A year of ‘phenomenal growth in sales and recruitment’ for The Travel Franchise

It was a landmark year for The Travel Franchise in 2023, as the company increased holiday sales by more than a third and added many more franchisees to its growing network.

A year of ‘phenomenal growth in sales and recruitment’ for The Travel Franchise

Co-owner waxes lyrical at company’s annual conference.

It was a landmark year for The Travel Franchise in 2023, as the company increased holiday sales by more than a third and added many more franchisees to its growing network. And there was no better place to celebrate such stunning information but at the annual conference which took place a few weeks ago in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

There was also the little matter of being ranked 12th in the Elite Franchise Top 100 list which was published last December. Co-founder of The Travel Franchise, Paul Harrison, couldn’t contain his delight when he said: “Having over 400 consultants in the room for our annual conference is testament to how the company has grown so quickly.

“This is down to the strength of our passionate consultants and expert corporate teams. Our holiday sales grew by 36.6% in 2023. And this is remarkable when compared to many other travel companies.

“It’s even more impressive when you consider that 98% of franchisees have joined us from outside the travel industry. This illustrates the high level of training and support we offer and this is why we are attracting a high number of new business partners.”

Another reason why The Travel Franchise is so popular is that it refunds franchise fees to those businesses that perform well during their first year of trading. The annual conference welcomed 400 consultants – who operate under the Not Just Travel brand – along with 50 corporate teams.

Paul Harrison founded the company in partnership with Steve Witt, and the former explained to the audience that the franchise had made a few high-profile appointments. He also announced that they were introducing several new initiatives.

Paul added: “It was a phenomenal year in terms of holiday sales, profit and franchisee recruitment. We’ve paid more commission to our travel franchisees than ever before. Every year, our business develops and evolves.

“The investment we’re putting into people, resources, technology and training will help us grow even more during the next five years. In 2023, we recruited twice as many franchisees as we did the previous year.

“With such a fast rate of recruitment, we believe that we are the fastest-selling franchise of any kind in the UK. We have rapidly expanded our corporate team and, in 2024, we are implementing a number of new initiatives and schemes to help our members become even more profitable.”

The company’s biggest-ever annual conference was co-hosted by Laura Hamilton – who is a presenter with the popular TV programme ‘A Place in the Sun’ – and travel guru Hayley Sparkes. Both celebrities work with Not Just Travel to assist consultants with ready-made digital marketing content and training.

In 2024, The Travel Franchise will increase its social media marketing content and provide franchisees with more branded videos. The company’s consultants operate under the Not Just Travel brand and during the past 12 months have increased the number of cruise ship bookings.

This was boosted by the launch of the company’s ‘Cruise Division’ and ‘Cruise Mastery Programme’. Dame Irene Hays, who chairs and owns Hays Travel, told the conference via a video call: “Not Just Travel’s focus on the cruise market during the last 12 months has been remarkable and we can all see the great results.”

Among the consultants honoured at the conference was franchisee Kirsty McNeice. She was the latest winner of the ‘Money-Back Challenge’ and, as a reward, will receive a £14,995 refund of the franchise fee thanks to a remarkable first 12 months in business. This incentive will continue for new business owners in 2024. Another new franchisee, Dawn Carney, who only joined in December, is on course to become a future winner of the challenge having already made 11 holiday bookings.

As for new board members who were introduced at the conference: These include Darren Thompson and Derek Jones. Darren was a founding investor and board director with loveholidays, while Derek has over 30 years of experience in the travel industry. He was formerly managing director of Kuoni. Derek said: “In 2024, you will see many more ground-breaking initiatives coming out of this incredible business.”

The company also introduced Stephen Badger, who takes on a senior management role as the newly-created chief financial officer. Stephen brings with him experience gained from Virgin Media, as well as luxury hotel firm Mr & Mrs Smith.

While The Travel Franchise is known for attracting people who wish to work from home, a number of agents have said that they would like to open a shop. The company is therefore offering strategic guidance and support for those wanting a high-street presence.

Andy Swales
Andy Swales