection, a fax machine, a printer and two phone lines. Besides your office furniture like table and chairs, have at least one filing cabinet to store your documents and receipts.   Train your employees well on ticketing procedures. An error will be very costly to correct so invest in thoroughly training employees. Knowledge on one of the popular global distribution systems like Amadeus is indispensable. Customer service is extremely important in the travel business and having knowledgeable employees is essential.   Look for other potential sources of revenue. There are many other ways to make money in the travel agency business. For example, one of the most popular is operating your own tours. Another source of income is selling travel insurance.   Getting into the travel agency business is not as simple as it seems. To learn more about this business, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts a seminar entitled, “How to Start a Travel and Tour Business.” Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133, or visit www.businesscoachphil.com for details.   Click here to view details of the seminar: How to Start a Travel and Tour Business »   *Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, February 23, 2014. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.

Philippine Travel Scams To Watch Out For and How to Avoid

Philippine Travel Scams To Watch Out For and How to Avoid

Kristen Samonte

1. Taxi scams

How to avoid taxi scams in the philippines:, 2. money exchange scams, how to avoid money exchange scams in the philippines:, 3. pickpocket scams, how to avoid pickpockets in the philippines:, 4. travel package and tour booking scams, how to check if a travel agency is legit and how to avoid travel booking scams:, 5. airport scams, how to avoid philippine airport scams:, 6. card skimming scam, how to avoid card skimming scams in the philippines:, 7. car or motorcycle rental scams, how to avoid car or motorcycle scams in the philippines:.

  • 8. Horse-drawn carriage scams

How to Avoid Horse-Drawn Carriage Scams in the Philippines:

9. budol-budol scams, how to avoid budol-budol scams in the philippines:, 10. love scams, how to avoid love scams in the philippines:, 11. spiked drinks, how to avoid spiked drinks in the philippines:, 12. public wifi online scams, how to avoid public wifi online scams:, emergency contacts in the philippines, how to report travel scams in the philippines.

How to avoid travel scams in the Philippines

Each year, the Philippines welcomes countless tourists who want to spend their vacation in the breathtaking landscapes and explore its top tourist spots , like popular Philippine beach destinations Boracay and Palawan , to historical landmarks like the walled city of Intramuros in Manila .

See our popular Top Tours in the Philippines

Boracay island hopping shared tour with lunch, kawa hot bath & snorkeling package, coron island hopping tour to kayangan lake & barracuda lake | palawan super ultimate package, shared puerto princesa underground river tour in palawan with lunch & hotel transfers.

white sand beaches in Boracay

First-time travelers to the Philippines should familiarize themselves with travel scams to stay vigilant. This guide will provide information about these scams in the Philippines that will help tourists have a hassle-free vacation and knowledge on how to navigate the country safely and confidently.

  • Read our Philippine travel guide
  • Check our recommended Philippine itineraries

taxi scams in the Philippines

Most common taxi scams in Philippine airports involve drivers charging exaggerated fare rates to unsuspecting passengers, especially those who appear to be foreigners or not familiar with the place. This usually happens when drivers refuse to use the meter and instead negotiate a fixed price, often much higher than the standard rate. 

Another tactic some taxi drivers use is telling passengers that the meter is broken. They may intentionally manipulate the meter to show overpriced fares or pretend that it's malfunctioning. Taxi drivers then give passengers a fixed rate, and passengers may end up paying more than the actual fare.

During peak hours, some taxi drivers will inform passengers that they will not use the meter because of the heavy traffic, and it's fair if you negotiate before riding the taxi.

Travelers in Manila should be mindful when taking taxis and be wary of drivers who may look suspicious. It's advisable to only rent cabs from reputable taxi companies or use ride-hailing apps like Grab, which provide transparent pricing and a safer alternative to traditional taxis. Additionally, you can book airport transfers before your arrival, which is much safer and more convenient. 

Insist on using the meter to avoid falling victim to overpricing.

Don't ride the taxi if the driver says the meter is broken.

Make sure that the meter is running and reflects the distance traveled and fare.

Check the taxi's plate number and operator number before riding.

Download and use the Grab app or book airport transfers in advance with reputable travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines.

See our popular Manila Transfers

Ninoy aquino international airport (naia) to hotel in pasay | private manila airport transfer (mnl), ninoy aquino international airport (naia) to hotel in taguig | private manila airport transfer (mnl), private manila airport transfer to manila city hotel from ninoy aquino international airport (naia).

