1.0 Executive Summary
May 31, 2009 marks the grand opening of Business and Fun Travel Agency (BFTA) and will strive to be the primary travel agent to service people in the Central North America, specifically the Pine Bluff, Arkansas area. BFTA's potential success relies on the annual growth in the travel industry. Further, the Pine Bluff traveling needs are expeditiously increasing due the growth in its business economy. More and more companies are paying for employee development which in turn, will afford BFTA the opportunity to take advantage of the travel ripened environment. The Pine Bluff area and its surrounding states have a large concentration of vacation resorts. BFTA's target market is a unique group and BFTA will provide a specialized and thus differentiated service. BTFA will strive to stay competitive in this industry, and anticipates yielding about $250,000 within its 1st
year of operating.
BFTA is a travel agency that will service not only the business district, but personal travel seekers as well. We provide consulting and custom business travel arrangements as well personal vacation packages. BFTA's strive to become the most elite provider of traveling market to the people of the Pine Bluff, AR. BFTA's employees and owner are prolific travel individuals, as well as keen business professionals.
3.0 SWOT Analysis
- BFTA's owner has a great reputation in this industry. His experience and the network of valuable connections he has developed will contribute greatly to BFTA's success.
- BFTA will be ideally located. The Pine Bluff, AR is a mid-size city with and fairly large business district. In addition, Pine Bluff is located 45 miles from the Little Rock, AR and less than two hours from Hot Springs. The Arkansas River surrounds the state. Also, Pine Bluff is conveniently positioned in close proximity to Tennessee, Texas, and Kansas City. These geographic features will continue to attract potential customers.
- The BFTA team is experienced in the business travel business and in vacation resorts. Initially, BFTA will be owned and operated by, Craig Russell and his wife La Shanna Russell and an Assistant Amber Hunter. Both Mr. and Mrs. Russell a very vast knowledge of business travels as well as relaxing vacation spots through personal and business related experience.
Moreover, they are both willing to sacrifice extra time and effort to build a successful business. BFTA will offer profit sharing as well as an excellent benefit package to its ground-floor members. BTFA will also in the future utilize small businesses to stimulate the economic growth in the area.
- BFTA is extremely confident that the traveling market will continue to grow. A vast majority of the population is beginning to travel significantly whether it is business or leisure.
- BFTA is a start-up and the odds are stacked against small start-up companies.
- With limited staffing, they will be faced with long hours for little pay during the first two years of operation.
- Preliminary estimates of sales and expenses suggest that BFTA will remain financially stable. However, BFTA's cash position, which will be particularly vulnerable in year one.
- The national traveling market is growing annually, and preliminary estimates suggest that the Pine Bluff area will continue in this area.
- BFTA plans to begin this effort via a World Wide Web campaign in the first year of operation and commence to obtain a diverse clientele group.
- BFTA has the management and staff to produce a top-quality service. Only to increase it's employee base gradually over time.
- The Internet provides consumers the ability to plan and arrange trips for themselves. This, in turn poses to potentially lesson the need for BTFA professional services.
- Economic recession would threaten BFTA's sales as consumers will decrease the travel/vacation significantly.
3. 5 Competitors Aside from the Internet, BFTA has approximately 3 immediate competitors in the greater Pine Bluff area:
- Travel Time: Based on the east coast, Travel Time is well known in the Little Rock area. They have serviced the area for many years and have an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction. However, their packages are expensive and appeal primarily to a high-income clientele.
- Fun in the Sun: Based in Chattanooga, TN, Fun in the Sun is a traditional agency and has been in business for 10 years. They deliver fairly good quality of service however, they have a high personnel and management turnover and the lack of a clear plan for future growth.
- Travel Inc.: Global was established in 2001 and has successfully established themselves as traveling industry. Global has done a good job positioning itself through successful marketing communications and management. However, they are based in the Hot Springs area which has a very competitive travel environment.
