South Australian Tourism Commission
Business Plan Template
This template will assist tourism enterprises to develop an effective business plan.
What is a business plan?
There is nothing magical about a business plan. It is a written outline of the steps a
business needs to take to achieve its objectives. In its simplest form, a business plan
1. A vision of what owners/managers seek to achieve
2. A summary of all the issues and factors that impact on the business
3. A plan for marketing the products offered by the business
4. A plan for the operations of the business
5. A financial plan
By covering the above points, a business owner or manager will gain a better
understanding of the issues and realities that face their business operation. They will
also build a structured ‘blueprint’ by which to gauge their progress over the following 12 months to 5 years.
A business plan should be seen as an evolving document. It is appropriate to change
and update it as circumstances change. It should be able to cope with new opportunities
that may not be predicted in the planning stages of a business.
The simple process of re-reading and reviewing this plan will highlight where actions have been missed, where issues have not been addressed, where time is being spent
This template is a simple version of a tourism business plan. It relies on honest,
thoughtful input. It relies on accurate and timely information. It relies on review and
revision. It is appropriate to remember that ‘you will get out of it what you put into it’!
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While the South Australian Tourism Commission and the authors believe this publication will be of assistance to intending or existing tourism operators, it should not be relied upon as a substitute for obtaining professional advice. The accuracy of each statement is not guaranteed, and accordingly, the South Australian Tourism Commission and the authors disclaim any liability for errors or other consequence which may arise from any person relying on any information in this publication.
It should be noted that the examples given in this template are fictitious for the purposes of illustration. No detail contained within this template document should be relied upon as actual content for a business plan. It is recommended that you consult your accountant or business advisor in the business planning process.
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Tourism Business Plan
This business plan contains the following headings.
1 Title Page
2 Executive Summary
3 Contents Page
4 Vision and Mission
5 Business Profile
6 Market Analysis
7 SWOT Analysis
8 Marketing Plan
Marketing Action Plan
9 Operational Plan
Operational Action Plan
10 Financial Plan
Financial Action Plan
How to use this template
1. Familiarise yourself with the template layout
2. Save As: Save another version of this template on your hard drive
3. Delete the example text from the template as you replace your own information.
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1. Title Page
? Name of your business
? Period of time that this plan relates to
? Who produced it
2. Executive Summary
A one page (maximum) summary of the issues that have been identified in this business
plan and what resulting actions will take place. It should be a very brief statement that
encapsulates the essence of this business plan. The Executive Summary should be
3. Contents Page
4. Vision and Mission
A one or two sentence vision that you have for your business.
What is your ultimate objective for the business?
? To provide profitable, reliable, safe, entertaining and informative
sightseeing tours to destinations within South Australia.
What are the 4 or 5 key things you will do to achieve your vision?
? Maintain clean, safe and world class facilities
? Ensure that our customers enjoy accurate, timely, professional service at
? Develop strong relationships with all aspects of our industry
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5. Business Profile
Write one page covering the relevant point listed below.
? A brief history and description of what the business does or might do and where it
will do it.
? How many years has the business operated. What experience do the
? Describe the products that the business offers (or will offer)
? Describe any unique features of your products or about the business generally ? Describe recent successes
? How many employees and what organizational structure?
? Outline why the owners are pursuing this business/opportunity. What is the objective
of the business – financial or other
For existing businesses, some background about the business to date is useful.
Provide these details:
? What has been invested in the business to date – in terms of time and money
? What is the future investment commitment to the business
? What is the turnover and profit for past three years
? Show recent sales patterns (graph)
? Describe any seasonal influences – experienced or expected
? Where does/ where will most of your business come from? What market or client ? Sales forecasts
? Other factors affecting the performance of the business
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6. Market Analysis
It is necessary to understand the market conditions under which the business will
? Who are the people who currently buy the products you sell or plan to sell?
Describe them in specific terms:
o Where they come from (where they live)
o Their ages
o Their tastes
o Their needs
o Their spending habits
o The timing of their purchasing
o The frequency of their purchasing
o Any trends in their spending habits
Remember that your target markets must be definable, relevant and measurable.
