By Bev Fearis, published 2/09/20
Travel agent franchise group Travel Counsellors is reporting a sharp rise in the number of enquiries from business owners looking to launch their own corporate travel business.
It believes one of the main reasons for the increase is that corporate travel professionals who have recently lost their jobs are seeking to use their redundancy packages to make a new start.
The group said it welcomed a new business owner every working day throughout August, with a notable increase in enquiries and new joiners with corporate travel experience.
Over half of new enquiries are in talks to launch a corporate travel business before the end of the year.
Travel Counsellors also continues to see a rise in interest from TMCs with teams of less than 10 wishing to discuss franchise opportunities.
Travel Counsellors Corporate MD, Kieran Hartwell, said: “We know it’s a very difficult time for many people in the industry and the situation is fuelling a growing trend towards independent consultants and micro TMCs being formed from teams of people who are facing an uncertain future.
“These experienced travel professionals are taking a long-term view, taking this time as an opportunity to launch a new venture and lay the foundations for a new business as travellers seek safe ways to get moving again.
“With many people much more accustomed to working remotely over recent months the opportunity is both desirable and familiar, but they’re also discovering that they can work remotely in duos, trios, teams and employ assistants whilst continuing to look after a loyal corporate customer base nurtured over many years.”
A recent survey of nearly 500 people who have registered their interest with the group in the last 12 months revealed 70% of corporate travel professionals were concerned about their future career in travel – a 5% rise on a previous survey in June.
Despite concerns, 75% said they remain confident about running a travel business from home in the future, with 60% saying they’re still planning to launch a new business this year.
The company has adapted its induction training for new Travel Counsellors and is running interactive sessions via webcam, so new business owners can virtually meet with fellow franchisees and the company’s support team.