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22 Nov 2018

BY Pippa Jacks

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TRFBLI

TC recruitment drive aims to attract non-retail professionals

Travel professionals who do not have frontline sales experience are joining Travel Counsellors through a new training programme – including Attraction World’s former head of trade marketing, Gail Dunwoodie.

Gail Dunwoodie and Audrey the dog, Travel Counsellors
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“There is nothing in the industry that provides a course like this, and this will be completely tailored to their training needs and the support they need in running their own successful travel business from home.”

The Travel Trade recruitment scheme is designed for professionals who might have several years’ experience in the industry, but have never sold a holiday.


The company reports that 10% of new-starter enquiries in the last 12 months came from those with tour operator, airline or hotel experience as opposed to retail.


The 20-week training programme includes a full week induction at HQ in Manchester to learn Travel Counsellors’ booking systems, followed by additional digital and face-to-face training sessions and support.


Dunwoodie, who left Attraction World “after 20 amazing years” in September, said she had considered becoming a homeworker for some time. “I met a Travel Counsellor in Florida 18 months ago and she was so happy, with work fitting around her life. I would have had to join the Travel Counsellors Academy for those with no travel experience, which was too expensive for me at £12,000.


“Then Travel Counsellors introduced this new programme, at £6,000, so I decided to go for it.”


Dunwoodie is one of 14 new recruits on the programme, and she says the support from her peers and from head office, has been “fantastic”.


Flexible working has allowed her to support a family member, and to fulfil her dream of getting a puppy.


“I’d always wanted a dog but was full-time in an office, so it wouldn’t have been fair. I wasn’t planning to get one so soon, but Ivrie in head office said, ‘Don’t wait, just get her!’”


Travel Counsellors’ chief commercial officer and managing director, Kirsten Hughes, said: “It’s becoming more important to offer these individuals the opportunity to stay in an industry they love and open up new career paths to them.


“There is nothing in the industry that provides a course like this, and this will be completely tailored to their training needs and the support they need in running their own successful travel business from home.”

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