12 months on and Travel Academy graduate, Debbie, has already built a loyal customer base

Our ‘One Year On’ series concludes with Debbie Alexander, who spent almost three decades working in the pharmaceutical industry. The pandemic made her reassess her career, and she realised that the time was right for her career to take off on an exciting new trajectory.

Debbie came in on our Travel Academy Programme, and she’s well and truly proving that a lack of experience in the travel industry isn’t a barrier to success when it comes to setting up your own travel franchise.


We caught up with her to find out her secrets to success, and what makes Travel Counsellors such a great homeworking franchise to join.

Let’s get to know you a little better, Debbie. What was your career background before becoming a Travel Counsellor?

I was in the pharmaceutical industry for 27 years. I worked in sales, training, and management.

Why did you decide to change careers?

Covid played a key part. It made me rethink what I really wanted to do. I had enjoyed my time in the pharmaceutical industry, but I felt like I needed a change. Travel has always appealed to me.

What attracted you to Travel Counsellors?

I have a friend who had worked for Travel Counsellors before Covid. She worked in the marketing team and loved her job. She was continually telling me that she felt being a Travel Counsellor was the perfect job for me. Not only would I be doing something I loved, but I’d also be able to make it work around my already busy life.

How have you grown your business since joining?

It has mainly been through recommendations from friends. I tell everyone who will listen that I’m a Travel Counsellor! I initiate conversations about future holidays and let them know how I can help them. I’m now starting to get repeat clients and they’ve recommended me to their friends, so that’s really pleasing.

I feel that my attention to detail and knowledge of areas that I’ve travelled to has helped, alongside help from fellow Travel Counsellors in regards to places I’m not too familiar with. Overall, I’m really happy with how my business has grown over the course of the year.

How would you describe the tools and tech available to Travel Counsellors?

I love the myTC app. All my customers use it, and they love that all their information and holiday documents are in one place. Phenix, our in-house booking system, is great too. It’s always my go-to starting point when researching a holiday.

What’s the best thing about being a Travel Counsellor?

For me, the best thing is making people happy by booking their all-important holidays. I also love that I can manage my own time, which is so important for me and my family.

Why would you recommend Travel Counsellors to people who want to set up their own travel business?

I’d recommend it for the people, and for the support that Travel Counsellors offer – it’s second to none. My mentor, John Ryrie, has been absolutely invaluable. The support staff at head office are also brilliant. I’ve never felt alone, and I’ve never been made to feel silly when asking ‘obvious’ questions.

What personal qualities do you think it takes to become a successful Travel Counsellor?

I think you need to have great attention to detail, tenacity, a thick skin at times, and most importantly, a love for booking holidays.

Thanks Debbie! To sum up, how would you describe the Travel Counsellors community?

It’s the best! There’s always somebody ready to help if you need it, or to simply be there when you’re having a bad day. I really feel part of a big team and that’s so important to me.

Do you have what it takes to join our growing community of caring travel experts? If you’ve got a passion for travel, take pride in providing exceptional service, and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could be just what we’re looking for. Enquire about becoming a Travel Counsellor today, and take your first steps towards building the travel business of your dreams.

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