How to Start a Bus Tour Business
If you’re thinking of starting a business, a bus tour company is an interesting opportunity. Maybe you’re curious about starting a bus tour business because you’ve enjoyed being a tourist on a bus tour. If you’ve got the time and money to invest in this, it can be a rewarding business opportunity. If you’re ready to seriously consider it, here are some things you need to know.
- You’ll work long hours. If you’re driving, you’ll need to be ok with spending hours in a parking lot while people tour the sights. You’ll also have to deal with people and their personalities, which can be challenging. On the other hand, if you are a sociable person who enjoys interacting with people of all different types, as well as being someone who doesn’t mind some down time by yourself in a parking lot, this may be a great business for you.
- It’s smart to be realistic about the money. You may not break even for about two years, and the business can be expensive to start. There will also be ongoing expensive once your tours are up and running. Think about your logistics. Will you be the bus tour operator or will you own the bus and hire one or more people to drive the bus and guide the tour? How many buses do you plan to own? Will you start out with one and stick with that or do you have a plan for expansion?
- Buying your own bus is the most cost-effective plan. You can lease a bus and just drive tours, but that can quickly get expensive. Renting a bus can cost thousands of dollars a day. So should you look for new bus sales or plan to buy used? It really depends on your preferences and budget. Used bus sales are less expensive up front but new buses have more amenities and require less maintenance.
- Understand the requirements of a tour bus. Your bus will need comfortable seats, a good intercom system, and good lighting. Once the bus is on the road, you’ll have to factor in maintenance expenses, fuel costs, and auto insurance. You’ll also need a license to operate in different areas you intend to serve, and special permits for visiting certain attractions.
- Tour buses make money in different ways. You could offer your bus for travel companies to lease or for schools or churches to use for student trips. You could also provide guided tours for passengers who will buy tickets. Some tour buses sell food, drinks, souvenirs, and other items on their buses. Making the tour comfortable and fun will also earn tips for the tour guide and driver.
If you’re ready to start a tour bus business, visit Davey Coach Sales, Incorporated. Established in 1992, we’re one of the leading dealers of new and used mid-sized buses and shuttles in North America. We have a huge selection of makes and models, and we specialize in bus conversions to help you make your vision into reality. For more information call 800-873-1856 or contact us through our website.