See the Target Market Matrix on the next page . . .
Market Life Cycle Stage
? Are there any gaps in the current market?
? Is the market mature? Or is it new and still developing?
How many people visit your region? How many people are potential purchasers?
? Why do they travel? What motivates them to take a holiday and consider your
destination? [Hint: People usually travel for intangible reasons such as to refresh and
rejuvenate, to explore and learn, to relax and getaway etc]
? Do customers have particular perceptions/expectations?
? How do customers source information about your category of products before they
? Do they pre-purchase (book) or purchase upon arrival?
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Target Market Matrix add columns as necessary
Target Market 1 Target Market 2 Target Market 3
Name of target market (to identify the segment)
Market source (where they live)
Age range (youngest to oldest)
Disposable income (high, med, low)
Life stage (single, married with kids/working/retired etc)
Likes (eg souvenir shopping, talking about the
Dislikes (eg loneliness, getting lost, hard vegetables,
steps, showers in baths)
Mode of travel (car, bike, bus, fly)
Accommodation preference (motel, b&b, caravan pk, hotel, etc)
Length of stay Length of whole trip
Method of booking eg phone, email, agent, tour operator
How source tourism information (tour guide/driver, Visitor Information Centre,
internet, referral, brochure etc)
My products of interest to this segment
General market characteristics (what else defines this group of people)
You may require more columns if you have identified more than three significant target markets.
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? How many competitors sell similar products to you:
In your local region? = In South Australia? = In Australia? =
? Complete a Competitor Analysis Chart with the following headings (add extra columns/rows as necessary):
Your business Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Competitor 3 Name of business Name of product No of staff Approx turnover Price of product Years in business How active in marketplace
Approx market share Product positioning eg premium/budget
Age of vehicles/building/assets
Product features, especially unique ones
Product distribution (who sells their
Advertising or marketing activities
Available resources Eg small/med/large
? What other indirect competition could affect your products? eg a hire car competes with a conducted tour, a night at the movies
and supper competes with a B&B experience. A ride on the Cockle Train competes with a day at Greenhills Adventure Park.
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A SWOT Analysis is a list of your businesses strengths & weakness and a list of external opportunities and threats that may impact you.
It will identify the broad issues that affect your business positively and negatively. A
strategy may emerge from the issues listed. It is important to be honest and open in your
1. Strengths & Weaknesses
These are issues that relate internally to your business. Things over which you have
For every strength and weakness identify the implication to your business by linking the
‘Which means that . . .’ column.
Complete a chart similar to the following:
Strengths Which means that . . . eg
1. location of B&B on main road 1. Good public awareness of property 2. past experience in . . . 2. Able to adapt to change quickly 3. particularly skilled at . . . 3. Big advantage over competition
Weaknesses Which means that . . . eg
1. location of B&B on main road 1. Resistance to staying in noisy location 2. little financial experience 2. Need to pay others to assist – expense 3. No spa 3. Clients prefer a spa – may lose bookings 4. Owner works full time as well 4. Difficult to take immediate bookings etc
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2. Opportunities & Threats
These are issues that are outside your control. These issues occur in the outside world that may have an impact on your business. The purpose of this analysis is to be able to
take steps to ‘harvest’ an opportunity or ‘minimise’ a threat if recognised in time.
For every Opportunity and Threat identify the implication to your business by linking the
‘Which means that . . .’ column.
Complete a chart similar to the following:
Opportunities Which means that . . . eg
1. low cost of the Australian 1. My international marketing dollar goes further
dollar makes us competitive
in international markets 2. My target market will grow 2. aging population will increase
the size of certain markets 3. Market growth = higher yield 3. Darwin-Alice Railway will
deliver more customers to my
Threats Which means that . . . eg
1. environmental legislation Increased expense = decreased profit
makes it costly to provide my
2. Deregulation means more
3. cost of Public Liability
Insurance makes my product
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