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Volume 18. Issue 61. 2nd October 2018. View Online
Agency Owners Bulletin
Big Dreams in a Small Place with Travel Counsellor Emer McDermott

Westport based business woman, Emer McDermott, joined Travel Counsellors in November 2017, moving her operation from the highly-regarded and successful agency McDermott Travel, which she founded in 2001.  Emer is from Galway originally and worked in the trade there for many years before opening her own agency in Westport.

Knowing that she was already running a very successful travel business, Emer could see that going forward, there would be limitations on how far she could grow in the years ahead. And so, began her search to find the right partner to take her business to the next level. 

The Travel Counsellor’s concept and business model, along with the state-of-the-art technology and the caring attitude of the company helped Emer to make her decision and she started the process of moving her agency over to Travel Counsellors.

One of Emer’s initial stumbling blocks was that her name wouldn’t be over the door of a retail shop, but she quickly realised that her customers would follow her no matter what her letterhead said because she is passionate about providing the very highest level of personal service. Being commercially driven, Emer is also impressed with the supplier agreements and buying power that the company share with their franchisees. She also says that the support and mentoring she received from the head office team in Cork and Manchester, has helped her make the transition smoother than she had initially thought.

Looking back on her life before the move, Emer can appreciate the personal freedom and choice that becoming part of Travel Counsellors has given to her. She is no longer responsible for staffing issues, licences, bonding, indemnity insurance and watching over accounts and paperwork. As part of the Travel Counsellor franchise, she gets to enjoy the best of both worlds – running her own business and having the backing of an established global company behind her that is constantly growing and evolving. Emer is looking forward to a future without limits.

Making the Right Move with Travel Counsellor Gearoid Mannion

Gearoid Mannion was essentially born to travel! His parents opened Tom Mannion Travel, in Ennis, Co. Clare in the same year he was born. The agency grew throughout the decades to become a successful and renowned family business within the community and the industry in Ireland and beyond.

In 2014, Gearoid felt that his business was at a crossroads and to compete with the big players in the industry, he was faced with a choice; either make a significant investment or make a change. Following much exploration on his part of the options available to him, he finally made the big decision to close the family firm after over 50 years trading, to join the Travel Counsellors Franchise in late 2015.

Since making the move, one of the benefits for Gearoid and his wife Michelle, is that he is no longer tied to the bricks and mortar of the agency and he can work his schedule around his family’s needs and still provide top class service for his customers. Gearoid speaks about the community and the support that the company offers in such a positive way, especially during the transition period of his partnership with Travel Counsellors.

One of the distinguishing features for him is the exclusive booking system, Phenix, which allows him to book everything for his clients in one place, unlike the older fragmented systems he was used to. This allows him to work much more efficiently, convert bookings in less time and offer the best value to his clients – he is back to doing what he loves most… selling amazing holidays.

Gearoid’s advice to someone that is currently running their own agency and finding it challenging is: “Consider the cost-savings, no more massive overheads or the expense of licensing and bonding, amongst other things, that come with running an agency, either on or off the high street. Get in touch – it’s confidential and it doesn’t cost anything to consider your options.”

Taking the Next Step from Agency Owner to Travel Counsellor

Change is never easy, but sometimes, in life and in business, what appear to be tough decisions aren’t maybe as difficult as you imagine.

Most agency owners have worked so hard to gain recognition and build up their business despite the many challenges along the way. However, at some point they feel they have reached the limit in terms of how much more they can grow, and the excessive costs involved. Some can see technology advancing at a super-fast speed and can spend time worrying and wondering about what the future looks like.  For others it feels like the fun has been taken out of the job and they are managing people and cash flow more than creating dream holidays.

Travel Counsellors have a unique opportunity for agency owners and just like Emer and Gearoid, who continue to do what they love, without the massive overheads involved with owning a travel agency today.

As part of the Travel Counsellors franchise, you can relax knowing that you will have access to the most advanced technology and booking systems whilst being able to offer a more personalised service because you have the support of a global company and dedicated team behind you each step of the way.

Things like licensing, bonding, GDPR, Package Travel Regulations, GDS fees, and the responsibility that involves, is all taken care of by us.  You’ll never have to reconcile payments to suppliers again and you’ll have access to direct contracts with airlines and other key business partners.  Corporate customer statements are automatic, and you’ll have access to the MyTC app for leisure and corporate customers to cut down on documentation and convert sales quicker.

You’ll be part of a group of like-minded people who want the best for you and your business and will make sure the transition is smooth. And if you wish to utilise our Business Coaches or Counselling Service, then that’s all included for you too.

Award winning Travel Counsellors Emer McDermott and Gearoid Mannion
Award winning Travel Counsellors Emer McDermott and Gearoid Mannion
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