An increasing number of Travel Counsellors agents are employing their own staff or partnering with fellow agents to “liberate talents” and grow their business.

Travel Counsellors claims to have developed five types of home‑based models to meet the differing needs of its agents.

These are: the employment model – travel counsellors with their own limited companies and a team of staff; travel counsellors who partner with fellow agents remotely and set up reciprocal commercial terms; groups of travel counsellors who share offices and pool their income; those who manage an account but have a team to fulfil the bookings; and those working solo from home.

Chief executive Steve Byrne said the last of these is still the heart of the business, but other ways of working which play to the individual strengths and needs of its travel counsellors had emerged.

Byrne said: “Historically, the model is that we have a network of industry people working from home, self-employed, using our platform and commercial deals for corporate, leisure and cruise.

“What has happened over time is that travel counsellors are adopting different operating models. To scale your business, you have to liberate talents, and you reach a point where you can’t do everything yourself.

“There’s no limit to what you can do. When I joined, the top seller turned over, say, £1 million, but it’s now £5 million and the reason they can get there is because they have the ability to do more than they were able to do.

“Equally, it might not be to scale; it might be for a better work-life balance or to specialise.”

Between January 2018 and January 2019, 190 travel counsellors joined the company and 40 new agents are due to start this month.

More: Big Interview: Steve Byrne, chief executive of Travel Counsellors