A hospitality business is a very lucrative one due to the frequent in and out movement of customers.
Most hospitality businesses are in sectors such as travel, lodging, events, and recreation.
This means that the hospitality sector is always best served by nomad entrepreneurs who are able to give their time and also able to move across locations when the need arises.
If you happen to be a nomad entrepreneur who is able to quickly learn about opportunities in new terrains, then you can make good money by quickly setting up hospitality businesses to meet the needs of travelers and leisure seekers.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best hospitality business ideas you can start this year, and what you should expect going forward.
Let’s go right in.
Offer Visa Advisory Services
What better place to start than helping people do what you’ve already done.
If you’ve successfully traveled to a particular location as a nomad, then you can offer visa advisory services to help people make the same trip.
This is most important if you are able to secure a visa to a country whose visa is quite difficult to get for your target audience.
You could set up a bespoke visa advisory service company, even better for niche travelers, and you’d get so paid.
Create Airbnb Service
Airbnb services are good money spinners these days.
Recently, I read an article of how one local was making more than $5,000 monthly by setting up Airbnb’s.
All he did was lease a property, furnish it, put a few desk managers, and started getting bookings.
If you’re a local in a country that gets a good influx of travelers, then you can set this up and start making money ASAP.
Become A Tour Guide & Escort
If you’re a local in a location that gets a good amount of foreign travelers, then you should be spinning money.
Even better if those travelers don’t speak your language.
I remember last two years, I was planning a trip to Ivory Coast, a french speaking country in West Africa.
I’m from Nigeria and don’t speak french, even if I have a little grasp of the language from my high school days.
I had to hire a local tour guide who speaks both English and French fluently, and I was happy to pay for such services.
These tour guides and escorts get paid handsomely for doing a job as simple as strolling in the neighborhood in company of a rich foreigner.
Who wouldn’t love that?
Become A Personal Translator
Apart from being a local tour guide for foreigners, you could offer translation services for official purposes.
This could work for business meetings and translating documents for foreigners looking to make applications in a new country.
You’ll need to have a grasp of the sector though, to be able to perform this job as a professional.
Some business foreigners would require you to have certain backgrounds such as business management or law.
But it’s definitely a very lucrative hospitality business to start.
Create A YouTube Travel Experience Service
If you want to spread your message and reach a wider audience, then you can start a YouTube Travel Experience Service.
This could give you the chance to address a broader audience and make money in several ways.
Most people who document their travel experiences on YouTube make money in many ways such as:
- Visa advisory
- Foreign business advisory
- Cost of Living advisory
- Foreign education advisory
If you have an experience living in a popular country or location that many people want to migrate to, then you can start a YouTube channel detailing your experiences and answering questions from interested people.
From there, you could create a one-on-one consultation service where you charge a small fee for your travel insights.
Organize Holiday Camps
Holiday camps are sure money spinners.
Almost everybody, including families, would beg to pay for a nice and affordable holiday camp.
Every end of the year, I’m always on the lookout for a good serene holiday camp where I can spend the holidays away from the noise.
If you’re skilled at organizing events, then maybe this could be your way to make money in the hospitality sector.
Create Shortlet Hostels
You’ve probably heard of shortlet hotels and Airbnbs.
But have you heard of shortlet hostels?
They might not be common, but they are definitely a thing with backpackers and cheap travelers looking to travel on a budget.
Most shortlet hostels cost about one-tenth of what their hotel counterparts cost on the average. No wonder they sell out pretty quickly.
If you have the fund, you could set up a mini hostel with temporary bunks, and see how much you could make.
Who knows, that could fly and you’ll be on your way to becoming a big boy in the hospitality business.
Offer Hotel Management Software Services
This one is for tech bros.
You can create hotel management software and sell to hotels looking for scalable tech solutions.
This could be an online hotel booking software or a room allocation and checking software.
Many hotels will pay handsomely for technology solutions that demonstrate a reasonable impact on their income.
If you have the tech skills, then this might just be one way to start cashing out from the hospitality sector.
Organize Beach Events
Everybody loves beach events, even yours truly.
If you’re the buzzy type who loves to hangout and chill with friends, then you should start thinking in this angle.
You could create niche beach events for groups like techies, plus sizers, stoners, kiddies, or even lonely mums.
The ideas are unlimited.
All you have to do is manage the setups like DJ, refreshments, beach pass, security, etc; then you charge each participant a fee that could cover the overall cost and return a profit for you.
This hospitality business is very profitable when done in off seasons or during the holidays.
Become A Professional Travel Photographer
Contrary to popular insinuation, professional photography isn’t dead.
Mobile phones might now be able to capture great pixels, still you cannot take away the role of a professional photographer with a digital camera.
