Three former Thomas Cook agents band together to open new agency

Three former Thomas Cook agents have banded together to open a new travel agency in Larne, Northern Ireland.

Louise Magill, Caroline Hunter and Ella Whiteside, who were left out of work following the travel giant’s collapse in September, opened Holiday Hotspot on Saturday.

It is now one of two agencies in the town, alongside the former Thomas Cook branch that has since re-opened as Hays Travel.

The three agents all have shares in the business which means the better it performs, the more they take home.

Magill said: “We had to keep everything fair, we’re all in it together and it helps us work better as a team.”

Holiday Hotspot joined The Global Travel Group. Magill said: “I’d known a few agents who were Global members, the feedback was great so we used them as our preferred group Atol.

“They have been very supportive. They are one of the largest [consortia] but not the largest and so it feels like a family.”

The trio have 80 combined years of experience in the travel industry including their time together at the Larne branch of Thomas Cook.

“We wanted to be in charge of our own destiny”, said Cahill. “At Thomas Cook we didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes. We were devastated when it collapsed, it was our livelihoods and we had lost that security. With our own business it’s more secure now and we can see day-to-day how the business is doing, whereas before we only knew how our shop was doing, not the entire company.”

Magill said the way business is set up incentivises the team to perform. She said: “Rather than having individual targets, we know what we need to achieve day to day. We’re all doing it together to achieve the same outcome to make our business viable.”

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