The Global Travel Group says it is witnessing an unprecedented boom in interest in travel agency franchises as a result of the number of redundancies during the recession.
The group has 360 franchise members, while its Independent Options membership now stands at 354. Membership was boosted recently after Harvey World Travel shops, bought by member Vacation Travel, joined Independent Options.
In the last 18 weeks, nine new franchises have signed up to Global.
Group general manager Dave Clayton said the current climate had encouraged more people to set up their own travel franchises.
He said: “We are struggling to cope with the number of enquiries for franchises; it’s booming. It’s the best response we’ve had for years. There is a real appetite for franchises and I think it’s down to people losing their job and wanting to control their own destiny.”
Global lowered its prices to sign up as a franchise in anticipation of tougher times in the current market, but Clayton admitted he may have to review prices in view of interest from potential new members.
“I don’t think the interest we are getting is due to the price reduction, but now I think I’ll have to take on someone else or put the prices back up,” he added.
The current sign-up fee is £9,995 instead of £14,995, giving agents access to its technology, commissions, bonding, training and marketing support.