For the record, professional travel photographers are still in high demand. Nobody wants to travel to a great location and still stress about capturing their best moments from the best angles. Particularly, lone travelers.
Whenever I travel alone, I really do not bother taking selfies or trying to do a solo capture. I simply hire a professional photographer and all the best angles are captured.
More so, when you travel to a new location, with many good places to savor, a local professional photographer can help you find good locations and can serve as a useful guide in visiting the most photogenic places.
These guys are still well in demand and very well paid, so if photography is your thing, you could jump right in and start making money.
Create a Local Hotel Booking Service
Let me tell you a little secret.
Most of the online hotel booking services are filled with bloated prices. booking.com *cough *cough.
Recently, I wanted to lodge in a particular hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.
I did a quick search for the hotel on Google and saw a few ads advertising the hotel.
62k, 70k, 59k.
Those were the prices I got from some of the sponsored ads.
In my mind I was just thinking. Hmm…these people think I’m a foreigner oh.
So, I just decided to walk into the hotel and see what they got.
Could you believe that the most expensive rooms in this particular hotel didn’t cost more than 50k.
Those were the rooms being advertised online for up to 70k.
Anyways, I was able to get a comfortable room for 25k in that same hotel.
So, why am I telling this story?
There is obviously an arbitrage opportunity for anyone who can take the initiative to create a local hotel booking service that can serve foreigners in an affordable way.
Many of today’s hotel booking services are so insanely pricey that you’d begin to wonder if it’s the same hotel that is being advertised.
Imagine if you could have a platform that offers affordable local hotel booking plus other allied services such as tour guide, personal security, etc.
You’d be making real good money.
Create a Tour Security Service
Tour security is a secret money spinner for many local security agencies.
These security agencies provide security for both local affluent individuals and foreigners who are new to the country.
Many tour security services also serve as tour guides for affluent foreigners who want to tour inner cities or places where security might not be guaranteed.
You might need a paramilitary license and other regulatory compliance to be able to set up a security service, depending on which country you want to operate in.
But there’s definitely money in this, as a pivotal service for the hospitality industry.
Offer Hotel Website Services
Most people would argue that hotel websites are no longer necessary due to the popularity of Google business pages.
But hotel websites have proven to increase bookings and conversion more than just having a Google business page.
With a business page, customers can only call for inquiries, buy with a website, customers can browse a bouquet of room types and make a confirmed booking in real time.
Many hotel owners are willing to pay handsomely for a good website developer and manager.
You could build a business out of that if you have the required web development skill or if you have the right techdev network.
Offer Hotel & Restaurant CCTV Installation Services
Almost every hotel or restaurant these days has CCTV cameras.
If you add up the numerous hotels and restaurants nationwide, you’d see that there is a huge market for CCTV Installation and maintenance.
These hotels and restaurants utilize the services of different CCTV technicians; so it doesn’t matter who made the installation in the first place.
You could acquire some skill in this area and start offering your CCTV services even beyond hotels and restaurants.
Many private and public offices, schools, churches, and even banks have expense budgets for utilities like CCTV cameras.
So, this could be another way to squeeze some income from the hospitality industry.
Offer Sports Tourism Services
Sports tourism is huge, especially in Africa.
Amateur sports players, mostly footballers, pay huge fees to engage in sports tourism within and outside Africa.
Many of these football camps and trial events are not free, and they cost money both in acquiring visa, transport tickets, and accomodation.
If you’re knowledgeable in these areas, then you can create sports tourism packages for specific sports or tournaments.
You could even work with sports agents and institutions to provide logistics for players attending their events, and you’ll get paid handsomely for that.
Offer Hotel Laundry Services
Hotels do outsource their laundry to external businesses who either hire paid washers or they do it inhouse.
Hotel bed sheets and duvets are changed per customer, and washed by the laundry at a fraction of the cost of booking the room.
It is important to note that this business is quite competitive, since most hotels would already have washers since inception.
Unless they advertise for this service, you’d need to pitch mostly to new hotels who are yet to contract any laundry services.
To set up a laundry service, you’ll need a washing and drying space, the right washing equipment, and some workers who would be responsible for picking the sheets and doing the washing.
All you have to do is manage the whole process and make sure that the staff are delivering a top notch service.
Offer Dedicated Chauffeur Services
Chauffeur Services are a very important link in the hospitality chain.
Many individuals traveling to a country for the first time usually need a dedicated chauffeur to drive them around and even show them choice locations.
And they pay good money for these services.
You could bank on this by creating a dedicated chauffeur service with local drivers who know the terrain.
You can work with owners of Airbnbs and short let apartments, to add your chauffeur service to their offerings and then give them a cut of the profit.
There are just so many ways to make alliances and expand the channels for making money with this.
Create A Private Jet Booking Service
Class. Prestige. Everyone wants to ride in a private jet.
