Tourism Business Start-Ups
This page provides practical support, information and advice to help you either start a tourism business or develop your business further.
Whether you need help on what type of business is right for you, planning and operating your business, how to market your business more effectively, quality standards or legislation guidance; this information will point you in the right direction.
Could You Run Your Own Tourism Business? (PDF)
This document will help you decide whether you are suited to running a tourism business and contains links to where you can find further information and advice on the type of business you are considering setting up.
Have you considered?
The topics below highlight a range of important things you will need to consider when setting up a tourism business and provide links to where you can go for more information.
- Creating a Business Plan
The benefits of compiling a business plan are numerous - not least, the fact that committing your thoughts to paper dramatically improves your prospect of getting started in the first place. A business plan also helps you gain a holistic view of the business and helps you to devise a strategy to ensure a successful launch for your idea.
Business Link have information and advice on how to create a business plan.
Also visit bplans.co.uk for hundreds of online examples of existing business plans.
- Marketing your Business
Most marketing is common sense, the two most important aspects of marketing are targeting and making the best use of appropriate promotional tools. Spending just a short time thinking about what you are selling will help you to get this right. VisitBritain operate a marketing planner to help you identify and target your market. Click here.
The marketing section of this website contains information on how you can market your business locally, nationally and internationally, information on Excellence Awards and listings of important contacts and useful websites. Click here.
- Financing Your Business
Most businesses will need to raise finance at some stage in their life cycle. Business Link offer information and advice on: Business planning, Borrowing, Shares and equity, Grants and government support, Managing finance, Business banking, Financial planning, Debt recovery. For more information, click here.
South West Tourism is offering free access to Grantfinder.co.uk, by far the UK's largest and most comprehensive database of its type. It is a user- friendly database carrying in excess of 6,000 UK and EU funding programmes. This information is constantly growing and continuously updated. To read more, and to access Grantfinder, click here.
- Regulation and Legislation
The amount of regulations and legislation that tourism businesses have to comply with can be daunting and confusing. Visit our Planning, Legislation & Regulation page for an overview of the things you'll need to consider and where you can go to get the information and support you need to help ensure you comply.
- Training for You and Your Staff
Training for you and your staff can make a real difference in raising levels of service, improving customer retention and getting the edge over your competitors. To read more about training and where you can find courses, click here.
- Quality Assurance Schemes
Accommodation providers and visitor attractions can join quality assurance schemes to help inform potential customers that they are of a nationally recognised standard. The schemes are not free, often carrying a joining and annual fee, but offer many benefits to your business.
To read more about Quality Assurance Schemes, click here.
There are approximately 2.7 million potential visitors with disabilities in the UK who regularly travel, and millions more abroad, who have a huge spending potential. Taking steps to be more accessible shows that as a tourism business you are aware of the importance of being open to everyone. To read more about steps you can take to become more accessible and find out about the National Accessible Scheme, click here.
There are several good reasons why going green is a better way to operate as a tourism business: increased efficiency, reduced waste, added appeal and added value. To read more about the advantages of going green and to access a wide range of useful resources, click here.
- Sign up to our E-Newsletter
Our Monthly e-newsletter - Tourism Industry News (TIN) - will help you keep up to date with a wide range of regional, national & international tourism news, the latest research as it's released, new training course dates, hints & tips on improving your business plus much more. Sign up in the sidebar on the right hand side of this page.
Our Finance Facts & Figures section gives you the latest research carried out by South West Tourism and our partners. Occupancy Surveys and monthly Business Snapshot Surveys can help you keep your finger on the pulse. The detailed information in our annual Value of Tourism reports can help you get a bigger picture of tourism in the South West to help with you business plan.
- Ask the Expert
Can't find the information you're looking for? Post a question in our Ask the Expert section and we will find an answer for you from our panel of industry experts.
- Destination Management Organisations (DMO's)
The South West is split into nine DMO's who are responsible for marketing the regions destinations. DMO's are generally partnerships between Tourist Boards and local industry. Joining the DMO in your area can provide many benefits such as marketing opportunities and getting your business listed on consumer websites. To find the contact details of your DMO, click here.
- Tourist Boards - who does what? (PDF)
This document gives a brief overview of England's Tourist Board structure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Take a look at the Business Start-Up FAQ's page to view questions and answers about starting a tourism business that you may not have considered.