Sporting & Adventure Tours is a US based company, primarily engaged in arranging group tours to International and US tourist attractions. It will start its operations in July of 2009. The opportunity is ripe for the growth of adventure and sports tourism as the World Travel and Tourism Council predicts a 20% annual growth rate for adventure travel (Heyniger). The company, Sporting & Adventure Tours, will focus on tours in and around the Mississippi.
Despite its paramount presence in American literature and folklore, the State is underrepresented by travel industry. The management of Sports & Adventure Tours thinks that tours to such mystifying areas as Natchez State Parkway and Mississippi River and surrounding regions of Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana provides an ideal retreat for adventure and sports seekers who will love the idea of an adventure travel combined with historical, gastronomical and religious interest.
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The company’s goals over the next three years are:
- Sales of one million at the end of third fiscal year.
- Achieve the target of one fourth of total sales from the internet.
- Develop strategic alliance with local, national and international travel partners to establish a brand name, specifically in the Mississippi area.
To achieve its development goals, Sporting & Adventure Tours will need to explore certain key area which includes:
- Targeting a specific niche within a large travel market.
- Offer a unique tour package that is significantly different from our competitors.
- Distinguish Sporting & Adventure Tours Inc. as the foremost tour operator specializing in value-for-money packages that exceed customer satisfaction.
- Build a rapport in the travel industry for providing the best quality travel packages.
The company will be based in Jackson and act as a partnership among the major shareholder, its Chairman, holding 51 percent shares and two other major stakeholders owning the rest 49 percent. The initial investment required is estimated to be around $200,000 which will entirely be financed by the partners to keep liabilities to a minimum during he initial stages of business. Each partner has real world travel industry experience in areas ranging from management, accounting, law and transportation. Local guides will act as independent contractors.
The company seeks to target health conscious individuals and couples who earn slightly more than an average US family. The customers will be aged between 25-35 for adventure only packages and 50-65 for semi-adventure tours that will also focus on including other niche activities.
Sporting & Adventure Tours has partnered with various airlines, car rental agencies, bus operators and local travel guides to keep operational costs to a minimum. In this regard, only those companies have been selected which do not cap the agent’s profit on sales of airline tickets and related transportation costs. Such a strategy will allow our company to seek an after sales profit margin of anywhere from 10 to 30 percent on individual products. Moreover, emphasis is laid on providing quality tours at an affordable price. To achieve this goal, Sporting & Adventure Tours has partnered with local guides who might not be experienced but have a genuine interest in acting as a tour guide as well as extensive knowledge in their fields.
While there are no large tour operators in the area, competition exists in the form of traditional boutique companies specializing in different adventure sports. Jackson based small tour operators as Anointed Tours & Travels and Tac Tour Andover Controls tend to operate on a small scale (Tour Operators). Out of city competitors mainly focus on chartered bus tours and limited adventure activities.
Our company faces critical competition from large US based operators who have already established a significant clientele. Examples of these companies include Tauck World Discovery and Abercrombie & Kent Nevertheless, whose example and mode of operations Sporting Adventure & Tours would like to follow. The management of Sporting & Adventure Tours believes that partnerships with quality conscious small scale tour operators in the area should be seen as an opportunity to promote the business instead of a threat.
Marketing & Advertisement
The marketing campaign will continue organizing several events in cities across Mississippi catering to the company’s segmented groups. To cut costs, a majority of these programs will take place indoors where our company would negotiate with event sponsors to include our programs. A few billboards will also be leased on streets leading to adventure destinations in Mississippi. Negotiations with local health and athletic clubs are the main priority. By providing special discounts and incentives to such clubs and related organizations, we can definitely market our products to potential customers at a low rate. Aggressive online marketing strategies will be pursued including search engine optimization and email marketing using web tools such as elance.com and yesmail.com to reduce costs and achieve high quality results.
Heyniger C. Adventure Travel Industry Growth Statistics. Xola Consulting. Retrieved June 12 2009 from, <http://www.xolaconsulting.com/Adventure%20Travel%20Industry%20Growth%20Statsv2.pdf>
Tour Operator Companies in Mississippi. Manta Website. Retrieved June 12, 2009 from, <http://www.manta.com/mb_44_B72D5_25/tour_operators/mississipp>
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