4.0 Environmental Analysis 1 Business Travel Overall, business travel comprises 18 percent of total U.S. domestic person-trips. Business person-trips are most often taken for general business purposes (likely for consulting, client service, etc) (44%). One in five (22%) business person-trips are taken for the primary purpose of attending a convention, conference or seminar. One-third (34%) of business person-trips are made by those traveling for combined business and pleasure purposes. One-third (32%) of business person-trips include air transportation. One in six (17%) business trips include multiple adults from the same household; 10 percent include children under 18. (Sources: Domestic Travel Market Report, 2004 Edition; Business and Convention Travellers, 2004 Edition) Vacation Package Travel: One quarter (23%) of past-year travellers (33.3 million adults) say they bought a travel package within the past three years - that is, a trip including at least transportation and a place to stay all in one price. The average age of a package traveller is 43 years and the gender breakout is almost even (47% men, 53% women). A majority (68%) of these travellers are married; 24% are single, never married. Half (51%) have children in their household. Four in ten (43%) have a college degree or more education. The average annual household income of a package traveller is $72,400. Nearly 80 percent of all air business travellers say their company has one or more business travel policies in place. One-third said that one or more of these policies were implemented in just the past year. Examples of these new restrictions include limiting the class of air service that can be used (14%), requiring U.S.-only travel (31%), limiting travel per diems (19%), restricting the number of employees traveling (25%), and requiring/recommending they drive instead of fly (34%). The improvement in online business communications has accelerated the use of technology as an alternative to taking business trips. Business travellers are turning to the Internet for the best airline ticket price, with almost half of all business air travellers personally purchasing their ticket online at least once in the past year. (Sources: http://www.tia.org/pressmedia/domestic_a_to_z.html#b)
5.0 Target Market According to the 3Queensland Australia site, adventure travellers are 61 percent male, aged 40.5 years, income of $74.7K, 22% married, 7% with kids under 12, 91% full time employed, 79 % college graduate, has 28 annual vacation days, spends $5076. There are over 52, 000 people in BFTA's local target market. BFTA will focus on the sale and promotion of traveling market primarily to individuals, but also to corporate clients in the Pine Bluff area. BFTA will also target the following groups: Couples and individual traveling marketers: This is the customer group that meets the demographic profile for traveling marketers - ages 18-35, marriedw children, or single and with household income greater than $50,000. BFTA will also target Group traveling marketers, corporate traveling marketers and local businesses in an attempt to secure corporate accounts. BFTA plans to focus its initial efforts on the traveling market in the greater Pine Bluff area. As BFTA grows, marketing efforts will expand. The major purchasers that fit BFTA's target market are located in urban areas within these states: Tennessee, Texas, Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia.
6.0 Market Research Research on the travel and tourism industry will be purchased as necessary. Demographics and spending patterns of traveling marketers have been secured and used to formulate communications strategy. BFTA will conduct customer surveys when a specific research problem is identified. BFTA subscribes to several industry publications and will attend trade shows to stay abreast of relevant issues. Domestic travel accounts for approximately 50% of industry revenues. Business travel can be divided into two categories, the medium to large corporate account, and the small independent business owner. Leisure travellers are classified according to the types of trips they take, income, or age. The four primary leisure travel groups are:
- Adventure, Special-Interest, R&R, Honeymoons & Sightseeing Trips
- Budget-Conscious Travellers
- Families, Students & Seniors
According to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) estimates total U.S. Travel expenditures at $733.9 billion, up from $699.9 billion for 2006. Based on these and other figures, BFTA estimates the Pine Bluff traveling market to be approximately $2 million annually. BFTA estimates that it will capture a 20% of this market.
7.0 Marketing Strategy BFTA marketing strategy is to build a strong customer satisfaction base. BFTA's primary focus is that of business travel. BFTA strives to reach consumers search for personal traveling for vacation as well. BFTA wants to establish itself as the core of our customer base and give them a sense of confidence knowing that BFTA will provide all of their traveling needs. Our goal is to keep smiles on our customer's faces and provide a comfort in our customers in knowing that are getting the best unparalleled service which includes saving time and money, and confidence in the vacation's success.
8.0 Marketing Tactics Develop brand recognition through the use of effective advertising, marketing communications and promotion by using the following resources
- Use the internet and paper flyers, and local radio and televisions stations advertising campaign
- Team up with established companies to conduct promotions and giveaways
Customer satisfaction program
- Develop and promote BFTA's website. The availability of information and the ability to schedule and purchase online will be beneficial to the customer and BFTA.
- . Focus BFTA's efforts on customization of traveling market and utilization areas of expertise. BFTA would rather recommend that a potential customer purchase elsewhere than provide a trip outside of its expertise.
Corporate account acquisition
- . Follow-up with customer after the sale would create a positive influence for repeat purchase
- Will utilize small businesses as much as possible to diversify BFTA's sources of income.
- Utilize corporate giveaway promotion. Trips will be awarded as prizes and will be promoted via local radio
9.0 Implementation and Control
- BFTA's grand opening event will take place in the second quarter. This will be a combined effort with an affiliated resort, one of BFTA's strategic alliances. The event will be hosted by a local radio station and will include a prize giveaway of a traveling market package.
- BFTA will begin its corporate account marketing in the second quarter and hopes to secure at least one corporate account during that time.
- BFTA's website should be operational by the middle of the third quarter of operation. The website will be capable of online transactions with secure site protections. BFTA banners will be placed at several World Wide Web locations.
- Tracking of ad exposure will begin in the first month of Web operation. BFTA has a designated 800 number that is only used in advertising.
9.2 Control BFTA's marketing efforts will be reviewed quarterly. Variance between sales goals for the first year of operations and revenues will be BFTA's only real source of comparison. BFTA will seek customer feedback on marketing efforts and may conduct surveys or focus groups to test ad effectiveness. Owner and CEO Craig Russell will be responsible for the planning and implementation of BFTA's Advertising, Communications, and Promotion activities. Ms. Hunter will work under the supervision of La Shanna Russell and will oversee the marketing activities. BFTA may use marketing consultants from a local firm (small businesses where possible) to help with strategy.
10. Summary Business and Fun travel Agency will be the best in the business. We are a team that knows the business and has a good understanding about quality. Our work ethics has and always will speak volumes as far as the capacity of which we value our customers. We are dedicated to the success of our company in turn focuses on of customer satisfaction. We look forward to services all of travel and vacation needs. See you in May of 2009!