Travel boom and agents’ popularity post-pandemic boosts franchise success

With the majority of the world now reopened to holidaymakers, the UK travel industry has reported a surge in bookings despite the cost of living crisis.

Travel boom and agents’ popularity post-pandemic boosts franchise success

Dubbed Sunshine Saturday by the UK travel sector, the first Saturday of the New Year is usually the most popular day for booking a break, and some agents reported a 500 per cent increase in demand compared to the same period last year (Express, Jan 8).

However, while online travel agencies were the go-to for many people before the pandemic, many customers now want a dedicated travel agent on speed dial as they seek more guidance and reassurance.

ABTA’s Holiday Habits 2022 Report shows that an increasing number of holidaymakers – 36 per cent – booked with a travel professional in the 12 months to August 2022 than before the pandemic. The figure was particularly high among families (54%) and 25-34-year olds (55%). The main reasons cited for using an agent were ease of booking, expertise and having someone to help if things go wrong.

Some tour operators also report considerable growth of sales through homeworking travel consultants with whom they have developed strong relationships.

Luxury tour operator Classic Collection has noticed a huge spike in sales from Not Just Travel’s homeworking travel consultants who have launched and run their travel agencies after investing with The Travel Franchise.

“We’ve seen significant growth within the homeworking sector and, as a business, we’ve enhanced our support to homeworkers,” says Jorge Quibell, strategic account manager, Classic Collection.

“Not Just Travel agents grew sales with us by 165% during the Covid pandemic. This is a real achievement.”

While starting a travel business is usually not an easy task, franchising makes it accessible to a range of people – and it’s not as hard as people would imagine.

Not Just Travel, for example, provides its consultants with ABTA membership, expert training, trips abroad and all the necessary booking systems and marketing tools to sell holidays provided by its travel partners.

And as a part of Hays Travel Independence Group with over £2bn worth of travel buying power, that figure is substantial: around 450. In addition, more than 40 are Key Trade Partners with which they have a very close relationship.

“As one of our Key Trade Partners, Classic has committed to giving us even more help and support.,” says co-founder Paul Harrison. “This allows us to spend more time together teaching, coaching and developing our teams to a level never previously seen in our sector. It also means that our closer relationship gives more marketing opportunities and quicker access to information.

“Although many companies have access to these suppliers, it is this unique and very close relationship which helps our Travel Consultants increase their sales, not just by a little bit, but a lot.

As homeworking travel consultants report a rise in holiday sales (both in numbers and the average booking value), they also, of course, see their commission – and yearly earnings – rise.

“Some of our consultants sold between £150,000 and £500,000-worth of holidays in January alone so you can imagine the profit for their franchise business,” says Harrison.

The boom in holidays has understandably stimulated the sales of travel franchises with The Travel Franchise having to add new training dates in February in order to clear a three-month waiting list. It has also driven a sales recruitment drive as the company expands to support the growth in consultants.

“Not only do we offer some of the best commission in the industry, but we also offer the best support ratio in the industry too.

“Some travel franchises focus on recruiting people already in the travel industry but we invest so much in our training and support we know we can help people new to travel succeed and have proved it.

“One new couple who run a dog creche just sold £70k-worth of holidays in their first month, another nurse who was working in her spare time sold £105,000 in her first 55 days.

“You do not have to work full time to be a travel consultant and you do not need any previous experience in travel.

“As long as you are determined, follow our proven strategy, provide good customer service and make the most of our incredible relationship with suppliers, you can benefit from the post-pandemic travel boom.”

This article comes courtesy of The Travel Franchise, which provides franchise packages from £2,995 +vat for entrepreneurs who want to launch their own homeworking travel agency and sell holidays under its customer-facing Not Just Travel brand, be that part time, full time or in their spare time. No former travel experience necessary.

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