12 Travel Planning Business Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Travel Planning Business

Travel planning business is a service that helps people to plan their vacations, holidays, and trips. They offer information about destinations, hotels, flights, and other travel-related services. A travel planner can help you with any aspect of your journey. They will be able to suggest the best destinations for your budget and itinerary preferences.

To succeed in this competitive environment, a travel planner needs to have the following skills:

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • A strong understanding of the various destinations
  • Good knowledge of hotels and other travel-related services
  • Good communication skills

Here are some real life success stories of starting a travel planning business:

1. Rayna Tours ($6M/year)

Manoj Tulsani and Kamlesh Ramchandani, founders of Rayna Tours and Travels, started their business a decade ago with no experience in the travel industry. Despite the challenges, they grew their venture into one of the UAE's leading destination management companies, earning over $40 million per year. Their success is attributed to their focus on exceptional customer experience, strategic investments in their own infrastructure, and the use of advanced technology to provide convenient travel services.

How much they make: $6M/year
Current team size: 670

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How We Started The $35M/Year Dubai's Leading Tour Operator

Rayna Tours and Travels, founded by Kamlesh Ramchandani and Manoj Tulsani, began its journey as a small travel counter inside a Dubai hotel, and has now grown into one of the UAE’s leading destination management companies with earnings exceeding $40 million per year.

About
Manoj started Rayna Tours about 18 years ago
Revenue
Manoj grew the business to $500K/month
Read by 6,508 founders

2. Flight Expert Bangladesh ($18M/year)

Salman Rashid, Founder & CEO of Flight Expert, came up with the idea for his business after realizing the potential of online travel agencies in Bangladesh. Seeing the decline in revenue in his family's offline-based travel agency, Salman suggested starting an OTA to his father. Despite initial skepticism, Salman recognized the need for better technology, service culture, and the value of brand trust in the industry, leading to the launch of Flight Expert in 2017.

How much they make: $18M/year
How much did it cost to start: $80K
Current team size: 60

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I Started The First Online Travel Agency In Bangladesh And It Now Makes $18M/Year

How a first-time founder grew the first-ever online travel agency in Bangladesh to 700+ airlines and one million-plus hotels worldwide, with a 50% increase in revenue in October 2021 compared to pre-Covid sales and aiming to hit break-even by March 2022.

About
SALMAN started Flight Expert Bangladesh about 7 years ago
Revenue
SALMAN grew the business to $1.5M/month
Costs
It cost SALMAN $80000 to start the business
Read by 5,389 founders

So... can you actually make money with a travel planning business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Golf Trip Junkie ($1.98M/year)

Sean Petersen, the founder of Golf Trip Junkie, came up with the idea for his business while playing a game of golf. As a passionate golfer and traveler, he wanted to combine his two passions into a successful business. From the first successful vacation he planned, Sean realized that helping people enjoy life and de-stress through golf was his true motivation, and that fueled his drive to create a thriving business.

How much they make: $1.98M/year
How much did it cost to start: $50K
Current team size: 5

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How I Built A $1.98M/Year Business Planning Golf-Inspired Vacations

Golf Trip Junkie founder Sean Petersen shares how he turned his passion for golf and travel into a profitable business, with average monthly revenue of $165,000, by designing personalized golf vacations for middle-aged men and companies looking for a unique corporate outing experience.

About
Sean started Golf Trip Junkie almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Sean grew the business to $165K/month
Costs
It cost Sean $50000 to start the business
Read by 3,226 founders

4. Baboo Travel ($600K/year)

Paul Sarfati, the Founder and CEO of Baboo Travel, came up with the idea for his business after experiencing the decline of his previous travel company, Bamba Travel, due to the pandemic. Wanting to create a platform that offers customized trips and connects travelers directly with local experts, Sarfati drew inspiration from companies like Evaneos. With his extensive knowledge of the travel industry and a focus on creating a better business model, Sarfati aims to revolutionize the travel industry and provide customers with personalized experiences at better prices.

How much they make: $600K/year
How much did it cost to start: $515K
Current team size: 5

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My Travel Hobby Fueled Me To Build A $600K/Year Custom Trips Platform

Baboo Travel's CEO Paul Sarfati successfully launched an easy-to-use travel platform that connects customers with local in-destination travel experts, reaching $180,000 in sales in the first four months of launching through targeted marketing strategies, incorporating growth hacking techniques, and prioritizing content marketing and search engine optimization for long-term success.

About
Paul started Baboo Travel over 3 years ago
Revenue
Paul grew the business to $50K/month
Costs
It cost Paul $515000 to start the business
Read by 4,212 founders

So... can you actually make money with a travel planning business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. CuddlyNest ($2.8M/year)

Ritesh Raj, the co-founder and COO of CuddlyNest, came up with the idea for the accommodation booking platform after years of traveling to over 100 countries and realizing the pain points of finding diverse types of accommodations. Alongside his co-founder, they decided to create a centralized platform that offers all kinds of properties for all types of travelers. Since its launch, CuddlyNest has raised over $14 million in funding and has plans for continued growth and expansion.

How much they make: $2.8M/year
Current team size: 72

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How We Solved A Major Pain Point With Travelers And Built An All-In-One Booking Platform [$21M Sales in 2022]

CuddlyNest has become the only online travel agency that offers all types of accommodations in one platform, with inventory currently including over 4 million properties of all types in 80k+ cities, and is expecting to hire more than fifty new employees in the coming months.

About
Ritesh started CuddlyNest about 7 years ago
Revenue
Ritesh grew the business to $233K/month
Read by 2,982 founders

6. RoundAbout Travel ($6M/year)

How much they make: $6M/year
Current team size: 1

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How a 23-year-old Quit his Job to Build a $6M Online Travel Agency

This case study features Australia's first round-the-world airfare specialist, which generated $900,000 in revenue during its first year and has since expanded to five brands, accumulating over $50 million in annual revenue, all started by a 23-year-old who quit his job as a travel agent.

About
They started RoundAbout Travel over 15 years ago
Revenue
They grew the business to $500K/month
Read by 893 founders

So... can you actually make money with a travel planning business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

7. I Want That Flight ($360K/year)

How much they make: $360K/year
Current team size:

IWTF: Turning a Script into a +$110,000/Month Site

Case study of an entrepreneur who built a flight comparison script and has grown profit margins to $110,000 per month.

Revenue
Garth grew the business to $30K/month
Read by 635 founders

8. Packs Light ($170K/year)

How much they make: $170K/year
Current team size: 4

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She Packs Light and Spreads Light with Gabby Beckford of @Packslight

Packs Lights is a successful travel blog founded by Gabby Beckford, a young adventurer and TEDx speaker, that offers a plethora of travel tips and resources, and has earned her over $170,000 in gross cash from sponsored content and blog pieces.

About
Gabby started Packs Light about 4 years ago
Revenue
Gabby grew the business to $14.2K/month
Read by 447 founders