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12 Mar 2018

BY James Chapple


Travel Counsellors reaches out to embattled high street agents

Travel Counsellors says it has stepped in to fill the void left by troubled high street travel agencies.

Travel Counsellors Michelle Wilson.jpg

Franchisees have doubled in the past three years, Travel Counsellors claims, with more than 300 people setting up their own businesses with the company in 2017 alone.


The agency network said it now has 1,800 self-employed consultants on its books - and expects this to rise beyond 2,000 this year.


Following Thomas Cook’s announcement last week it was shutting a further 27 stores, putting more than 200 jobs at risk, Travel Counsellors UK managing director Kirsten Hughes said the firm appealed to those facing “uncertain futures” in the industry.


Over the past three years, Travel Counsellors has attracted 513 new franchisees in the UK and says those joining are enjoying record earnings, while 340 business owners celebrated their best sales month ever in January.


It is now appealing for travel professionals to get in touch and has opened up its mini conference events next month to those considering setting up their own travel franchise.


Besides its annual conference in Glasgow, there will be TC roadshows in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, London, Manchester and York this year.


“A key focus of our business is attracting the very best travel professionals to take control of their own destinies and run their own successful business,” said Hughes, who added the numbers were proof “there is a future” for caring travel consultants who “put customer service at the heart of what they do”.


“The last thing we want to see is travel professionals leave an industry they love,” she added.


“We are keen to discuss these options with them and also for them to speak to other agents from the high street who have made the move and are reaping the rewards.”


Cambridge based Michelle Wilson joined Travel Counsellors two years ago after 27 years working on the high street.


“I haven’t regretted it for a single day,” she said. “You work hard but get the rewards in return, and have the benefit of a great support team behind you. I’m earning more and the best thing is I get to spend more time with my family – the girl shopping trips with my daughter are her personal highlight.”


Elsewhere, TC has welcomed nearly 100 new counsellors in the Netherlands since 2015, 88 in Australia and 65 in South Africa, as well as rises in Dubai, Ireland and Belgium.

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