Small Fish Big Ocean

Helping specialist tour operators and activity providers with travel ecommerce

I'm new to this site so I'd like to start by saying hello to everyone and wish you all a Happy New Year.

I'm looking for a bit of help/advice if possible please. I'm currently working as a self employed IT consultant here in the UK and I've been toying with the idea for a good while about setting up my own Travel Agency or Tour Guide from home. The problem I have is that other than my own travel experiences, I have no actual experience in this industry as such. All the research I have done has drawn a blank from a uk perspective. I see in the US, it's possible to hook up to a host agency but there doesn't seem anything similar here in the UK (quite possibly this doesn't exist?) and everything I can find looks more like a franchise which I'm not keen on. What I am keen to do is take a back step from my current day to day role and try to build up something travel related slowly. I know margins are small but travel is something I'm so passionate about and I love organising friends and family holidays for them as well as for myself. Maybe what I'm looking to do is not possible unless I pay a large amount of cash to Hays Travel etc. The flip side of this is that I also would like to be completely independent and not have to work for one of the big travel groups largely because I don't think I'd be able to dedicate ally be necessary time to it to start with. So thanks in advance and sorry if I'm talking rubbish!

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Hi Adam,

Happy New Year to you too.

I was interested to hear that you were thinking of setting up my own Travel Agency or Tour Guide from home. I was in the same position 2 years ago when I lost my job as an IT Manager for an online luxury travel business. Having some experience in the travel industry and a technicaI background I looked into all the options for running a travel business from home without spending a small fortune. After dismissing many options such as travel franchises due to cost I found that setting up an affiliate based travel website would be the most cost effective option. I've since built my current travel website at which is built around the hotel and hotel/flight package affiliate program. The program pays commissions of 6% for each hotel booking which for example would pay out £48 for an £800 hotel booking, not too bad for a home based business with no overheads. I'm currently setting up a website which will provide business entrepreneurs the tools and knowhow to build their own profitable online travel businesses. Feel free to contact me if you need any help with your venture, I hope everything goes well!

Kind regards


Hi John,

I’m very interested in starting my own online/Home based travel business and I found your information on this site and was wondering if you could send me any further information on how you set up etc. and the Expedia Affiliate Programme. Wasn’t sure if you’d set the information website up.

Any help and advice would be very much appreciated.

Many Thanks,


Hi Joanne,

I'm still in the process of setting up the website, apologies that that it's taking so long, I'm trying to make sure all the information is accurate and up-to-date. It's still a few months away from completion but I keep you updated nearer the time :)

I would be pleased to help if you have any other questions.

Best regards


Thanks John

I really appreciate it. Any information would be of a great help. My contact email is if you would prefer to contact me directly.

kind Tegards,


Hi John,

I am also looking to set up in the UK, with the no travel background other than my own, so any information you've collated that could help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards


Hi Adam,

Why not begin as an affiliate, most of the big companies Thomson, Thomas Cook, OntheBeach etc have affiliate programs. There's no obligation to make any sales, but if you do you make commission.

You could build a website with a Wordpress travel agency theme such as

I know it's not as simple as that but I'll be pleased to help if you have any questions.






Use TourCMS to build Widgets like this:

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