Business ideas

Example of tourism business ideas

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With South Africa known for its natural beauty, tourism will always provide plenty of business opportunities, especially if you live in a popular tourist destination. Your business can offer everything from tours to accommodations and experiences.


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Here are 10 examples of tourism businesses you can research before starting your own business:

1. Walking tours

Do you like discovering your city on foot? Do you know all the hidden gems and interesting bits of history? You could offer walking tours for tourists who really want to experience this country.

Before you start plotting your route, here is an example of this tourism business idea that can give you some insight into this industry:

Company Name : CC Walking and Talking Tours

Website: https://walktours.co.za/

Creation date : 1999

About the company:

Walk & Talk Tours CC aims to combine the enjoyable and therapeutic act of walking and talking. They want to introduce South Africa not only to tourists but to South Africans as well, educating their customers about interesting parts of the country that they wouldn’t normally visit.

Innovative commercial offer

In addition to their walking tours, Walk & Talk Tours CC has a patented self-guided system. This allows anyone to visit an area and get information, tours, reviews, videos, photos, apps, and the history of the area.

2. Airbnb Rentals

Airbnb is a marketplace where you can rent out your spare room, or even your entire apartment or house. It is aimed at travelers looking for cheaper and more interesting accommodation. Before registering your home on the platform, here is an example Airbnb host you can learn from:

Company Name : Brigitte Prinsloo

Website: https://www.airbnb.com/

Creation date : 2013

About the company:

Brigid Prinsloo rented her guest room on Airbnb. She started with a very lean approach. By the end of that first month, they had earned almost R10,000 renting the room.

Related: 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa

She bought two other properties, one with her fiancé and one with her father and sister, which they also listed on Airbnb.

Innovative commercial offerg

You will need to create an experience for your guest. The better the experience, the better the rating you will get and the more customers you will continue to attract.

3. Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences are unusual and engaging activities you can offer through the Airbnb Marketplace to travelers coming to your area. Experiences go beyond regular visits by immersing guests in a unique activity.

If you have something you can teach or guide visitors, this could be the tourism business idea for you. Before launching your start-up, here is an example of a tourism business that you can take inspiration from:

Company Name : Carving Cape’s Single-track with a Pro

Website: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/123771

About the company:

Paris Basson has over 25 years of experience in the sports industry. He has raced all disciplines of road, MTB, CX, enduro and triathlon. It offers a unique cycling experience through Table Mountain National Park, providing adrenaline-packed adventure and Cape Town views like no other.

Innovative commercial offer

Paris Basson has such an in-depth knowledge of the region and of itineraries suited to the different levels of experience of its clients that it can create a bespoke itinerary to ensure each client has the best experience.

4. Local cooking class

Do you like to cook local dishes? Do you enjoy teaching others how to prepare interesting and unique meals? This could be the tourism business idea for you. Before you start cooking, here is an example of a tourism business you can get information from:

Company Name : Sazon Cooking School

Website: https://www.belmond.com/hotels/north-america/mexico/san-miguel-de-allende/belmond-casa-de-sierra-nevada/

About the company:

The Sazón Cooking School is housed in a beautiful 18and– Century mansion. Here, their guests can study the bold flavors and rich history of regional Mexican culinary favorites. They also offer to teach their guests the techniques of creating these tasty dishes.

Innovative commercial offer

In addition to the cooking class, Sazón is based in a heritage hotel offering guests accommodation in the heart of Mexico. They also offer market tours and classes to help their customers navigate the colorful and bustling San Miguel Market.

5. Souvenir shop

Do you like doing something uniquely South African or African? Then this could be the tourism business idea for you. Here is an example:

Related: 11 Unique South African Business Ideas

Souvenir shops provide visitors with locally inspired gifts that they can take home to remember their experience. You can open one for visitors to always remember their amazing time in South Africa.

