Adventure Travel International (ATI) will begin operations this year and provide adventure and sport/travel packages to people in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the greater Woodville area. An opportunity for ATI's success exists because the national tourism and travel industry is growing at 4%, and adventure travel at 10% annually. Further, the Woodville adventure travel market is growing at least 12% annually and there are no providers who specialize solely in adventure travel in the greater Woodville area. ATI is poised to take advantage of this growth and lack of competition with an experienced staff, excellent location, and effective management and marketing. The company's goals over the next three years are:
• Sales of $650,000 by year three.
• Maintain margins of 10% on all airline travel.
• Achieve 15% of sales from the Internet.
• Develop strategic alliances with service providers nationally, internationally, and in the Woodville area. In order to achieve these goals ATI needs to focus on the three key areas of: • Effective segmentation and targeting of adventure travelers within the larger travel market. • Successfully position ourselves as adventure travel specialists. • Communicate the differentiation and quality of our offering through personal interaction, media, and regional marketing. • Develop a repeat-business base of loyal customers in order to create sufficient sales. ATI will be a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Shea Delaney in the town of Atkins Grove, California. The founder and employees of ATI are experienced travel industry professionals and are passionate about the activities ATI will promote and offer. ATI's total start-up capital requirement is approximately $102,500. Start-up will be financed through the owner's personal investment and a long-term note of $85,000 secured from the Woodville First National Bank. The travel agency market is competitive, and technology, namely the Internet and Computerized Reservation Systems (CRS), has changed the way travel agencies operate. The Internet gives agencies and individuals the ability to perform travel related research. Discount airfare brokers have taken advantage of the Internet by offering tickets online at discounted rates. This has increased price competition. Computerized Reservation Systems have increased the speed and efficiency of the agency-to-customer transaction. They have also increased the start-up costs for travel agencies who wish to be competitive. One notable trend in the travel industry is increased deregulation. Deregulation has increased the need for differentiation and has, in many cases, lowered the prices of airfare and other travel-related services. Additional trends include caps on agency commissions by many of the larger airlines, increases in adventure travel, and reduction of profit margins. The travel industry is highly fragmented. There are large national chains, small home-based businesses, consolidators on the Internet, etc. Membership numbers in some of the travel-related associations give some indication of the number of participants in this market. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports 25,000 members in 135 countries, most of whom are small businesses. ATI has approximately 30 immediate competitors in the greater Woodville area, including two agencies that are branches of national travel agency chains. ATI is researching the market to identify potential opportunities for future sales in this rapidly changing environment. ATI's long-term goal is to establish itself as an internationally recognized provider of top-of-the-line adventure travel. This goal does not prohibit ATI from participating in additional segments. It does, however, provide a corporate focus and a differentiated offering. ATI's target customers are health-conscious couples and individuals, with median household incomes of...