Ok, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people want to show off in a private jet at least.
You could help them live that fantasy by creating a private jet booking service.
There’s currently one I know of in Nigeria, where you could either book a private jet to fly or book one for a photo session for your Instagram.
And I kid you not, there are more people booking for an Instagram photoshoot on a PJ than actual flyers.
And they are paying really good money for it.
You could jump right in and be the link between private jet enthusiasts and their dreams.
Create A Holiday Spa Service
A spa service is an evergreen business that thrives both in good economic times and bad economic times.
It’s a service targeted at the rich and affluent, and could be a good money spinner for salons looking to boost their income.
The good thing is that a spa can be a standalone business, with a host of body care services such as:
- Body piercing
- Hair waxing
- Manicure & pedicure
To maximize profit, you could set up a spa in affluent areas or in areas that enjoy an influx of foreign tourists.
Locations close to beaches, resorts, embassies, and boat clubs could be ideal to set up a spa service such as this.
But most importantly, you’d have to deliver top notch services to keep a spa business thriving.
Offer Hotel Cleaning Services
Just like laundry services, hotels need cleaning services too.
Most hotels would likely hire the services of a company that does both cleaning and laundry services together, but you can compete by niche and price.
Hotel cleaning services involve tidying the room, washing the restroom, and mopping the corridors.
Many hotels need this done once a day while others need it between customer check-outs and check-ins.
You could set up a cleaning services company with a few cleaner staff, and start pitching your business to hotels around you.
Since the service is not a unique one, your price would need to be very affordable and competitive to get considered.
And when you get a contract, it’s usually a lucrative one since it’s a long-term service offering.
In cases where hotels hire cleaners directly, you could pitch your business to serve as a recruiter for the hotel; interviewing and screening cleaning staff before getting them hired for the hotel.
Most hotels would be happy to outsource that process, since recruiters would be paid commissions off the cleaners salary.
That’s how you get paid either way.
Create a Boat/Yacht Ride Booking Service
If you live in a coastal city or region, starting a booking service for boat ride or a yacht ride could be a profitable business to start.
In Nigeria, the top coastal city is Lagos. But there are others such as Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, and Port-harcourt.
You could set up an online service that helps individuals and groups on tours to book boat rides or yacht rides.
If possible, you could even create events around your bookings to make it more interesting and capture more customers.
The good thing is that booking a boat or yacht in Nigeria is yet to get mainstream. In fact, it is not advertised enough.
If you wanted to book a yacht ride in Nigeria today, you’d have to make a lot of calls and beg people to help you schedule a ride.
Here’s a huge opportunity for hospitality entrepreneurs and investors to come in, simplify the process and make money.
Offer Medical Tourism Services
Medical tourism is a process of traveling abroad for medical or healthcare purposes.
Some medical tourism activities include:
- Childbirth tourism
- General surgery tourism
- General healthcare tourism
- Plastic surgery tourism
- Organ donor tourism
- Medical research participation tourism
- Aged care tourism
These types of tourism are in high demand in many countries of the world, Nigeria included, and is quite lucrative for providers.
You could set up a medical tourism services business that helps individuals get medical reports and visas for medical tourism to countries abroad.
I recently met a doctor who specialized in offering medical tourism services in Nigeria.
He specialized in providing medical reports for general healthcare tourism to countries in Europe and Asia.
General tourism usually requires a doctor’s report that proves to the consular officer that the needed medical service cannot be gotten in Nigeria.
This doc makes good money by just finding loopholes to prove that an individual should get medical attention abroad, and that is just one part of the whole medical tourism business.
If you could organize a team to offer a comprehensive medical tourism services business for a particular high-demand niche, it wouldn’t be long before you start cashing out.
Create A Hotel Staffing Agency
I’ve always had this idea in my list of top profitable ideas to start in Nigeria.
What I discovered is that most recruitment agencies are focused on offering general services to many different industries.
But what about niching down and focusing on recruiting for the hospitality industry?
The good thing about the hospitality industry is that most jobs are short-term. Staff go and staff come, so there is always demand both from employers and employees alike.
If you can set up a website or social media platform that focuses on hotel staffing for different positions, you’d get a lot of applicants willing to pay to use your service.
And that will be money flowing into your bank account.
Create a Service For Hot Air Balloon Rides
Hot air balloon rides are one of the favorite tourist activities you can think of.
Most tourists want to explore as many holiday events and activities as possible, and are willing to pay good money for it.
The good news is that only a few places in Africa offer hot air balloon rides.
A few licensed resorts already do this, but they are far too few as compared to what is obtainable in other developed climes.
If you could get a license to offer hot air balloon rides, you can partner with a resort or park to offer your services to visitors and tourists.
And you will earn top dollars doing that.
