InteleTravel claims it is attracting more recruits from “a professional background” who have lost their jobs from other sectors during the pandemic.
It also says “newbies coming in” with no travel experience are embracing the industry and its opportunities.
UK managing director Tricia Handley-Hughes, said the group had lost about 500 agents over the last 12 months, but had added about 500 new members, meaning the total was static at around 10,500.
“We have had an influx of people who used to be accountants, lawyers and personal assistants in big corporate entities,” she said. “We have also welcomed policemen and women.
“These people have come in and are booking domestic holidays for the tail end of 2021 and into 2022 in particular, and the more they do, the more motivated they are.”
Handley-Hughes said “the mix has changed”, explaining that it was mostly those who were focused entirely on travel who had been lost during the downturn, while those who were InteleTravel agents part-time and had other jobs in less affected sectors had survived.
“All of the agents that joined us two years ago had to endure a lot of negativity, but that’s really calmed down now,” she said. “These agents are now well-trained, are selling with confidence, doing good business for our suppliers and earning great commissions.”
Handley-Hughes said her top 10 agents had booked over £204,000 worth of business in May this year – with the top three individual bookings worth £35,000, £27,000 and £22,000 respectively.
“Sales are way ahead of what we expected. It’s a lot of domestic for this year – and then long-haul to places like Dubai and the Maldives for next year,” she said.
Handley-Hughes claimed the group had worked hard to take on new domestic suppliers to help with product while international travel is so limited.
“We are working with the likes of Hoseasons, Great Little Breaks, Mr & Mrs Smith and Railbookers to name just a few,” she said.
She also claimed that InteleTravel had been launching “two new preferred partners a month” since January 2021, taking the total number of preferred partners to 75.
She said suppliers were happy with the business InteleTravel was giving them.
Railbookers managing director Peter Traynor said: “We have a very fruitful relationship with InteleTravel and expect the partnership to go from strength to strength.
“InteleTravel agents are very positive, enthusiastic and keen to learn more about our products. They also deliver results for us.”
Great Little Breaks director of trade relations Chris Cundall added: “Our relationship with InteleTravel is very strong and they are one of the largest travel trade partners we have.
“Their agents are very enthusiastic and keen to do the training. They are also very savvy on social media, which is great for us as we use it to promote our holidays.”
Instant Breaks managing director Mark Jones said: “The relationship with InteleTravel is in its infancy, but so far has been very positive. InteleTravel agents are very enthusiastic and are bringing in business when Disneyland Paris is closed.
“We’re excited about the future of the partnership and we expect business from InteleTravel to be very strong when the parks open.”
InteleTravel is to hold an annual conference in Valencia this autumn, with 200 to 300 agents expected to attend.
The event, from October 14-16, will feature Travel Corporation chief executive Brett Tollman as a keynote speaker, motivational speaker Moira McGregor who will talk about how she created a six-figure business in 12 months, and includes the option of post-conference fam trips around the region.
Suppliers from the cruise, domestic and touring sectors will be supporting the event, including Trafalgar, Uniworld, Wendy Wu Tours, Leger Shearings and Virgin Voyages, said UK managing director Tricia Handley-Hughes.