Traditional travel agencies are looking to “migrate” their businesses to Travel Counsellors’ home-based business support model.
The company revealed it is in discussions with more than ten independent agency owners seeking security for their businesses following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Travel Counsellors supports up to a quarter of its global community of 1,900 franchisees to run leisure travel agency operations or corporate travel management firms from home or shared offices.
These numbers were 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 are 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%.
One of the main concerns potential new business owners had is ensuring complete financial protection for their customers in deciding who to migrate their travel agency to, or launch a new business with, the survey also revealed
Travel Counsellors chief executive Steve Byrne said: “We have a proven, successful business model supported by a technology and community-powered platform, and we want to ensure that passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who have built successful travel businesses over many years feel like they always have somewhere to turn to for help and advice, and are aware of the opportunities available to them.
“We feel there is a real synergy between the customer experience that many independent agencies deliver, and the people-focussed approach we champion at Travel Counsellors, with a global community of like-minded, caring travel professionals who support and look out for each other, and their customers.
“For our part we’re focused on supporting our global community of business owners to advise their customers on their corporate and leisure travel plans as the world opens up for travel again.
“Now, more than ever, is the time for experienced, trusted travel advisors to shine, demonstrate their value and show care for their customers like no one else can.”
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