Ellie Fowler, director of The Travel Business, tells Madeleine Barber how she’s built a successful travel agency in South Wales and why she was so driven to do so
There aren’t many people that can say they launched a successful business venture aged 23, but Ellie Fowler is one such person. She opened The Travel Business, a high-street travel agency based in Newport, South Wales, four years ago and has since grown annual turnover from £200,000 to £1 million in the space of just two years.
How? “There’s not a marketing strategy I don’t think I’ve tried,” the now-27-year-old laughs. “Some of them work, some of them don’t!”
Ellie puts the majority of the agency’s success down to word of mouth, social media and a lot of hard work. Unusually, she cites LinkedIn as the most successful platform for her, having grown her following to 20,000.
“People trust me on there, maybe because it’s a more serious platform, and they come to me for both business and personal travel,” she says, adding that group bookings were also a large contributor to the agency’s growth.
Launching The Travel Business seemed inevitable for Ellie since her parents have been in the industry her whole lifetime, owning a travel agency together until 15 years ago when her father took it on solo.
Although Ellie did a degree in teaching, she says she knew she “needed” to run a travel business: “I have a passion for business and a passion for travel so [opening an agency] was a no-brainer.”