A travel agency is recruiting for a further 20 homeworkers in a bid to come out of the coronavirus pandemic ready to meet pent-up demand.
Arrive Relax Travel, based in Southend in Essex, already has five ‘travel designers’ working from home in different parts of the country.
Directors Richard Dobinson and Angela Akister, both former homeworkers, set up the agency just under two years ago with the aim of creating a closely supported network of agents.
Akister said: “We actively work with our homeworkers which is why we have grown at the rate we have. We don’t just take them on and leave them to it.
“We give them constant training and help them design their own homepages and do marketing for them to tap in the market rather than waiting for customers to come to us.”
Akister said the agency was looking for 20 more agents over the next 12 months, and insisted now was the right time to recruit.
She said: “It would have been insensitive to do it at the start of the lockdown. We are in the middle of May we are seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
“People are getting lockdown fatigue. Now is the time to start being positive and look forward and build on it.”
Dobinson said the recruitment drive demonstrated the business was optimistic about its future, and said training had been increased during the lockdown to ensure agents were ready for when the situation changes.
He said: “Of course money is tight for everybody in the industry and you have to spend it wisely. But there will be an upturn and people will want to book a holiday at some point. There will be positives out of this and when the market picks up we will be ready to take those calls. We are confident about the future.”
The agency has reduced joining fees from £350 to £250 and is deferring some of its initial £50 monthly fees as part of its recruitment drive for new agents.
It recruits agents from different areas so that travel designers have the town they work in “exclusively”. They are currently working in Rotherham, Bath, Sunbury, Richmond and Woking.
Podcast: Which?’s Rory Boland and Abta’s Alistair Rowland