The Travel Counsellors Ireland annual conference work sessions got underway last Friday morning at the Fota Island Resort in Cork with delegates including 39 Travel Counsellors, 15 Partners, and 46 Supplier Guests representing 38 business partners.
Speaking to the conference theme of ‘With Us…It’s Personal’, Cathy Burke, General Manager Ireland revealed that for the 12 months to 31st March 2013 sales were up 8%, the average margin was 11.10%, and tailormade (Phenix) sales represented over 55% of TCI business.
Jennifer O’Brien was presented with a bottle of champagne for becoming TCI’s sixth Gold Travel Counsellor (at 8.00pm on Wednesday night!) and between them they have the highest margin in the world, the highest sales per Travel Counsellor in the world, and the highest percentage of Phenix sales per Travel Counsellor in the world.
Two new Travel Counsellors – who currently remain anonymous – will be starting on 8th May, there will be a retraining programme in June, and an inaugural TCI Academy in August (for people new to travel).
TC Chairman David Speakman said: “I have come through four recessions and it’s an attitude of mind – but don’t forget that Ireland has not been in recession since 2010. If you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance even less!”
“A Travel Counsellor’s point of difference is that you care, that your clients trust you, and that you work on the level of emotion, rather than technological transactions.”
Recommended Hotels have now been introduced to the Phenix system and the next step is Recommended Hotels Plus, whereby hotels offer something different and special for Travel Counsellors clients.
Annabel Cove of DoSomethingDifferent.com told delegates that Travel Counsellor is now the company’s number one customer and that there has been a 20% increase in sales since DoSomethingDifferent.com went into Phenix.
Kirsten Hughes, TC’s Commercial Director reported on TC’s gross and net margins and how to increase them.