Scottish travel agent Conor Campbell has opened a high street agency in Crieff, near Perth, at the age of 22.
The young entrepreneur aims to recruit staff who have been made redundant during the pandemic.
He has run an online travel agency, Conor Campbell Travel, for the past 18 months, as a member of Independent Travel Experts, the homeworking division of The Travel Network Group.
However, he has had to survive largely on his savings since the Covid-19 crisis began March, as he worked to help his clients and preserve his reputation.
Campbell said: “I had been helping book holidays for my family and friends since I was around 16, but my first real job in the industry was with Tui in Stirling when I was 19.”
He said ITE gave him “a fantastic platform to be successful”, adding: “I would recommend anyone joining the industry with little or no experience to consider Independent Travel Experts as an excellent stepping stone.
“Having reached a point in which I feel I can step forward independently, I along with my new business partner have taken on a new venture to open a high street store and create our own mini travel consortium.”
The new venture on the high street in Crieff is a member of the Protected Trust Services group.
“My business partner, Stephen Dennis, and I were both homeworkers with ITE. I trade as Conor Campbell Travel and Stephen as Queensferry Travel,” said Campbell.
“We are now both working under the one PTS membership, as directors of Travel Inspired Limited.
“The name is Travel Inspired on the shop but the business we sell will be a combination of people coming off the street and booking with Stephen and me, while our online clients still book through our brands CCT and QFT.
“We chose this name as we want to recruit agents like us and give them the option to have their own brand but also the opportunity to come in and work in the shop if they want to.”
Originally from Airdrie, Campbell attributes his early success to his followers on social media, where he has nearly 8,000 followers on Facebook and over 10,000 on Instagram.
“I run competitions which have really increased my following,” he said.
“My posts with travel tips and deals have sent my number of followers soaring.
“I am committed to building my online brand whilst running the shop.
“Facebook and Instagram analytics tell me that my posts have been reaching an audience of over one million people, which is amazing.”
He was “overwhelmed” by support from his social media followers, clients, colleagues and friends when he announced his new high street shop.
“My aim is to go above and beyond and provide an exceptional experience for the customer from start to finish,” he said.
“I love booking luxury trips for my clients, as well as cruises and city breaks to the likes of New York, Dubai and Las Vegas.”