Philippine money exchange

Usually, money exchange scammers may approach tourists and will give you lower rates or show you outdated conversions. If you happen to avail yourself of their money exchange service, they'll count the correct amount of Philippine money in front of you and then tie a rubber band around it before giving it to you, without you noticing that they’ve already hidden some of the cash.

Read our Philippine money exchange guide and find out the current exchange rates to ensure you receive a fair deal. 

Compare rates offered by different banks, reputable exchange counters, and online currency converters.

Avoid exchanging money with individuals on the street or in unauthorized establishments.

Count the Philippine money yourself before leaving the establishment.

Request a receipt or exchange slip with the amount exchanged, the exchange rate, and any applicable fees. This can serve as proof of the transaction and help resolve any discrepancies later on.

Pickpocket

Sometimes, as they approach you, they will speak kindly and use their charms to distract you without you knowing that someone is already getting into your pockets or bags. Pickpockets work discreetly, making it challenging for victims to notice the theft.

Keep your valuables secure and close to you. Use anti-theft bags, money belts, or hidden pouches. Instead of placing your bag on your back, put it infront of you where you can see it at all times.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or displaying expensive jewelry or gadgets in public.

Be aware of individuals who create unusual situations that could cause a distraction to you while someone else attempts to steal your belongings. 

Avoid walking alone in dark or isolated areas, especially at night.

  • Know what to bring to the Philippines for a safe travel

See our popular Best Philippines Itinerary Tour Packages

5-day nature & islands adventure package to puerto princesa and el nido palawan, 4-day fascinating culture & nature tour package to cebu & bohol with accommodations & transfers, scenic 1-week beaches & nature vacation package to cebu, puerto princesa & el nido palawan.

Travel package scams in the Philippines

There could be instances where fake travel agencies will offer you travel insurance by telling you about its affordable coverage and low-priced policies. Make sure to only avail yourself of insurance from trusted agencies and insurance companies to avoid travel insurance scams.

These travel agency scams in the Philippines may be hard to verify since most fake tour operators, especially those who sell on social media, could post fake reviews and ratings that tourists might believe are true. Once they catch your attention and you've already paid for your travel package, there are instances where tour operators will no longer communicate with you or will block you on social media platforms. 

Make sure to only book with reputable and Department of Tourism-accredited travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines . As the largest marketplace for Philippine travel, Guide to the Philippines has the biggest selection of  Philippines travel packages , hotels , flights, ferry or sea transfers , day tours , airport pickup and drop-off services , car rental , and day passes with real customer reviews all on one website. 

You can also join trusted Philippine online travel groups where most tourists share tips, recommendations, and legitimate travel agencies.

Before booking Philippine tours or travel packages, read reviews from previous customers and verify if the users are legitimate. Aside from their own website or social media account, check if they have reviews on Google or TripAdvisor.

Check if the travel agencies are registered with relevant tourism authorities like the Department of Tourism and look for accreditation numbers or certifications.

Ask questions if the offered price seems too good to be true, especially if it is much lower than those offered by other reputable operators. Unrealistic low prices could be a red flag for potential scams.

Review the terms and conditions of the travel package, including cancellation policies, refund procedures, and inclusions/exclusions.

Trusted travel agencies have physical offices; you can visit their office for a safer transaction.

Use secured and trusted payment methods such as credit cards or online payment platforms that offer buyer protection and dispute resolution mechanisms. Avoid paying in cash or through unsecured channels to minimize fraud or loss.

See our popular 10-Day Philippines Tour Packages

Airport scam

When this scam happened in 2015, most tourists wrapped plastic and duct tape around their bags and luggage to avoid it. Others also put padlocks on their belongings to secure them. Although efforts have been made to stop this scam, travelers still need to be careful. As of this writing, there are still cases or news reports about the "tanim-bala" scam, so it's advisable to stay vigilant and know how to prevent this from happening to you. 

There's also the risk of bribery during immigration checks, where officials might ask for money to speed up the process. Another problem is luggage tampering, where bags are opened and valuables are stolen. 

Keep your belongings secure by adding locks to your luggage. 

Place your bag in front of you so you can easily keep an eye on it.

Be alert when your bags or luggage go through the x-ray machine.

Untuck your clothes when you're at the airport to ensure you don't get a bullet in your pockets.

