Travel Counsellors LLC has introduced a unique Travel Trade Programme designed specifically for individuals with travel and tourism industry experience, but in non-retail roles.
Open to professionals in the hotel, airline, tour operator, inbound tourism (Destination Management Companies) and tourism board sectors, as well as non-GDS trained in-house travel consultants, Travel Counsellors UAE targets commerciallysavvy executives with a passion for customer service.
“The Travel Trade Programme, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the UAE, is ideal for experienced industry professionals who aspire to run a successful travel business in partnership with an award-winning global company,” said Holly McCann, Recruitment Executive, Travel Counsellors UAE.
“It provides executives from a wide range of sectors, from hospitality to tourism, with the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to sell travel and deliver the outstanding customer service for which Travel Counsellors is renowned.” she added. “With unlimited earning potential and the flexibility to choose your own working hours, it’s a rewarding way to take your travel career to the next level.”
Until recently, the induction courses were designed exclusively for travel agents. Non-industry professionals wishing to embark on a travel career were considered as Travel Counsellors franchisees. However, the company identified a large number of people in the UAE with relevant and transferrable skills who were ideal candidates to run a travel business for the homeworking group, particularly hoteliers looking for a career change.
“Many people in hospitality sales roles work for long hours; the flexibility of our model and the work-life balance it can offer is hugely appealing,” explained McCann. “Women in particular find it difficult to return to the industry after maternity leave given the time demands and Travel Counsellors offers an alternative career within the industry they know and love.” To become a Travel Counsellor via the Travel Trade Programme route, set-up fees apply but include a raft of benefits including a threeweek induction, access to the company’s global booking system, PC equipment, collateral and marketing materials, plus ongoing business development support from the Dubai-based management team. The three-week intensive induction course is now staged four times annually in Dubai. Three hotel and hospitality professionals recently joined Travel Counsellors via the new programme — Zaim Muhammad, Lucy Mousa and Roni Vargas — while Gillian McLornan, who previously worked in sales for Jumeirah Group, has been a franchisee for five years.
“The skill set and experience required to be a Travel Counsellor are very transferable from hotel, airline, travel and cruise roles, all of which are customer-focused and based on strong client and supplier relationships,” said McLornan, whose business success has seen her earn Travel Counsellors ‘Gold Status’ for having achieved her revenue targets. “It has been the perfect move for me. Travel Counsellors is an incredibly supportive company that allows you to a build a business based on your personal and professional goals.” Roni Vargas, former Assistant Director of Sales at Yas Viceroy, launched her Travel Counsellors business earlier this year and describes it as “the coolest job ever”. “I had been in hospitality sales for eight years and always wanted to run my own travel business,” she said. “I discovered Travel Counsellors and the set-up fits perfectly — there is no huge capital requirement, you manage your own time, meet a lot of people, experience different destinations and work when and where you want.”