Travel Business Ideas

For entrepreneurs with a heart for adventure, the travel and lodging industry is well-worth exploring. As travel restrictions lift, more and more people are searching for ways to satisfy their wanderlust. While it’s very true that the industry has been significantly reshaped by the pandemic, America’s comfort and confidence levels are on the rise, and small, boutique getaways are more attractive now than ever before. To help you imagine ways you can break into this exciting industry, read on for four unique travel startup ideas.

Remember, if any of these opportunities capture your interest, keep these options at your fingertips and dive deeper into the industry with our free Small Business Startup app—available for both Apple and Android.

Click here to see "Travel & Lodging Business Opportunities"

Bed-and-Breakfast Owner

If you are an aspiring innkeeper, the bed and breakfast industry is here to welcome you with some promising statistics! According to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, the bed and breakfast industry has an estimated worth of $3.4 billion. Following COVID-19 travel restrictions, small bed and breakfast hotels have become increasingly popular due to their size. With smaller crowds, many travelers feel safer in a boutique atmosphere. Additionally, these quaint destinations offer personality and charm that a big-box hotel simply can’t match.

To make the most of this business venture, it helps to differentiate yourself as much as possible from name-brand hotels. You can do so by featuring special amenities that are centered around the travel experience in your own city or town. For example, if you live in an area that is famous for biscuits and gravy, then make it a staple on your breakfast menu! Additional sources of revenue may include opening your dining room to nearby locals for dinner, hosting cooking classes, or renting out space for private parties and events.

Boutique Tour Business

tourism business owner conducting a tour

When measured by revenue, the “tour operators” industry in the United States reached a market size of $8 billion! If you live in a sought-after destination and have a love for history and storytelling, this may be the perfect opportunity for you. The charm of a boutique tour business is the same type of charm that travelers seek in a bed and breakfast hotel: Authenticity is your greatest money maker.

In addition to having charm and getting a few laughs, obviously, you’ll need a deep knowledge of everything there is to know about your location—from restaurants to beaches, parks, and everything in between.

The key to success in this industry is distinguishing yourself from the competition with a niche experience. Instead of a bus, you may consider something more adventurous like a kayaking or boating tour. Or, if your location is known for its food, you may decide to partner with local restaurants to create a food tour through the city!

Vehicle Rental

Unless vacationers are staying in a very walkable destination, out-of-town travelers often need a way to get around. By the end of 2022, revenue in the car rentals segment is projected to reach $81.32 billion. Additionally, by 2026, the number of users in this segment is expected to amount to 602.2 million. On average, profit margins in the car rental segment are about 6% for most businesses. However, if you can operate your business more closely to how Uber works, your profits could very well be higher—this includes finding the right location and negotiating well with fleet insurance companies and credit card companies.

Souvenir Shop

In 2022, when measured by revenue, the market size of the gift shops and card stores industry reached $22.0 billion. To make the most of this business opportunity, you must stock your retail store with offerings that match the needs of vacationers at an affordable price point. For example, a gift shop in a beach destination for young families might offer children’s swimwear, beach toys, and maybe even a cold snack—like Slushies! Remember, the key is providing retail items that reflect the demographic and socioeconomic strata of travelers in your area.

Explore the Travel & Lodging Industry Today

We hope this guide inspires you with ideas on how to break into the travel and lodging industry! Launching your own business is an exciting opportunity, and we know you’re probably eager to get started. But remember, take your time to explore all your options. Yes, you always have the “opportunity” to start a small business, but sometimes, it makes more sense to invest in an opportunity that already exists and doesn’t require you to do all the heavy lifting alone. These are called “Franchise Opportunities.”

To learn more, explore a few franchise opportunities in the travel and lodging industry, below! Remember to download the free Small Business Startup app to keep all these opportunities at your fingertips—available for both Apple and Android.

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Expedia Cruises

Expedia Cruises is North America's Full-Service Leisure Travel Agency specializing in air, land, and sea vacations. Build equity and enjoy a great lifestyle with our proven franchise model with more than 30 years of success.

$100,000 Min Cash Required

iTrip Vacations

iTrip Vacations is a web-based vacation rental and property management company that is revolutionizing the way guests book and use vacation homes. iTrips mission with the Franchisees that own and operate their individual territories is to provide them with industry leading technologies, platforms and comprehensive digital marketing strategies.

$50,000 Min Cash Required

Sheenco Travel

This is a ready made and hassle free opportunity. We are looking for travel minded professionals based in the USA with a genuine interest in luxury travel to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Your franchise business will involve promoting travel to these areas as well as planning trips for your guests. Learn more now

$30,000 Min Cash Required

Venture X

Venture X is part of one of the fastest growing industries across the globe shared/flexible office space, commonly known as Coworking It also offers a unique franchise opportunity for anyone looking to diversify and/or grow their wealth because as an owner, you can choose to invest passively or decide to operate the business. Each Venture X features a community space along with multiple workspace options, from shared and dedicated desks to private team offices. This, of course, allows each location to attract freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and even larger corporations all under one roof Add-on revenue options include light snacks, additional IT/tech services, printing and mailing services, as well as event hosting and meeting room reservations. These daily opportunities allow owners utilize the space and increase revenue through members AND non-members all while increasing exposure to the business.

$250,000 Min Cash Required

Purchase A Franchise Using Your Retirement Plan

This is NOT a franchise or business opportunity. This is a service offered to those seeking to purchase a franchise or business using their retirement funds without having to pay the taxes and penalties. You can purchase a franchise or traditional business with a tax qualified retirement plan such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), SEPs and others.

$30,000 Min Cash Required

HugeUC Affiliate Program - Telecom

The HugeUC Affiliate Program provides you with the opportunity to own your own business in the Telecom Industry, offering state-of-the-art cloud-based phone systems to small and large businesses. Work from home or office, no employees necessary, no overhead or inventory requirements and you make your own hours. HugeUC provides training, support and all back-end functions so that all you need to do is focus on bringing in new customers and building your business.

$25,000 Min Cash Required

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