Company Name : A place to shop

Website: https://www.aplacetoshop.co.za/

About the company:

A Place To Shop offers fun and quirky souvenirs from South Africa and Africa for locals and travellers. They offer international delivery for those looking to buy something African across the ocean.

Innovative commercial offer

Some of their products are available for resale, which would increase their profits and ensure that their products reach a wider audience.

6. An Airbnb management company

For people who have started listing multiple rentals, managing them can be a daunting task, hence the origin of Airbnb management companies. These tourism businesses help with the daily rental of space on Airbnb.

Before you start advertising your services, here’s an example of a business you can learn some tips from:

Company Name : Superhost South Africa

Website: http://superhostsouthafrica.com/

Creation date : 2015

About the company:

Superhost South Africa is a full-service Airbnb property manager, they handle day-to-day logistics and are available 24/7 for emergencies. They offer everything from setting up their guests’ initial Airbnb profile to cleaning up once the guest has left.

Innovative commercial offer

In addition, Superhost South Africa also offers continuous optimization to continuously improve its customer lists, profile and the service they offer.

7. Trendy minibar

In hotels around the world, you will usually find mini bars offering alcohol, cold drinks and snacks. But you can also offer a Mini Fashion bar; which visitors can pay upon departure.

Related: The Ultimate List of 101 SA Business Ideas to Get You Started

This ensures that people on a busy trip can still shop even if they never leave their hotel room. Before you start phoning hotels, here is an example of this company that you can get a feel for:

Company Name : Pimkie

Website: https://www.pimkie.it/

About the company:

French clothing brand, Pimkie has created a boutique bar full of clothes and accessories to help travelers find new clothes and accessories to wear, especially if they forgot to pack something.

Innovative commercial offer

Travelers can rent or buy the parts they need and simply pay for them upon departure. Customers can even call the Fashion Concierge to pick up an item in their size.

8. Translators

Do you speak several languages? Then this could be the tourism business idea for you. You can help foreign tourists navigate South Africa by translating for them. Before launching your start-up, here is an example of a tourism business whose strategies you can learn:

Company Name : Language Login

Website: https://www.languageconnect.net/sectors/travel-tourism/

About the company:

Language Connect helps its clients to communicate seamlessly with their foreign guests and ensures a personal touch by offering services in multiple languages.

Innovative commercial offer

Moreover, they also offer to translate their client’s website, promotional videos, email campaigns, telephone message systems, advertisements, brochures, menus, stationery and amenities into many languages.

9. Cultural/heritage visits

Do you have extensive knowledge of the culture and heritage of your region? Could you lead a cultural/heritage tour group? Then this could be the tourism business idea for you.

Related: Your Free Business Idea Evaluation SWOT Analysis Template

Here is an example of a tourism business that you can take inspiration from before starting your business:

Company Name : Kruger National Park

Website: http://www.krugerpark.co.za/Krugerpark_Travel_Guide-travel/cultural-heritage-sites.html

Creation date : 1926

About the company:

Kruger National Park is home to many historical sites and prehistoric rock art, giving it a rich cultural heritage. They offer cultural tours for guests wishing to see restored villages and learn about the way of life of locals.

Innovative commercial offer

Additionally, the Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most exciting African safari destination. They have a variety of safari options and can take their guests on a journey of exploration to find Africa’s Big Five.

10. Take-out hotel rooms

If you are good at building and designing rooms, you can create mini hotel rooms using shipping containers and plant them where your guests want to stay. Before you start buying containers, here is a tourist company you can get information about:

Company Name : scandic take away

Website: https://www.scandichotels.com/landing-pages/scandic-to-go

Creation date : 2014

About the company:

Scandic To Go rooms are 18m² and offer all the amenities of a traditional hotel room, except they can be moved to any pre-selected destination. This allows for a unique and one-of-a-kind experience for their guests.

Innovative commercial offer

In addition to offering the Scandic To Go rooms, it is a high quality hotel brand that operates mainly in Scandinavian countries, but also in Germany.

Related: A free sample business plan to launch your South African business