Lawpath Blog
How to Start a Tour Operator Business

How to Start a Tour Operator Business

Want to find out how to effectively start a tour operating business? If you are passionate about tours and business, this may be for you.

30th September 2019

Starting a tour operating business is hard work. Like any other business, there are lots of pieces that need to come together before you find success. Moreover, with so many resources out there, it can be hard to know where to begin. This article will outline how you can get started. For more business ideas, be sure to check out our comprehensive online list. 

Find your passion in your tour operating business

The first step to building a tour business is to know what you’re passionate about. As tours can become very repetitive, and require a lot of energy, it is imperative you’re passionate about what you do. This will take some time to figure out, however it is important you get this part right as it sets a robust foundation for the long term success of the business.

Identify your target Market

Now that you have an idea of the tour niche you’re going to operate in, you need to visualise your ideal customer. Question the types of people that will be attracted to your tour. Such questions will include:

  • Are they outdoorsy?
  • Do they love food?
  • Do they love the water?
  • Will they want to socialise with the locals?
  • What will excite them?

Who your customer is will determine a lot of the decisions you make later. Indicatively, it is imperative to get to know this ideal person now, as this will allow you to target accordingly.

Research your competitors in the tour operating business

Having found your tour idea and evaluated the market in previous sections, you’re almost ready to register your business. However, first, you will need to research your competition and see how you will do better. For long time success it is important you evaluate their strengths and gaps to be able to differentiate yourself to stand out.

Design your tour

With all complicated stuff now taken care of, it is time to write and execute your business plan. This will consist of your tour guide and how it will move forward. This will include your:

  • Unique selling proposition
  • Pricing of the tour
  • “Your story” as to why the tour was made
  • A logo
  • Website
  • Online booking system

While this is the fun part, take careful consideration with how you express your tour guide. The simpler, the better!

Get your business license and permits

Once you’ve registered your business, you’ll need to get a local business license. The best option here is to head to the Australian Business Licence and Information Service to determine exactly what you’re going to need. This will allow you to obtain additional permits and licensing based on where you are operating, and allow you to kickstart your business.

Open a business bank account

Now that you have a business license, the next thing you will want to do is open a corporate bank account. This will help you keep track of all your expenses and revenue and make accounting a lot easier. A great in-depth explanation to this process can be found here.

Purchase liability insurance

Protect your business, and yourself, by getting liability insurance. This is a must as it ensures that your company cannot be held accountable risks. Your insurance company can guide you on your coverage needs. A further more comprehensive explanation with regard to liability insurance can be found here.

Register your business in your tour operating business

As everything is now complete, it has never been a more important time to finally register your business. This can be achieved by clicking here, which will allow for the creation and registration of your business.


Building your your tour operating business is not easier. However, the robust steps provided will alleviate much of the confusion and stress that comes with initial start-up tour businesses. Ultimately, if further questions arise then it is recommended to do additional reading here.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Alex Vella

Alex currently works in the content team as a Legal Tech Intern for Lawpath. He has finished his Bachelor of Commerce (Professional Accounting) and is currently undertaking his last year of Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University. His passion resides with commercial, corporate and tax law.