Corporate sales lift Travel Counsellors to new heights
Manchester headquartered Travel Counsellors, has recorded a record £114.5m in sales in the month of January.
Corporate travel sales accounted for the largest increase with 105% growth on last January.
Operating a network of franchisees who act as personal travel consultants, the rate is up by 50% on January 2020 pre-pandemic levels and is trading 65% up on pre-pandemic levels since the start of the financial year (1st Nov 2022).
January witnessed eight out of 10 of Travel Counsellors’ biggest sales days in its’ 28 year history, with the final day of the month seeing the company have its best ever sales day on record of £6.5m, exceeding the £6m mark for the first time ever. In fact, the top five sales day for January saw £28.1m of sales combined.
Steve Byrne, chief executive of Travel Counsellors, said: “These outstanding results are testament to the very special people we have in our community and the care they give to customers, especially during the pandemic, and the reputation we have forged in providing trusted travel advice.
“January has been a month of records being broken, but more so, highlighting the power of our community and ways in which we can support one another to look after customers and achieve such growth. We have seen around half of our Travel Counsellors working in teams, a concept we continue to build on and support using our platform, which has enabled them to collaborate, share expertise and knowledge and be even more successful.”
Last year Travel Counsellors recorded £800m in sales and added 150 new franchisees globally. This year the company will be investing £10m into its bespoke technology, attracting more talented professionals to build their own businesses using the company’s personal, digital platform.
Byrne led a buyout of the business from its founder David Speakman in 2013, backed by private equity investor Equistone. A secondary buyout by private equity house Vitruvian in 2018 saw Speakman exit entirely. Travel Counsellors sit alongside other travel businesses in Vitruvian’s portfolio, including Skyscanner, JacTravel and Sykes Holiday Cottages.
Both leisure and corporate sales in the UK saw a rise with figures increasing by 60% and 105% since 2022, respectively. The company’s UK leisure business attracted more new customers than ever before, driving an increase in booking volumes of over 40%, compared to January 2019, pre-pandemic. Furthermore, January witnessed 377 Travel Counsellors celebrating their best ever month.
The company also saw its highest ever bookings month through its in-house booking system Phenix, with over 75% of premium leisure sales sourced through the platform enabling Travel Counsellors to create tailor made ATOL protected packages for customers.
The company booked trips for more than 78,500 passengers in January, recording over 7,000 new customers choosing to book with a personal Travel Counsellor in the month. Top selling destinations were the USA, Spain, Greece, UAE and the Maldives. Lapland, in Finland, also sits in the top ten destinations booked in January and tops the company’s Winter 23/24 sales. Bucket list trips where experience is everything and multi-generational family groups are on trend for the year according to the data. The company maintained a 5-star Trust Pilot rating throughout the month.
Byrne added: “We are certainly seeing customers truly valuing their holiday and the importance of connecting face to face with business customers, booking with someone they can trust and who will be there for them throughout their journey. We are also seeing more people choosing to book sustainably when looking at their travel options, with a record number of ‘Greenleaf’ accredited properties in Phenix being booked throughout January.
“We are focused on continuously enhancing and building on the support, technology, and tools to enable our business owners to operate their businesses and lifestyles in a way that suits them, whilst providing the most personal service to their customers, and enabling them to celebrate even more success in 2023.”