If you still got a bullet in your bag without you knowing, don't touch the evidence. Instead, call your family, relatives, and an attorney. 

Don't trust your belongings to anyone in the airport, even if these are airport personnel or officials.

Make sure you have all the travel documents you need and don't bribe the authorities to speed up the immigration process.

See our popular Manila Car Rental

Toyota vios mt or similar, mitsubishi mirage g4 2016 or similar, toyota vios at or similar.

Card skimming is when small devices are secretly placed on ATM card slots or payment terminals. These devices capture information from credit or debit cards when they're used. Sometimes, hidden cameras or keypads are also set up to record PINs entered by people.

Once scammers have this information, they can make fake cards or unauthorized transactions. This could lead to them taking money from the victim's bank accounts or making fraudulent charges on their credit cards. 

Card skimming devices are often well hidden, making them hard to spot. Victims may not realize their information was stolen until they see strange transactions on their account statements.

Inspect the card slot and keypad for any signs of tampering or unusual attachments. If anything looks suspicious, avoid using the machine and report it to the bank.

Cover the machine keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN to prevent hidden cameras or keypad overlays from capturing your PIN information. 

Never let your card out of your sight when making purchases in stores, restaurants, or malls with your credit cards or debit cards.

Whenever possible, use ATMs and card terminals located in well-lit, secure areas, such as inside bank branches or reputable establishments. Avoid using standalone ATMs in remote or poorly monitored locations, as they are more susceptible to skimming devices.

Always check your personal bank online app and statements for any unauthorized transactions. 

Car rental

Similar to travel booking scams, car or motorcycle rental scams may also ask you to pay in advance or for a downpayment before they deliver the unit, and then no car or motorcycle will be delivered to you. 

You can book car rental and motorcycle rentals from trusted agencies or rental companies to avoid these kinds of scams. 

Before booking a vehicle rental, research recommended rental companies with positive reviews and established reputations. 

Avoid deals that seem too good to be true, as they may be indicative of fraudulent practices.

Carefully review the contract or rental terms and conditions, and pay attention to insurance coverage and any potential additional fees.

Inspect the rental vehicle for any pre-existing damages or mechanical issues before accepting it. It will be better if you document any discrepancies with videos, photographs, or written notes to avoid disputes upon return.

8. Horse-drawn carriage scams 

Horse-drawn carriage in Intramuros

However, some kalesa drivers may engage in scams, like horse-drawn carriage scams, commonly known as "kalesa" scams. These scams typically involve dishonest kalesa drivers taking advantage of tourists, especially foreigners, who are not aware of the pricing.  

The scam happens when drivers don't tell tourists the price until the end of the tour and then charge an overpriced rate. Usually, if tourists pay for the kalesa ride before the tour, they are provided with limited time, tours, and historical insights. Sometimes, kalesa drivers will give you a rate before your trip. Then, they will let you know that it is just a starting fare and that you should pay for additional charges.

Negotiate fares beforehand.

Clarify the route and destinations to kalesa drivers before paying for the fare to prevent unexpected detours or extra charges.

Be wary of suspicious behaviors that could pressure you into additional services.

Research or seek recommendations to other tourists who have availed of a horse-drawn carriage tour.

See our popular Intramuros Tours

Manila intramuros historical express 90-minute tour in eco-friendly bamboo bike + optional upgrades, manila intramuros half-day shared walking tour with guide, manila intramuros shared half-day walking tour with guide.

"Budol-budol" scams are a common trick or deception in the Philippines that target unsuspecting individuals. Scammers often work in groups, approach victims in public places, and pretend to be friendly strangers or representatives of legitimate organizations. They use persuasive techniques, such as flattery, charm, and false promises, to gain the trust of their targets.

Some "budol-budol" incidents also happen when they are keeping eye contact or physical contact with you, which could hypnotize people and make them fall into their tactics. Once they've gained trust, they trick victims into giving them money, valuables, or personal information. 

Common tactics include offering fake prizes or rewards or posing as charity workers soliciting donations. Victims may be tricked into handing over cash, jewelry, electronic gadgets, or even their bank details, only to realize later that they have been deceived.

"Budol-budol" scams do not only happen in public places but also at home, where you can be tricked via phone calls or messages, and shopping delivery.

Exercise caution when approached by strangers offering unsolicited deals or requesting personal information. 

Avoid eye and physical contact, like handshakes to strangers.

