7 Essential Tips for Aspiring Nature-Centric Travel Agents

There has never been a more thrilling time to embark on the journey of opening your own boutique travel agency, especially if you’re ready to offer something unique. With tourism flourishing post-Covid (despite the impact of heavy inflation on currency value), a multitude of people are eager to invest in exploring the world in a distinct way. Nature-based tourism has experienced a significant surge, and with an endless array of nature destinations to discover, the potential for your tourism business is limitless. However, to seize this exciting opportunity, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind.

1. Research Popular Nature Destinations Thoroughly

There is far more to simply discovering a place that has abundant natural resources and calling it a day. In reality, your customers will be highly educated and deeply understand precisely what they want to get out of a vacation that sets itself up as “nature-based.” This step typically requires detailed travel agent training in order to educate yourself and your agents on which locations can provide the best experiences when taken as a whole (i.e., not only the nature itself but what they do and where they stay, etc.). Your first step will be researching what your clients want and which locations will be best positioned to serve their needs. For example, the lush jungles of Laos are a world apart from a cruise around the Antarctic.

2. Network With Local Tour Operators

Once you have several countries and regions in mind, your next step is to contact a wide range of local tour operators who will actually carry out your itineraries and be your men and women on the ground. You can achieve this either by performing personalized inspections of various locations, attending travel trade events, or, for maximum results, both.

3. Understand The Needs Of Eco-Tourists

Your primary focus will be eco-tourists, a market with unique and specific expectations. Understanding their needs is crucial to your success. Conducting thorough research in advance will equip you with the knowledge to tailor your trips and include the right elements. Some may prefer a focus on activities, while others will seek a more comprehensive experience that encompasses accommodation, meals, and more.

4. Promote Sustainable And Responsible Tourism

Once you’ve identified your locations and established partnerships with local operators, it’s time to position your travel agency as the go-to for nature-based experiences. If you’re uncertain about this step, consider seeking assistance from a marketing agency. Remember, promoting sustainable and responsible tourism is not just a trend but a commitment that resonates with eco-tourists and can significantly boost your agency’s reputation.

5. Stay Updated On Conservation Efforts

Nature and conservation go hand in hand, and if you want to ensure that you are providing your guests with the best experiences, it pays to stay abreast of conservation efforts in your target countries. This can range from animal rescue efforts to national park preservation initiatives and everything in between. 

6. Be Knowledgeable About Local Flora And Fauna.

Your customers will expect you to have an in-depth understanding of the country/ countries you operate in and what sports of nature they will actually experience. As per the first point, you may want to opt for additional training to ensure that you are completely au fait with the flora and fauna (and any local tribes and cutlers) that exist in these countries. 

7. Collaborate With Eco-Friendly Accommodations

No itinerary is complete without a place to stay. When it comes to “nature-based” tourism, you can really have fun here. Depending on the market you serve, you can seek out ecolodges for your customers to sleep in the forest or go super high-end.

Tourism and nature-based travel, in particular, have seen a massive boost in the past two years. If you want to take advantage, you need to heed the advice laid out here and ensure that you and your team are highly knowledgeable about everything related to the tours you offer.

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