Travel Counsellors broke sales records in the peak holiday booking month of January with global revenues of £77.4 million.

This represented 15% year-on-year growth for the independent group, which has more than 1,700 self-employed franchisees running their own travel businesses across seven countries.

Travel Counsellors’ UK sales also beat previous records, with the £56.8 million secured last month – up 18%.

This includes the highest sales figure achieved in a single day, with £4.4 million achieved on January 31. This was the first time that Travel Counsellors has surpassed the £4 million mark for a day in its history.

Seven of the firm’s top ten largest sales days were achieved last month with Fridays proving to be the most active day of the week for holiday bookings.

The final three Fridays the month saw accumulated sales of £11.5 million.

Record levels of bookings on the final day of the month came via in-house technology platform, Phenix, with £2 million in sales on January 31.

The company’s own TC Packages made up £1.4 million of this total, enabling Travel Counsellors to act as the tour operator, tailor-making bespoke packages.

As a result, 340 of Travel Counsellors’ business owners marked their best ever sales month in January.

The Maldives saw the biggest year-on-year growth in bookings, followed by Canada, Hawaii, Croatia, Turkey and Japan.

Spain remained the most booked destination, with the US, Greece, Italy and Dubai also seeing strong levels of demand.

Cruise packages rose by 14% on January last year.

Travel Counsellors made a donation pledge of £3,000 to Reuben’s Retreat, its partner charity in the UK, as a result of bookings made on the final day of the month, combined with individual donations on the day.

Global sales director Jim Eastwood said: “We have been focused on supporting our 1,700 Travel Counsellors globally throughout the busy booking period, so they are able to focus on providing the very best service and levels of care to their customers.

“It’s this care and trust that is becoming central to the booking process over anything else. This is where our Travel Counsellors excel, enabling them to build their businesses through customer loyalty and referrals.

“This is reflected in the fact that in January two thirds of our sales came from existing clients, and the remaining third through new business acquired primarily through referrals. It’s clear people are looking to travel but also want a positive booking experience that starts long before the actual booking itself, and a trusted advisor who is available long after the holiday or trip.”

Travel Counsellors has seen consistent levels of growth for the last 11 years, with turnover reaching £188 million in the 12 months to October 2016, according to latest figures.