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A Go-To Guide On How To Become A Tour Operator

April 12, 2023
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A tour operator is a business or a person that typically combines and organizes accommodations, meals, sightseeing, experiences, and transportation components in order to create a tour package. Tour operators advertise and create brochures to promote their holidays, packages, and itineraries.  The blog will cover the topic tour operator and how to become a tour operator in detail.

A Go-To Guide On How To Become A Tour Operator

A tour operator can sell directly to the traveler, through a travel agent, or a combination of both. Typically, a tour operator's package includes a charter flight, airport transfer, and the services of a local agent, all offered at a single price. Depending on the tour operator, they may specialize in specific destinations like Italy or focus on particular activities and experiences such as skiing, or offer a combination of both.

To become a tour operator, one must pursue courses in the field of tourism and hospitality. A candidate can opt for various U.G. and P.G. certificates as well as diploma courses. The average fee for such diploma courses ranges from 20,000 – 3,00,000 INR. 

What are the different kinds of tour operators

 different kinds of tour operators

Inbound Tour Operator: An inbound tour operator designs and advertises excursions that showcase their own nation to tourists from other countries.

Outbound Tour Operator: An outbound travel operator designs and sells overseas tours to individuals in their home country.

Domestic Tour Operator: A domestic tour operator designs tours nation the of which they are based for visitors who live in the same country.

Ground Operator: A ground operator works with an inbound or outbound tour operator to provide travel services at a holiday destination.

Receptive tour operator: Receptive tour operator sells products tourist to operators tour other or agencies travel rather than directly to members of the public.

Suggested Read: Types Of Tour Operators

Step by step guide on how to become a tour operator

Step by step guide on how to become a tour operator

Here are some simple yet effective ways to become a successful tour operator:

Step 1: 

Although it's not necessary to possess any specific educational qualifications to become a tour operator, it's possible to become one by gaining practical experience, utilizing effective marketing strategies, and acquiring sufficient capital. There are some degrees/qualifications for a tour operator that one can consider to gain experience.

• Diploma in Tourism Management (DTM)

• B.A. Travel and Tourism Management

• Bachelor in Tourism Administration


To pursue a degree/diploma in Travel and tourism, one must have a 10 + 2 class pass.

Step 2: 

After completing their graduation, they can opt for a master's degree in Travel and Tourism. Here they can learn management skills. 

Here are some options to choose from:

• MBA Travel and Tourism

• Master of Tourism Management

• M.Sc. Tourism

Suggested Read: Travel Agent Certification

Tour Operator Skills

Tour Operator Skills

Below are a few tour operator qualifications:

• To become a successful tour operator, it's important to have an amiable personality and exceptional communication skills, both in-person and over the telephone.

• Customer service, organizational skills, multitasking, observation skills, problem detection, and problem-solving are must-have skills to excel in this field.

• Tour operators should be tech-savvy and be able to work closely with colleagues as a team in order to achieve business objectives.

• They should be able to deal with emergencies, whether financial or chaotic.

Tour Operator Career Prospects

Setting up a tour and travel agency is the best career option for people looking forward to becoming a tour operator. Setting up an agency will be like establishing their own venture. Agency will also be the right way to gain all the necessary experience required to conduct tour operations. However, to gain this experience, you can always work with tour/travel companies. Government tourism departments can also be a viable option to explore for finding suitable employment opportunities.

Tour operators might also specialize in leisure, adventure, pilgrimage, hiking, or tours to historical places. Others may specialize in business tourism, which may involve the organization of conferences and other events.

Tour Operator Job Salary

Tour Operator Job salary at passing level earns around 5-6 LPA, while mid and senior levels make more than 10 Lac per year. Administrators are also compensated and rewarded by the travel industry if they remain a part of an Administration Body.

Tour operator certifications

ASTA’s Travel agent certification: It is a 12-month certification course established by a well-known association in the travel industry. It focuses on cultivating certified professional agents that can assist travelers with their needs, It can range from $399-$729, depending on your membership.

Certified Travel Associate: This is a shorter certification that can help potential tour operators learn the art of the tourism industry. It takes 3-6 months to complete the certification and costs $450.

Certified Travel Industry Executive: CTIE required 5+ years of experience in the travel industry. It can take up to 18 months to complete the course and it costs $550.

Becoming a successful tour operator is not guaranteed by taking specific steps alone. It requires considerable experience, a strong client network, and years of diligent effort.

The article was aimed to explain how to become a tour operator. In case you need more information, you can research further online.

Suggested Read: Event Tourism – Impact and Types

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What do tour operators do?

A1. Tour operators are involved in tourist product strategy, development, promotion, administration, and execution. They manage all day-to-day work as well as monitor, motivate, and train employees. They work for tour firms, transportation companies, resorts, and attractions.

Q2. What is the difference between a travel agent and a tour operator?

A2. The tour operator creates and sells packages to either the customer or the travel agency. The travel agent, on the other hand, merely sells packages on behalf of the tour operator and does not create them.

Q3. What is the minimum requirement of a Tour Operator?

A3. BBA graduate qualifying the Entrance Exam with minimum 55% aggregate and an experience of one year.

Q4. How to find suppliers and partners for my tour operator business?

A4. One should attend travel trade shows and networking events. They can utilize online platforms and directories to connect with travel suppliers or seek referrals from other tour operators operating in the market.

Q5. What are the challenges of being a Tour Operator?

A5. Seasonal fluctuations in demand, logistics management, customer satisfaction, following up with industry trends, and staying competitive in the marketplace are some of the key challenges of being a Tour operator.

Deepti Shangari
Deepti Shangari, a seasoned senior content writer, whose passion to write, manage and conquer knows no bounds. To her, the world is an ever-changing symphony of ecstatic motion, a mesmerizing dance of evolution and unfolding. With each passing moment, the vibrant tapestry unfurls before her very eyes, inspiring her to craft literary pieces that transcend the ordinary.