Not Just Travel says it plans to double in size over the next twelve months with the creation of four new divisions – taking advantage of what it expects to be a “travel gold rush”.
The homeworking group, which has more than 800 agents on its books, expects the trend of working from home to continue when Covid restrictions ease.
It said March 2021 had been a “record month” both in terms of franchise sales as well as holiday bookings.
Co-founder Steve Witt said Not Just Travel plans to create four new divisions in the business in the next year, which will be announced at a later date and cover recruitment, sales, referrals and the group’s ‘customer offering’.
He said each will “act like separate businesses” and claimed that they will “make Not Just Travel the dominant force in our industry” and “drive more profit for its members”.
The group said it has invested “significantly” in new technology to support business and customer growth; including a business management platform and a “bespoke” customer database.
Witt said: “We have done incredibly well during the pandemic. We’ve continued to maintain, invest and grow the business. Our trade partners have been telling us how strong our holiday sales are compared to our competitors.”
Not Just Travel reported that it took 50% more holiday sales in March than in January, with an average booking value of £4,356 – up from £2,800 in 2019.
Witt said: “March 2021 was our busiest month in 14 months and nearly double our average month for the last two years.
“It really does show how there is so much pent-up consumer demand for travel, as well as how consumer confidence is bouncing back.”
He noted holidaymakers booking further in advance, with more than 60% of bookings from winter 2021-22 onwards. “In the past that would be more like 20%,” said Witt, who said the recent spike in staycations was evidenced through the UK being the number one destination, selling at a 3:1 ration against the US in second spot.
Not Just Travel said it recruited double the number of new franchisees in March than the monthly average for the last quarter, and three times the average for the last 12 months, and had “qualified enquiries” than any other month since January 2019.
Witt added: “The last 12 months have been tough on the entire industry, but we’ve used the time to plan and prepare for rapid growth over the next 12 months.
“This consistent success throughout the hardest times means we can be confident, bold and expand ahead of the travel gold rush. This is a new beginning for the travel industry and the next two years will be a boom time.
“As a result, we will see an even bigger and stronger family of staff, travel consultants and homeworkers, each focused on helping even more customers find their dream holidays. As part of this, we look forward to creating more opportunities for those people already in travel to be involved.”
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