Multi-award-winning disruptor in the travel industry Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise have appointed a new Managing Director and Head of Sales and Training.
The business is growing quickly, with one new franchisee joining every two days. With the aim to have 1,000 homeworkers by 2020, the company has invested in its management team by appointing Annabel Wathen as Managing Director and David Pope as Head of Sales and Training.
As new leader of the business, Annabel’s priorities are to strengthen Not Just Travel’s stakeholder relationships in the field; with suppliers, customers and at headquarters. She plans to bolster the strong corporate culture that has been built by entrepreneurial founders Steve Witt and Paul Harrison. Before taking up the role as MD, Annabel spent time in each area of the business, understanding its processes, dynamics and people.
Dorset-born Annabel started her fast-rising career on Wall Street at the Royal Bank of Scotland at just 18 years old. Since then she’s worked on convertible bond trading at Credit Suisse and was Business Manager and Associate at Deutsche Bank for Global Markets in London, overseeing 300 people on the trading floor. Annabel later sat on the Board of Directors at the training company Working Voices and was promoted to Managing Director to run the training company on a global scale.
Annabel says: “I feel that I’ve joined Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise at just the right time as we’re growing at an exponential rate, holiday sales have increased since this time last year, the number of franchisees coming on board is going up each month, so now more than ever the company needs the best possible management team in place to ensure the growth is managed as efficiently and effectively as possible. I want to take Steve and Paul’s unique vision and values and help the business achieve them.”
Annabel has spent time in each area of the business in order to understand the needs for the individual departments. The first few weeks of her job were spent sitting within the operational team and marketing team so she could learn how the company works, people’s roles and team dynamics.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry Dave Pope said he was ‘really excited’ to join the growing team.
Based in Warwick, Dave will spend a lot of time in the field, helping franchisees build successful travel businesses; a role he said he can’t wait to get his teeth into.
Dave began his career in travel in 1989 and worked his way up through various companies including Travel Bag and AirTours progressing from a commission-based sales role to Director of Sales at Abercrombie & Kent. He started his own training consultancy for the travel industry in 2002 and since that time has contracted for some of the biggest names in the world including Love Holidays, DNATA, HSBC and Microsoft. He specialises in helping companies discover the right people, deliver effective on-boarding programmes and then longer-term development. He has also been at the forefront of e-learning technology as the co-founder of Equator Learning.
He said he hadn’t been looking to change career but he ‘could see the opportunity with Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise.’ He recently joined the Elite Franchisees out in Mauritius for their retreat to get to know them and understand how they work and how he can help them achieve their goals.
The Dorset-based company is growing fast and currently has 450 franchisees and 40 staff. For more information visit the-travel-franchise.com.