Why choose homeworking?

KIRSTEN HUGHES, UK managing director, Travel Counsellors “Providing seamless

booking and trusted travel experiences is a business model to face any future, even in times of crisis. Recent months have shown the true value of a travel professional who can be there for customers whenever they need them. Our ‘new normal’ will only strengthen the position of remote working within the travel industry.”

RICHARD DIXON, co-founder and director, Holidaysplease “Homeworking gives

travel experts the opportunity to achieve a better work-life balance, be master of their own destiny and enjoy uncapped earnings. That’s why thousands have chosen to become homeworkers and gone on to build successful businesses.”

its own homeworking agents, some of whom have plans to take on homeworkers themselves, such as Travology. Other long-established brands include Holidaysplease, set up in 2002, offering leads to agents, who can also develop their own client base.

Ring the changes Scottish agency chain Barrhead Travel launched its homeworking business under the Brilliant Travel division in 2013. In 2018, Barrhead was acquired by American travel giant Travel Leaders Group, which has four other UK-based brands: Protravel International UK, Tzell Travel Group UK, Colletts Travel and Scotia Travel. Led by managing director Jason Oshiokpekhai,

these four brands are being brought together under a new homeworking division of luxury travel experts known as Global Travel Collection. Another US travel firm, InteleTravel, launched in the UK in 2018, having operated in the US since 1992. Its arrival has been controversial among traditional agencies, as InteleTravel recruits people with no experience in travel, and has been forced to deny claims that it is

based on a multi-level marketing scheme. More recently, The Advantage Travel

Partnership launched a dedicated homeworking division in August 2020. The Travel Specialists by Advantage is designed, according to leisure director Kelly Cookes, as a “hybrid model between a traditional homeworking organisation and a managed services consortium model”. Cookes says the Covid-19 lockdown has

“accelerated the appetite” for remote working. “Homeworking was on the rise anyway as

technology developed but it was a gap in our portfolio,” she says. “It’s seen annual growth of about 10% over the past five years and is probably growing faster now.” Rival consortium The Travel Network Group

took on Independent Travel Experts as its homeworking arm in 2013. It is seeing the benefits of having home-based rather than high street agents but managing director Gary Gillespie reports that several ITE homeworkers have taken on second jobs as the Covid-19 crisis has continued. ITE has also had to make three redundancies, but those affected are carrying on with the consortium as homeworkers.

LINDSAY THORNTON, The Personal Travel Agents, part of Midcounties Co-op

“I had been working in travel for 15 years and the thought of leaving a retail branch and going it alone was a scary prospect. My friend recommended The Personal Travel Agents and I have never looked back. We are one big family and there’s no place I’d rather be.”

CHRISTINA ASTILL, homeworker, GoCruise & Travel “Having spent most of my career in

retail travel, I decided to become a homeworker five years ago – it was the best move I’ve ever made. I’m my own boss but have the security of the team behind me, plus I keep most of the commission!”

29 OCTOBER 2020


PICTURES: Shutterstock, Simon Wright

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