Travel Counsellors Ireland is focusing on expanding its business travel division and providing its agents with the training and support to grow their businesses in this sector.
Travel Counsellors has a number of corporate travel accounts and sees this area as a focus for significant growth for its agents following the success of its business travel divisions in the UK, Netherlands, South Africa and Australia, which contribute over €100 million in corporate travel sales each year. Travel Counsellors in the Republic of Ireland has 43 agents all running their own successful travel businesses from home.
“We are seeing more SMEs returning to agents for their travel arrangements, as trying to sort their corporate travel in-house through their PAs, for example, is not cost or time effective,” said Cathy Burke, General Manager Ireland. “These companies are also recognising the value in having a truly personal travel service where experienced travel agents take care of everything from start to finish. This is what our agents do best. They build their businesses on the bespoke service they can provide, and because we support them in all areas they have more time to focus on the clients and their needs. This is a definite area for growth and a great opportunity for our Travel Counsellors to grow their businesses even further.”
The company recently held a special training session in Dublin that focused on how agents can win new corporate business and dispelling the perception that business travel is a difficult area for leisure agents to branch into. Following the extremely positive response to the training, the company has planned further specialised training sessions for its agents over the coming months.
Dublin-based Travel Counsellor Jennifer O’Brien joined Travel Counsellors from a business travel background four years ago with American Express Travel. She said: “I worked in corporate travel for the majority of my career but always wanted my own business and to be in control of my own destiny. Travel Counsellors really ticked all the boxes and since joining I have been able to grow a flourishing travel business.
“Earlier this year at our conference, I won ‘Biggest Business Increase’ for Ireland and grew my business by 74% in 12 months. I attended the Business Travel session and it was extremely useful and enabled me to regain focus and useful tips on how to approach expanding this area of my business. With this support I am confident that there is great growth potential over the coming years.”
Travel Counsellors has seen its business travel division across the globe go from strength to strength, with over 300 agents dedicated to providing the highest levels of corporate travel service to over 2,000 worldwide accounts. The company’s UK division alone has seen a 12% increase in business travel sales year on year and a 10% increase in new agents joining the company as Business Travel Counsellors, and expects to achieve the same success in Ireland.
Travel Counsellors Ireland is also experiencing positive overall sales, with sales last month up by 11% and over 80% of its agents seeing their sales increase since the start of the year.
Cathy added: “We are extremely positive that we will see growth in this area of our business and have identified that around 75% of our agents wish to grow their corporate travel base. As such, we feel it is important to utilise the worldwide experience we have within the global corporate travel market to support our agents in Ireland who wish to grow their businesses through winning corporate travel accounts.
“All of the new training initiatives are dedicated to providing our business travel agents with the necessary tools, skills and support they require to be successful and achieve their career goals and aspirations.”