The company, which now has over 1,300 agents running their own businesses across eight countries, received the UK’s highest accolade for business success for international trade, having successfully brought its unique business model, which focuses on enabling agents to provide the highest levels of personal service, to overseas markets in Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Dubai and, most recently, expanding into Belgium earlier this year.
“We are absolutely delighted to have received the Queen’s Award for International Trade,” said David Speakman, Travel Counsellors founder and Chairman. “This year we are also celebrating our 20th anniversary so it is fantastic to mark this with such a positive and prestigious recognition of how far we have come in this time.
“We have based our success on the foundations of integrity, care, trust and professionalism and a passionate desire to create a community of the very best in travel. We believe and have proved that there is a need for sincere and trusted advisers that place customer care at the centre of their businesses, which is why our model has really been embraced by agents and customers in Ireland and the other international markets we have expanded into.”
Travel Counsellors’ first international expansion was Ireland in 2005, and since this time the company has experienced growth of nearly 120%, with global sales for the financial year end (31st October 2013) of £385 million. Since the company launched in Ireland it has since seen the business go from strength to strength with 55 agents now running their own businesses as part of the company and a sales increase of over 15% so far this year compared to the same period last year. This continued success and international presence ultimately benefits the company’s agents by building its global buying power, local knowledge and enabling true 24/7 support.
Cathy Burke, General Manager Ireland, said: “This really is fantastic news and highlights the success of the Travel Counsellors concept here in Ireland, and is particularly timely in light of President Michael D. Higgins’ recent state visit to the UK, which further strengthens the relationship between the two countries.
“The award highlights the fact that we have a future proof business model, which focuses on empowering the best travel professionals to take control of their own destinies, building personal relationships, delivering the highest levels of service, and enabling them to take control of their own earning potential. As a result we have almost 70% repeat business and a world-beating 96% customer satisfaction score, meaning we can offer a secure, safe and extremely promising future to those in Ireland looking to build a business with the company.”