The owner of Altitude Luxury Travel is inviting agents who specialise in selected destinations and activity niches to join his Niche Travel Brands network.
Rob Burley will offer independent agents the chance to receive sales leads in return for a “mutually beneficial share of commission” from converted bookings.
The venture will initially target specialists in adventure, outdoor and nature travel, in the Canadian Rockies, US national parks, northern Europe and Nordic countries.
A member of the Travel Trust Association, Altitude Luxury Travel is based in Sheffield and specialises in selling packages to motorsports and American football events.
As the pandemic hit sales last year, Burley set up agent training company Niche Travel Brands during the first England lockdown.
His training course, Travel Expert Accelerator, helps agents identify niche products and market them to the right customers.
In November, he launched a series of podcasts called Travel Business Marketing Made Simple which appeared on his company’s website nichetravelbrands.com and channels such as Spotify and iTunes.
“The third part of my big plan is creating a network of agents,” he said.
“I have brought the plan forward and I am working on it full-time now.
“It is like a homeworking model and the agents can build some additional revenue.”
Leads will be created through online advertising on search engines, which is the model on which Burley built his business for Formula 1 trips.
The commission split will initially be about 60:40 in his favour.
“I have no plans to charge a fee and no desire to be the next Travel Counsellors,” he commented.
“This does not need to be big; I just want a small network of agents who know their destination inside-out.”
He said the ideal candidates would be members of organisations such as the Travel Trust Association and Protected Trust Services.
He has started inviting agents on social media and sent out emails to 700 agencies on his database, asking if they would like to apply via his website.
“I hope to launch the website and leads generator by the end of March as the vaccine is rolled out further and more countries are welcoming travellers,” he said.
Burley is working with a business consultant and solicitor to draw up contracts, to ensure the venture is well-planned and properly established.
He will also train the appointed agents and offer them marketing materials.
The agents will also be able to refer clients to each other – such as a Canada specialist sending an Iceland inquiry to an Icelandic specialist and vice-versa.