Travel Counsellors has reported an increase in interest from travel agencies looking to migrate their businesses to its model.
The company, which sees up to a quarter of its global community of over 1,900 franchisees run leisure travel agency operations or corporate travel management firms from home or shared offices, is in discussions with 10+ independent agency owners “seeking security for their businesses following the Covid-19 pandemic”.
The numbers of corporate and leisure business owners using the business platform was increasing by 25% year-on-year before the crisis, including instances where owners of bricks and mortar agencies transitioned their business and entire support teams to work remotely and operate under the Travel Counsellors brand.
Travel Counsellors corporate travel managing director Kieran Hartwell said: “The conversations we’re having with agency owners are revealing that despite many businesses being able to open again, the period of time they remained closed has provided pause to reflect.
“It’s key that the industry now pulls together to support each other, which includes reaching out to smaller, independent agencies and travel management companies who may still be feeling uncertain about the future, with the message is that we are here to help, and more importantly, we are here to help keep talented people in an industry they love.”
A recent survey of nearly 400 people in the company’s recruitment audiences revealed that 65% of travel professionals were concerned about their future career in travel, with a third of the respondents confirming they were currently on furlough.
Despite concerns, 70% said they still felt confident about running a travel business from home in the future, with 60% saying they’re still planning to launch a new business this year.
Overall, the company’s enquiries to launch new leisure and corporate business with Travel Counsellors are up by 20%. The survey further revealed that one of the main concerns potential new business owners had was ensuring complete financial protection for their customers in deciding who to migrate their travel agency to, or launch a new business with.
The company’s Travel Counsellors and their customers are offered peace of mind through its financial trust, which was highlighted as a key concern for travel professionals when starting their own businesses.
The company continues to report week-on-week sales increases as the lockdown restrictions ease, and expects this trend to continue.