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Travel sales agent focuses on ethnic and international markets

CompanyPars Tours & Travel
Industry:Transportation and Warehousing
City:Montreal, Quebec
Amounts: various  Find what funding programs you qualify for

Starting a small business in the travel industry

Isaac Djavadi had considered starting a small business transport company when he got involved with helping a friend run a travel business for a year. When that business unfortunately closed, Djavadi decided to start his own travel business.

Finding the niche in the market

As a licensed International Air Transport Association (IATA) agent, he had the opportunity to focus on international travel, and he developed a niche in markets that he felt had good potential. Within two years of hanging his shingle, he'd been successful in starting a small business travel passenger agency in Montreal, and he decided to become a General Sales Agent (GSA) for an airline. A GSA acts as an airline's representative in markets they don't currently operate offices in. "I knew Iran Air did not have any office in North America," says Djavadi. "So I approached them, and finally we signed a GSA contract, and I could act as the airline for Iran Air in Canada."

This relationship proved fruitful during the next years, and Djavadi opened up two new offices in Vancouver and Toronto, the latter in the dark travel days of 2001. "Even though after 9/11, all these agencies were closing I opened one," he says. By 2008, his company had also built relationships with carriers such as Air Canada, KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways, and Pars Tours and Travel was grossing $20 million in sales.

E-ticketing changes everything

In the end, it was technology, that grounded Djavadi's plans. By 2008, e-ticketing dominated the industry. One of Pars Tours and Travel's main functions for Iran Air was to hold their ticketing stock. "So after most of the industry changed to e-ticketing, the airlines terminated the contracts of most of the GSAs, as well as myself," he says.

Djavadi took stock of the situation. "I decided to go back again with the ethnic and international markets development, and established again all the contracts with the Canadian and European carriers," he says. "At the moment, I have a very unique special deal with major European and Canadian carriers, so I have the best deals they run in Canada."

He also began looking at how he could incorporate his own Internet booking engine into his business and open up a direct flight between Toronto and Tehran. "So I have to expand the IT system, telephone and booking engine and things as I need it prior to operation," he says.

Successfully starting a small business with the help of a business plan

The business plan he prepared with assistance from the Centre for Business Plan Development is helping him seek financing for this exciting new venture. "It's hopeful. I submitted it to a few places, and I'm waiting for a response," he says. "And I'm not going to take 'no' for an answer."

Imagine how a professionally prepared business plan could help grow your business. For a free consultation, call 1-855-892-2506.

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