Maintain awareness of common scam tactics and avoid overly persuasive strangers to help you protect against falling prey to budol-budol schemes.

Love scams

Scammers use stolen photos to create fake profiles on dating apps, websites or social media. These Filipino dating scams can also happen in public places like tourist spots, bars, or beaches, where scammers will approach you and start a conversation. 

After forming a connection, the scammer tricks their victim by pretending to love them and gaining their trust. They make up detailed stories about tough times or urgent needs for money, making the victim feel worried and emotionally weak. Eventually, they ask for money, pretending it's for emergencies, trips, or investments.

Unfortunately, many victims fall prey to these scams, sending money or sharing personal information with the scammer, only to realize later that they've been duped. Love scams can have devastating financial and emotional consequences, leaving victims feeling betrayed, embarrassed, and financially drained.

Be careful when forming online relationships, especially with individuals you've never met in person. 

Be wary of money requests or financial assistance from someone you've only recently connected with online or in person. 

Verify the identity of the person through video calls or other means that can help confirm their authenticity. 

Be vigilant for red flags, such as inconsistencies in their stories or reluctance to meet in person that can help identify potential scammers early on.

Spiked drinks

Victims of spiked drinks may experience loss of consciousness, memory lapses, dizziness, confusion, and other adverse effects. In some cases, drink spiking can lead to more severe consequences, including robbery, sexual assault, or other forms of violence.

Never leave your drinks unattended.

Do not accept drinks from strangers.

Remain vigilant, watch out for suspicious behavior, and trust one's instincts. 

If you or someone suspects a drink has been spiked or if you observe suspicious activity, seek help from friends, bar staff, or authorities immediately.

Travel in groups and look out for one another.

See our popular Food Tours

Iloilo city heritage & historic churches tour with lunch & transfers, manila binondo & intramuros full-day tour with guide & transfers, iloilo city food tour & sightseeing with transfers | la paz batchoy, pancit molo, jaro church.

Public WiFi scams in the Philippines

One common tactic is the creation of fake WiFi networks. These accesses usually have names similar to legitimate ones, then trick users into connecting to them instead. Once connected, cybercriminals or hackers can monitor users' online activities, steal login credentials, or inject malicious content into their browsing sessions. 

Another scheme involves the use of phishing websites or fake login pages, which look like legitimate services, to trick users into entering their personal information. Online scams in the Philippines can happen anywhere, so make sure you don't connect to suspicious public internet or WiFi.

If possible, avoid connecting to public networks or WiFi, and bring your hotspot or use your mobile data instead.

Avoid accessing or opening sensitive information, such as online banking or personal emails, while connected to unsecured WiFi.

  • Check other Philippine travel tips

Having access to emergency contacts is crucial in situations involving suspicion of scams or other fraudulent activities. If you encounter anything suspicious or feel you may be the target of a scam, knowing whom to contact can help you seek assistance promptly. Here are essential emergency contacts to keep when you are traveling in the Philippines:

Emergency Hotline: 911

Philippine National Police (PNP Nationwide Hotline): 117

Department of Health/Ambulance: 1555 

In case of Fires, call: 160/ 911

How to report travel scam in the Philippines

To report travel scams:

Act promptly and provide detailed information to the appropriate authorities.

If you've been a victim, start gathering as much information as possible about the incident.

Contact the local authorities, such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), through their hotline number 117 or visit the nearest police station to file a report.

It's also advisable to report travel and cyber scams to the Department of Transportation or DOTr with commuter hotline 09209643687 and hotline 1326. You can also send a message and report to the official page of the DOTr Special Action and Intelligence Committee for Transportation (SAICT). 

To deal with travel scams, it's best to do research on the travel agency and make sure to only trust reputable ones. Don't pay for anything if it seems suspicious, and trust your instincts. As much as possible, visit the main office of the travel agencies for safe transactions. 

  • Find out the best time to travel to the Philippines

Have a fun and safe travel experience in the Philippines

Chocolate Hills in Bohol

However, amidst the beauty and warmth of the Philippines, tourists need to remain vigilant and cautious of scams and suspicious individuals. By staying informed, exercising caution, and trusting their instincts, travelers can explore the wonders of the Philippines safely and make the most of their exciting vacation experience.

