Leisure Group Travel columnist Marty Sarbey de Souto discusses steps that need to be taken by the planner who is building a tour “from scratch.”

Perhaps up to now your travel program has consisted of some great one-day excursions and perhaps a short Caribbean cruise. Possibly you even did a small group trip that you had put together by a well-known U.S tour operator for your private clientele.

But have you yet operated a tour that you custom-designed, booked, sold and operated yourself? That is, have you actually worked out the day-by-day itinerary, booked the accommodations, services and transportation based on the itinerary you designed? And then have you filled in all the activities, meals, entrance fees, local guides, social events, tips and other services that constitute a true tour?

And after you did all that, did you do the costing and pricing? How about the marketing plan, writing and publishing the trip brochure, designing posters, mailings to past travelers?

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