With more than 23K instagram followers to their Upbeat Vegas page, it’s fair to say that Chris Campbell and his business partner, Joel Gilberto, know Las Vegas like the back of their hands.
Their popular VIP service can secure tickets to the best shows in Sin City; help you skip the queue to get into the hottest nightclubs and gain entry to the wildest pool parties on the Strip. No wonder their customers include a string of Love Island contestants and The Only Way is Essex cast!
It’s proven to be a winning formula and one that Chris and Joel were keen to roll out beyond Las Vegas. Hence, at the start of 2020, Upbeat Travel was born – a chance to serve up the same on-the-ground VIP experience around the world. What could possibly go wrong?
The answer: Covid.
Having invested thousands of pounds into the new venture, the pandemic saw their dreams of expansion come to a grinding halt. The focus now was to desperately keep the existing business afloat.
Having lived in Las Vegas for more than four years, Chris was forced to return to his hometown of Newcastle, his role being to try to secure sales and liaise with customers prior to travel. With the world in lockdown, it wasn’t until 2021 that the bookings to Las Vegas started to roll in once again and an additional couple of years before the business duo would once again be in a position to start thinking about expansion.
The dreams of relaunching Upbeat Travel were dusted off, but this time they set their sights even higher.
“Originally back in 2020 we were simply going to emulate the Upbeat Vegas service around the world by offering VIP experiences on the ground. But this time we wanted to give Upbeat Travel the edge by offering our customers the added bonus of flights and hotels,” says Chris.
But that ambition was easier said than done. “Setting up a travel agency is not easy if you want to do it alone and it’s a costly process to get the official accreditation from ABTA and ATOL,” says Chris.
It was when Chris was approached by a travel consultant from Not Just Travel wanting his help to put together an itinerary for her own client going to Las Vegas that he found the perfect solution.
“It made us think: ‘how is she doing it?’ I went on to her website and it all escalated from there. We saw joining Not Just Travel as a great opportunity to expand our business.”
A visit to the National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham saw Chris sign up to our flexible Elite Package and by February 2023 he completed our induction training.
“While I got a lot of enquiries for Las Vegas, it was actually a booking to Sardina that I secured – and that paid for my stand at the wedding fair. Although we’re looking to focus on destinations that have that similar VIP feel to Las Vegas, such as Dubai, Mykonos, Miami and New York, we’re also looking at short-haul options – but always with the same VIP experience.
“My BDM is Aaron and he’s been a great support. Even though I’ve worked in travel before, I’ve had to learn the new system and Aaron helped me do that. He’s always a good sounding board for me to bounce ideas off.”
Chris is also taking advantage of our ongoing training and in March he jetted off to Paphos in Cyprus to join other franchisees at our Millionaire’s Retreat.
“It was so good to hear other people’s success stories and how they overcome challenges,” says Chris. “Paul was great to listen to and reminded us to keep it simple and brought us back to the basics of doing business.”
And of course, Chris got to explore Cyprus.
“It was amazing. The hotel and the staff were fantastic and we got to see all the very best bits of the island. All this was included in the Elite package so it didn’t cost a thing.”
As a lover of travel, Chris is used to jetting off regularly. In the peak season, you’ll find him in Las Vegas. But now, with this new string to his bow, he’s looking forward to travelling to other destinations – using helpful discounts from an array of our travel partners offering educational and incentive trips.
“I’ve normally got five or six trips planned. I’m off to Mykonos next and in November I’m joining Not Just Travel on its Elite Experience to Mauritius.”
“Meeting with the other consultants is great and we all go on to support each other via Whatsapp groups when we can reach out for advice or share tips.”
And, as this social influencer explains, travelling is also good for business.
“We find that organic content on our socials gets a better response. So when I or my business partner are actually posting from a destination it’s more engaging for our followers than simply posting a generic shot or video. Actually being on the Millionnaire’s Retreat in Cyprus was a great way to introduce our new partnership with Not Just Travel.”
And it looks like this Las Vegas businessman is on a winning streak.
“Business is looking really positive and now being able to offer flights and hotels has taken our business to a whole new level. It’s enabled us to expand our service globally with the backing of a great brand that’s got a proven track record.”