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New to travel Scottish-based franchisees fill the gap after closure of local high street agency

Entrepreneurs and travel junkies, Ian and his wife Donna, have created two businesses from scratch but finally joined in September 2023 after dreaming of a travel franchise for over eight years.

“I’ve literally followed The Travel Franchise and Not Just Travel journey online, so I know the brand has grown and grown over that eight years,” says Ian.   

“Our business-to-business telecoms company is now at a place where we can concentrate on the franchise and we can be 100% seven days a week or whatever hours we want to do, especially as the kids have grown up too.” 

While the travel business will be a complimentary income in the beginning, Ian and Donna have big plans for it to be their main business in the future.

But like 98 per cent of our franchisees, they’ve never worked in the travel industry before.

So what made Ian and Donna opt to launch a travel company? 

Ian says it’s because of the opportunities to travel and the flexibility the job involves.

“Donna and I are travel junkies. In the last 15 years, we’ve travelled more and more and we wanted a model which gives us the flexibility to pick up a laptop and to work wherever you are in the world – that is probably the number one attraction. In general in travel, you can literally be sitting with your iPad or your laptop on a veranda or on a cruise ship and you can still work.”

But why did the couple choose a franchise – and more importantly with us?

“We’ve never invested in a franchise before but even though we love travel, we felt we needed the franchise not just for the buying power, but for the structure and process.”

Anyone can start a travel agency, but with a franchise you get a simple solution: a turnkey business with all the tools, training and support you need to open and operate quickly using a tried-and-tested formula. As the number one franchise for people new to travel, we have gained a reputation for providing that expert training and ongoing support to enable hundreds of consultants to launch successful agencies.

Having worked in retail before, Ian and Donna are very much focussed on customer service and growing repeat business from the get go.

“We love that model where service is at the forefront and people will come back to you again and again. It’s what we saw in retail back 15 years ago and what we do in our telecoms business; we know that people will stay with us forever or refer us to other people.”

The couple’s long-term goal of making the agency their primary income was a big factor in their decision to invest in our most popular Elite franchise package. Not only does it offer some of the industry’s best commissions, the package also includes several mentorship retreats abroad and the Money-Back Challenge (the opportunity to get your franchise fee refunded if you achieve a set amount of commission in your first 12 months). 

“We looked at the margins. If this becomes our sole income, we need to be maximising margins from day one and obviously the Elite package gives you a better opportunity to earn long term. The retreats were certainly the icing on the cake.”

As part of the Elite franchise package, franchisees get taken on several mentorship retreats abroad including the Millionaire’s Retreat and the Elite Experience. They follow a winning-formula where consultants get to explore a destination and train with travel experts in a popular tourist location.

Because Ian and Donna love cruising, they have also signed up to our optional 12-month Cruise Mastery Programme which gives them CLIA membership, access to cruise webinars and ship tours when at UK ports, plus the opportunity to attend our Seminar At Sea, a week-long cruise with training – again included in the package. 

Cruise is one of the fastest growth areas in travel offering some of the best commissions which is why we launched our Cruise Division in 2022. Already our cruise sales have skyrocketed and in 2024 we will be organising two Seminar at Seas onboard different cruise ships.

“We love cruising. In just a few years we’ve been on five cruises with three different companies and because we love it, it’s easy to talk to customers about it.”

Even though Ian and Donna have just launched their agency, they’ve already made five bookings across a range of travel products including two cruises, a flight-only ticket, plus a tailormade and package holiday.

With over 450 suppliers and over 45 key trade suppliers offering exclusive deals, consultants can book thousands of different holidays including niche travel such as golf, safaris, ski and theme parks, as well as insurance and car parking.

The couple, who live in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, have also had some good size bookings including a £10k transatlantic cruise from New York to Southampton with business class flights.  

So how have they – and other new agents – found their customers? 

While our business development managers are on hand to give you advice on how to find customers, some consultants join local networking groups, others find clients on social media, and via friends, family and local businesses.

“The £10k booking was a referral. Our local travel agent decided to retire and passed on my details because he’s been a [telecom] client of mine in the past and knew we had now started a travel business.”

While the couple aren’t interested in opening a high street store, they offer pretty much the same service from their office and word has spread fast.  

“Locals have been relieved to know they still have a local travel agent. The shop bit to them is irrelevant. One or two still want a shop but ultimately to them it’s business as usual!”

If you want a flexible business that you can run from home or an office, something that gives you the opportunity to travel and work at the same time, send you a free glossy magazine – order a copy now. 

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