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  • Per Diem Lookup

M&IE breakdowns

The meals and incidental expense (M&IE) breakdowns in the tables below are provided should federal travelers need to deduct meals furnished by the government or included in a registration fee from their M&IE allowance consistent with Federal Travel Regulation 301-11.18 . Meals provided by a common carrier or a complimentary meal provided by a hotel/motel do not affect per diem ( 301-11.17 ).

M&IE breakdown for foreign and non-foreign areas outside the continental U.S. (OCONUS)

For M&IE rates greater than $265, allocate 15%, 25%, and 40% of the total to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, respectively. The remainder is the incidental expense allowance.

PER DIEM LOOK-UP

1 choose a location.

Error, The Per Diem API is not responding. Please try again later.

No results could be found for the location you've entered.

Rates for Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories and Possessions are set by the Department of Defense .

Rates for foreign countries are set by the State Department .

2 Choose a date

Rates are available between 10/1/2021 and 09/30/2024.

The End Date of your trip can not occur before the Start Date.

Traveler reimbursement is based on the location of the work activities and not the accommodations, unless lodging is not available at the work activity, then the agency may authorize the rate where lodging is obtained.

Unless otherwise specified, the per diem locality is defined as "all locations within, or entirely surrounded by, the corporate limits of the key city, including independent entities located within those boundaries."

Per diem localities with county definitions shall include "all locations within, or entirely surrounded by, the corporate limits of the key city as well as the boundaries of the listed counties, including independent entities located within the boundaries of the key city and the listed counties (unless otherwise listed separately)."

When a military installation or Government - related facility(whether or not specifically named) is located partially within more than one city or county boundary, the applicable per diem rate for the entire installation or facility is the higher of the rates which apply to the cities and / or counties, even though part(s) of such activities may be located outside the defined per diem locality.

IMAGES

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  1. How to Start a Travel Agency Business Philippines

    Steps On How To Set Up A Travel Agency In The Philippines. 1. The Travel Agency Business Plan. Because your business plan is the draft for your travel agency business, you could consider including the following information: Executive Summary: This briefly introduces the business and summarizes your plan. For instance, you could decide whether ...

  2. Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines

    Starting a travel agency in the Philippines requires compliance with certain legal requirements. Here are the key steps you need to follow: 1. Business Registration: Register your travel agency as a business entity with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Choose a unique business name and determine its legal structure ...

  3. How to Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines

    Here are the important things to do in setting up this business: 1. Decide first on the type of travel agency you want to setup. If you have substantial capital you may want to be an IATA (International Air Transport Association) member so that you can issue airline tickets.

  4. Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Travel Agency

    Starting a travel agency in the Philippines allows you to tap into the growing tourism industry and cater to both domestic and international travelers. The Philippines boasts a diverse range of attractions, from pristine beaches and world-class diving spots to historic sites and vibrant festivals. The country's unique blend of natural beauty ...

  5. Tips on How to Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

    Hire the right people. As you start your business, the travel agency can be run just by yourself. As your business grows, however, you should consider hiring people to take care of the accounts, inquiries, and ticketing services of your business. At most, there should be two available staff at the office at any given time to answer inquiries ...

  6. Travel Agency

    When starting a Travel Agency business, the first step to consider is to apply for a Business Registration. Pinoy-Entrepreneur have provided a detailed information to register your Travel Agency business in the Philippines. FOR SINGLE PROPRIETORSHIP. 1. Business Name Registration

  7. How to Start a Travel and Tours Business: A Guide for Beginners

    2. Find a Niche to Focus On. The travel industry is fragmented and highly competitive—so one of the first things you can do while learning how to start a travel and tourism business is to find a market niche where you can stand out. There are different types of travel agencies, each with its own target market and needs.

  8. How to Start Your Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

    Government license If you are operating a sole-proprietorship business, such as solo home-based travel agency, register your business at DTI. List of DTI offices are listed here. If you are planning to set up a partnership or corporation, your travel agency business needs to register at SEC. Here's a list of SEC offices in the Philippines.

  9. How to Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

    Many factors influence a travel agency`s revenue, e.B the target market, the packages offered and the partners. As an estimate, the profit of a small travel agency per month could be around PHP 10,000, and in high season it could be PHP 50,000 or more. This benefit can be x5, x10 or more, depending on the size of the company.

  10. How To Start A Travel Agency In The Philippines

    10 Tips To Start A Travel Agency In The Philippines. 1. Find Your Niche. If you are thinking of starting a travel agency in the Phillippines, then it might not be a bad idea to think about a niche that you can serve better than others. But do remember, there's a fair amount of money that can still be made from being a lot of things to a lot ...

