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New initiatives, board and senior appointments announced at our largest-ever annual conference

  • Holiday sales grew 36.6% in 2023 with one couple taking over £3.8 million in sales during 2023
  • Board of directors and CFO unveiled 
  • New initiatives to help more franchisees sell cruise unveiled
  • New luxury overseas trips and cruises announced for franchisees in 2024
  • Strategic career path for franchisees who want a high-street presence
  • Partners in Travel gets a revamp to help consultants make more, work less
  • New retail strategy for agents that want high-street presence
  • Another Money-Back Challenge winner gets their franchise fee refunded!

Last weekend we held our biggest ever annual conference yet, hosting over 400 of our franchisees, 50 corporate members, and over 40 of our key trade partners in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The aim was to announce some exciting news and initiatives and celebrate our success in 2023 – a “phenomenal year” in terms of holiday sales, profit and franchisee recruitment.

Our co-founder Paul Harrison said: 

“We’ve paid more commission to our travel franchisees than ever before as their sales go stratospheric. Our holiday sales grew by 36.6% in 2023 which is phenomenal – especially 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. It’s testament to the high level of training and support we offer.”

But Paul and fellow co-founder Steve Witt are not resting on their laurels.

“Going forward, in 2024 we are implementing a number of initiatives and programmes to help our members be even more profitable. The investment we’re putting into people, resources, tech and training means we are going to achieve something even more incredible in the next five years.”

Our co-founders were joined on-stage by brand ambassadors Laura Hamilton, TV presenter of A Place in the Sun, and travel presenter Hayley Sparkes, who both hosted the conference and work with us to provide consultants with ready-made digital marketing content and personal branding training.   

Co-founders Paul Harrison and Steve Witt with ambassadors Laura Hamilton and Hayley Sparkes

But they weren’t the only highlights…. Scroll down for some of the others:

New high-profile board members and management revealed

Darren, Derek, Paul and Steve (left to right)

New heavyweight board members were introduced at the conference. 

These include Derek Jones, who has over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry and was formerly CEO of Der Touristik UK and MD of Kuoni. Having helped create one of the biggest brands in luxury travel he will help drive our next stage of growth.

Jones took to the stage and gave franchisees tips on customer service and how to increase the rate of repeat business.

Says Jones: “This is the beginning of a new era in Not Just Travel. In 2024 you will see many more ground-breaking initiatives coming out of this incredible business as we embark on our next stage of rapid growth.” 

The second high-profile board member, Darren Thompson, has an equally impressive CV. He was a founding cornerstone investor and board director for loveholidays and had an instrumental role in helping the travel company become the 10th fastest growing UK private company in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100..

We also introduced Stephen Badger, who takes on a senior management role as our newly-created Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

New initiatives to skyrocket cruise unveiled

Other initiatives include making our Cruise Mastery Programme and cruise website even more dynamic, ramping up ship tours and offering two training cruises or ‘Seminars at Sea’ with our partners Virgin Voyages and Princess Cruises.

Our consultants, who operate under the Not Just Travel brand, now make twice as many cruise bookings as they did in September 2022 following the launch of our company’s Cruise Division and Cruise Mastery Programme. 

Our cruise guru and senior Business Development Manager Duncan pointed out that 19 new cruise ships are due to set sail this year! This is the time to become a cruise expert as the product offers lucrative commission and a high level of repeat customers.

Dame Irene Hays – Chair of the UK’s largest independent travel agency business, Hays Travel –  also spoke via video message at the conference saying: “Not Just Travel’s focus on the cruise market in the last 12 months has been phenomenal and we can all see the results.”

2024 overseas trips announced to Mauritius and Canary Islands

In 2023, we hosted more free company trips than ever before with over 500 franchisees taking around 800 trips to destinations including Jamaica, Cyprus and Mauritius.

For 2024, we plan to increase the number of free trips for anyone on our Elite package and have announced dates for company mentorship retreats to Mauritius with partner Beachcomber, and Fuerteventura with TUI. 

“Many franchisees say the trips are worth the franchise fee alone,” says Harrison. These include people such as Mark and Isobel McCardie who took bookings worth over £3.8 million in 2023.

Mark and Isobel McCardie

We also announced two internal charity trips, a trek to Peru’s Machu Picchu in the autumn to raise money for breast cancer charity, Pink Ribbon, and a car rally in Europe with our key travel partner Beachcomber at the helm.

Strategic path for franchisees that want a high street presence

Some of our consultants become so successful that they take on extra staff and want to open a shop.

We therefore revealed a strategic path and support for agents who want a high-street travel presence. Typically agents begin as homeworkers but a select few now want to branch out and we want to help them do this successfully.

Make more, work less with our revamped Partners in Travel scheme

50 million Brits will travel in 2024, but how do you find them? 

As a consultant we give you tips on finding customers and provide you with the tools you need to partner with a charity, small business or sports club via our Partners in Travel scheme. 

It’s a win-win situation as they provide you customers and get a share of your commission. It’s a real asset to your business, creating a simpler way of growing your business and getting more customers to come to you.

At the conference we announced how we would give you social assets, new email newsletters and website landing pages to help your partners engage with customers on your behalf.

Success of new franchisees celebrated 

We also announced that franchisee Kirsty was the latest Money-Back Challenge winner and would be receiving a £14,995 refund of her franchise fee because she managed to achieve a set amount of commission in the first 12 months of launching her travel business. 

Kirsty said she couldn’t have done it without her business development manager (BDM), Dani, pictured below left.

Another new franchisee, Dawn, who only joined in December and is already on course to achieve the challenge having made 11 holiday bookings already. And no, she has never worked in travel before. Bet she’s glad she switched careers!

Later this week we reveal our results from 2023… In the meantime, to find out more, why not order a free copy of our latest magazine?

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