Create A Service For Beach Horseback Rides
If you are not able to set up a service for hot air balloon rides, then starting a service for beach horseback rides is a good alternative, especially in Nigeria.
Not only are beach horseback rides cheaper to set up, you don’t need a license to startup a service for it.
You only have to rent a local horseman per day and then get people on the beach to pay a small fee to take turns on the horseback ride.
This is more likely an arbitrage business, so you’ll need to get your itinerary right by only stationing at beaches where people visit a lot, and at prime times like weekends.
This service could also go hand-in-hand with a photography business, since most people who do horseback rides at the beach do them for photography purposes.
So, this could potentially be a way to earn money in two ways.
Offer Holiday Errand Services
Truly, this hospitality business is one potentially lucrative side business anyone could engage in.
Not only is demand high, the cost of setting up is almost non-existent, and you can easily do a quick run and make some fast money.
Most tourists and holiday visitors are always glad to have errand services included in their lodging packages.
This is because many tourists, especially those is Airbnb’s or shortlet apartments who are staying for more than a week, do not want to waste time shopping or trying to navigate the local market.
They could eat some fast food at the beginning, but with time, cravings for home cooked food or other needs will arise.
But many tourists do not want to visit the markets, instead they want to hang around more exciting places where they could create highlights for their trips.
Personally, I’m always thankful when I get an errand service included in my travel package, especially one with a list of popular shopping lists.
It’s an ultimate life saver for any traveler or tourist who is visiting a place for the first time, and most would be glad to pay money for this.
You could set up a holiday errand service in your locality and partner with Airbnbs and vacation rentals around the area.
If you offer them a reasonable share of the income generated, you could be in for some lucrative money making venture in the hospitality sector.
Create Personalized Pilgrimage Services
Pilgrimaging is a big deal in Africa and for Africans.
People pay lots of money just to go on pilgrimages at least once per year, and even the government subsidizes pilgrimages once in a while.
You could set up a personalized pilgrimage service that specializes in helping people access customized pilgrimages in a quick and simple way.
Most pilgrims are always looking for ways to ease the stress of organizing their pilgrimages, that is why they do it in groups or via recognized institutions.
You could create such a service that helps them organize their pilgrimages from scratch. That would include choice of pilgrimage, visa, itinerary, and even personalized services.
If you can carve a niche for your pilgrimage service, and market it purposefully, you’d soon have a lot of potential travelers begging you to take their money.
Create A Hotel Supply Agency
Hotel supply is one of the largest sub-sector of the hospitality industry.
Hotels worldwide spend billions of dollars in supply of raw materials, product items and consumables on a weekly or monthly basis.
And supply vendors and agencies are making a killing just by sourcing and supplying these items based on demand.
You could set up a hotel supply agency either within a niche or in general supply, and make good money doing so.
You’ll need to equip yourself in marketing and communications, networking, and supply management.
These are all skills you could learn if you put in the time to learn about the industry and their buying patterns.
The good thing about this supply business is that most supply contracts last a very long time, so you’ll enjoy a guaranteed income for a one-time successful marketing engagement.
Offer Resort Marketing Services
Still on marketing.
The hospitality industry is big on marketing spend. Mostly on branding, travel centered events, and leisure.
If you’re into marketing, then you can quickly carve a niche for yourself by diverting your skills into the hospitality sector.
The plan is to position as a hotel/resort marketing agency for the hospitality industry, and not just an individual marketer.
The niche angle would work quite well and give you a reputation as an authority in the industry.
If you could get as many as 10 big hotels or resorts under your agency to advertise their products and market their programs, you could be making quite a reasonable income on a yearly basis.
Offer Tailored Travel Insurance Services
Travel Insurance is a necessity for many travelers and tourists. It’s as important as having an internet subscription on your phone.
According to Grandviewresearch, as of 2022, the global travel insurance industry is worth over $20 billion.
This means that travelers and tourists world over, spend billions of dollars yearly in travel insurance, which is an integral part of their travel documents.
You could cut your own pie from this by setting up a service that offers tailored travel insurance for travelers.
You could either scale this service done to a niche or you could offer general travel insurance.
For example, those traveling for medical tourism would require specialist insurance, as against normal travel insurance.
This specialist insurance is more expensive and would require more financial outlay.
Niching down on this would mean that you make more money as travelers are spending more on their insurance ticket.
The hospitality industry is huge and offers numerous opportunities for making money if you’re savvy to do the research and hard work.
From my experience, almost any skill you could think of is applicable to this industry and can be turned into any one of the many hospitality business ideas out there.
And the good news is that big spenders abound in this industry.
So, you could make a career switch and tailor your skills to start offering products and services to hospitality clients, and make good money for yourself.
It only begins with identifying a hospitality niche with reasonable demand and matching it with your skills, product or service.