  11. 5 Quick Tips on Starting a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

    4. Register your business. Register your travel agency business early on plus don't operate because a fly-by-night travel agent because you will not get corporate clients on way. Before go through the usual process of how a store, check first with the permits and licensing office in your city. Ask them nearly the requirements are a travel ...

  12. How Do I Start a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines?

    Starting a travel agency business in the Philippines is an exciting and profitable venture. The country is blessed with a diverse range of tourist attractions, from its stunning beaches to its breathtaking mountain ranges, making it an attractive destination for travelers. ... Additionally, you will need to register for tax identification ...

  13. How to Start Online Travel Agency in the Philippines

    For more details on starting a travel agency in the Philippines, read R.A. 1478. 4. Set Up Your Office. While online travel agencies transact online, it is better to have an office at home or by renting a space. It gives your business more credibility and attracts more clients, knowing that your travel agency business has a physical office.

  14. 5 Quick Tips on Starting a Travel Agency Business in the Philippines

    4. Register your business. 5. Have the necessary equipment. 1. Determine what type of travel agency you will be. According to the travel industry in the Philippines, there are two types of travel agencies. First, there is IATA Agents or the Accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

  15. Business Formation Guide: How to Start a Travel Agency in the Philippines

    Tourism and travel have become one of the most expanded industries in the world, and the value and potential don't seem to fade anytime soon. This includes sectors such as hotel management, predetermined plans, transportation, and other services. People love to go through different locations. And establishing a travel agency to accommodate their needs is […]

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    REGISTER NOW! We're excited to announce our next run of our Certification Program for Travel Agency Business! Organized by Travel Depot, a DOT Accredited Tourism Training Center, know the requirements to legitimately set up a travel agency business in the Philippines, learn the basic knowledge of the travel business operations, and get Certified to be a DOT accredited Travel Agency!

  17. How Do I Start a Travel and Tour Business in the Philippines?

    A successful travel and tour business in the Philippines will require a lot of research and preparation. You should start by familiarizing yourself with the laws, regulations, and permits necessary for operating such a business in the country. It's also important to understand the local customs, culture, attractions, and activities available ...

  18. Starting A Travel Agency » Business Seminars by BusinessCoach, Inc

    BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts seminars on how to start a travel and tour agency business. Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133 or visit www.businesscoachphil.com for details. *Originally published by the Manila Bulletin.

  19. How To Register a Business in the Philippines: The ...

    B. Corporations and Partnerships. Choosing the best business structure for you. 2. Register Your Business Name and/or Corporate Name. A. DTI (For Self-employed individuals) B. SEC (For Corporations and Partnerships) 3. Apply for a Certificate of Registration With the BIR. 4.

  20. How To Set Up A Travel Agency In The Philippines » Business Seminars by

    To learn more about this business, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts a seminar entitled, "How to Start a Travel and Tour Business." Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133, or visit www.businesscoachphil.com for details.

  21. PDF Business Registration Requirements TRAVEL AGENCY

    Registration fee of P300.00 . Mandaluyong City . 2. Mayor's Permit . Agency: Local municipality where the business is located . Validity: 1 year . registration) Requirements: • Accomplished Business Permit Application Form • DTI - Business Name Certificate • Sketch of the business location • 2 pcs. 2x2 colored ID Picture;

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  23. How to Verify Legit Travel Agencies in the Philippines

    Legit travel agencies in the Philippines should be able to present these without making up excuses. After a travel agency scam in 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reminded the public that the DTI Business Name Registration doesn't suffice.

  24. Philippine Travel Scams To Watch Out For and How to Avoid

    You can also join trusted Philippine online travel groups where most tourists share tips, recommendations, and legitimate travel agencies. How to check if a travel agency is legit and how to avoid travel booking scams: Before booking Philippine tours or travel packages, read reviews from previous customers and verify if the users are legitimate.

  25. M&IE breakdowns

    M&IE breakdowns. The meals and incidental expense (M&IE) breakdowns in the tables below are provided should federal travelers need to deduct meals furnished by the government or included in a registration fee from their M&IE allowance consistent with Federal Travel Regulation 301-11.18.Meals provided by a common carrier or a complimentary meal provided by a hotel/motel do not affect per diem ().