The Travel Franchise Celebrates “A Phenomenal 2023″
The Travel Franchise unveils new initiatives and celebrates “a phenomenal 2023” for holiday bookings and franchise investment at its largest-ever UK annual conference
- Holiday sales grew 36.6% in 2023 with one couple taking over £3.8 million in sales during 2023
- New franchisee sign ups more than double
- New high-profile board of directors unveiled
- New initiatives to skyrocket cruise and other niche areas ski and golf unveiled
- Latest Money-Back Challenge winner announced and refunded franchise fee
- New luxury overseas trips and cruises announced for franchisees
IT’S A LITTLE unusual for a travel company to hold its annual company conference for franchisees on Sunshine Saturday, the first Saturday after the festive period which is typically the most popular day of the year for holidaymakers to book a trip abroad.
But The Travel Franchise did just that, hosting over 400 consultants, who operate under the Not Just Travel brand, and 50 corporate teams in Stratford-Upon-Avon last weekend (6th-7th January).
The company, which in 2023 was ranked 10th best franchise in the UK by Franchise Direct ahead of brands such as Vodafone, and was no.17 in Elite Franchise’s Top 100, was keen to announce and celebrate the fact that 2023 was a “phenomenal year” in terms of holiday sales, profit and franchisee recruitment.
Not only does the franchise have a reputation for doing things a little differently (it’s the only company that refunds its franchise fee to those that do well in the first year), it was also confident that its franchisees were so far ahead of their competitors that they could afford to take a break from taking holiday bookings, or take them on their laptops in breaks as they networked at the conference (which many did!).
Co-Founder Paul Harrison said: “Having over 400 consultants in the room is great testament to how the company has grown so fast; that is down to the strength of our passionate consultants and expert corporate team.
“Our holiday sales grew by 36.6% in 2023 which is phenomenal – especially when compared to many other travel companies.
It’s even more impressive when you consider that 98 per cent of franchisees have joined us from outside the travel industry. It’s testament to the high level of training and support we offer and, now word has got out, we are seeing huge demand for franchises – over 164 per cent.”
But co-founders Paul Harrison and Steve Witt are not resting on their laurels and announced new high profile appointments plus several new initiatives and strategies each designed to help consultants significantly grow their business and profits.
Harrison adds: “We’ve paid more commission to our travel franchisees than ever before, as their sales go stratospheric. Every year, our business develops and evolves.
The investment we’re putting into people, resources, tech and training means we are going to achieve something even more incredible in the next five years.”
“In 2023, we saw nearly double the amount of people invest in a franchise with us than the previous year. With such a fast rate of recruitment, we believe we are the fastest-selling franchise of any kind in the UK.
In addition, we have rapidly expanded our expert corporate team to offer members the unbeatable support we are recognised for.
“Going forward, in 2024 we are implementing a number of initiatives and programmes to help our members be even more profitable.”
One new initiative is to increase marketing materials and social media training for franchisees. The co-founders were joined on-stage by brand ambassadors Laura Hamilton, TV presenter of A Place in the Sun and travel presenter Hayley Sparkes who hosted the conference and work with Not Just Travel to provide its consultants with ready-made digital marketing content and personal branding training.
New initiatives to skyrocket cruise and ski and golf unveiled
Other initiatives include making its Cruise Mastery Programme and cruise website even more dynamic, ramping up ship tours and offering two training cruises or ‘Seminars at Sea’ with its partners Virgin Voyages and Princess Cruises.
The Travel Franchise’s consultants, who operate under the Not Just Travel brand, now make twice as many cruise bookings as they did in September 2022 following the launch of the company’s Cruise Division and Cruise Mastery Programme.
Dame Irene Hays who spoke via video message at the conference commented: “Not Just Travel’s focus on the cruise market in the last 12 months has been phenomenal and we can all see the results.”
Plans are now underway to train and support franchisees who want to become experts in ski and golf.
2024 overseas trips announced to Mauritius, Canary Islands and Florida
In 2023, The Travel Franchise and its customer-facing brand Not Just Travel hosted more free company trips than ever before with over 800 training places booked.
For 2024, it plans to increase the number of free trips for those on its Elite package and announced dates for company mentorship retreats to Mauritius with partner Beachcomber, Fuerteventura with TUI and also Florida.
“Many franchisees say the trips are worth the franchise fee alone,” says Harrison. These include people such as Mark and Isobel McCardie who took bookings worth over £3.8 million in 2023.
Success of new franchisees revealed
Harrison also announced that franchisee Kirsty McNeice was the latest Money-Back Challenge winner and would be receiving a £14,995 refund of her franchise fee because she managed to achieve a set amount of commission in the first 12 months of launching her travel business.
Another new franchisee, Dawn Carney, who only joined in December and is already on course to achieve the challenge having made 11 holiday bookings already.
New board members revealed
New board members were introduced at the conference. These include Derek Jones, who has over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry and was formerly MD of Kuoni; and Darren Thompson, who was a founding cornerstone investor and board director for loveholidays.
Says Jones: “This is the beginning of a new era in Not Just Travel. In 2024 you will see many more ground-breaking initiatives coming out of this incredible business as we embark on our next stage of rapid growth.”