TC Life

Matt Schmitz on Turning Passion into a Career

With hundreds of loyal customers on his books, working from a regional area is no barrier for this highly motivated Travel Counsellor. Matt Schmitz is proof that if you’re good at what you do and not afraid of hard work, you can build a profitable travel business from almost anywhere in Australia.

Operating his multimillion dollar travel enterprise from a small town in Victoria’s Gippsland region, the highly experienced, multi award-winning Travel Counsellor has always had travel in his blood.

“I’ve wanted to be a travel agent my entire life. That’s all I’ve wanted to do. That’s all I know,” explains Matt, who used designed his first travel agency logo when he was a child.

Matt’s background working in bricks and mortar travel agencies in Australia and the Netherlands gave him the ability to make his travel dreams come true – visiting more than 70 countries for work and play. Yet like many other experienced travel agents, after a while he wanted more from his career.

“I needed to be my own boss and own my business. I wanted flexibility. I wanted to not be an employee anymore,” says Matt, who balances running his thriving business with being a husband, father and foster parent.

Joining Travel Counsellors was a major turning point for Matt, who relishes the freedom, flexibility, independence and earning potential offered by the network. While a big change from working in a retail environment, Matt has flourished running his own business.

With a customer base that spans from backpackers on a budget to five-star jetsetters, Matt’s friendly, warm approach has ensured his referral rate is high. Focusing solely on leisure travel, word of mouth is a powerful tool for Matt whose legions of happy customers are some of his greatest advocates.

“Nearly all of my customers are now my friends,” says Matt, who genuinely relishes putting together tricky itineraries and dealing with challenging travel requests. For Matt, no request is too difficult to arrange.

A driven operator with a passion for delivering the best customer service possible, Matt is quick to recognise all the people who work behind-the-scenes to ensure Travel Counsellors succeed. With this in mind, he believes the support he receives is second to none. Having the backup of head office staff in Melbourne and the UK, Matt is free to concentrate on his customers without having to waste time on pesky, time-consuming admin or IT issues.

“I wholly focus on my customers and selling travel,” says Matt, who often makes appointments with clients out of standard office hours – not something that is typically possible when working in a retail travel agency only open during set business hours.

Offering superior service, appointments at convenient times, a wealth of knowledge and loads of passion for what he does, it’s unsurprising Matt has won several coveted awards at the Travel Counsellors annual conferences.

While not all Travel Counsellors will run their business the way that Matt does, he’s a brilliant example of the phenomenal results that can be achieved when working from a small town in regional Australia. For Matt and many other Travel Counsellors running businesses in regional areas, the sky really is the limit.

If you’re interested in running your own travel business like Matt, contact our careers team today – we’d love to help you turn your passion into a career.