Meet Our People: Bernie Whelan, Business Development Manager

Bernie Head

"Travel is what I have always been enthusiastic about, I love the pace of the business, there is always something new to learn and every day is different. I have a degree in HR, a Higher Diploma in Business Coaching and a Certificate in Counselling, all of which I incorporate to my role in Travel Counsellors. Supporting our Travel Counsellors is so rewarding. Knowing my role has such an impact on their businesses gives me such a buzz..."

Bernie Whelan has been in the travel business for 20 years and joined Travel Counsellors in February 2010. Her role as Business Development Manager is to provide coaching, support and mentoring to our 75 Travel Counsellors throughout Ireland.

Tell us about your role at Travel Counsellors?

My main role is to support our Travel Counsellors as a Business Coach. I collaborate with our TCs to solve any issues they may have. We discuss and come up with action plans around how to build their business, how to grow their business, how to keep the business they have. We have regular meetings about sales, product, new target markets etc. I love this part of my job as I get to hear about the TC’s business, what works for them and what they are struggling with. Coming up with action plans and goals at the end always feels great as both the TC and I have accomplished it as a team, and as the old saying goes two heads are better than one!

What do you love most about your job?

I love working with amazing people - our Travel Counsellors come from all walks of life with different backgrounds from tour operator experience to front counter sales. We also have TC’s who came in via our Travel Academy Programme and they have sales backgrounds, just not in travel. What I love most is knowing we have an amazing group of people, between the TC’s and us here in Head Office, working towards the same goal - ensuring that we all have a successful business and that our customers receive top quality service.

You work very closely with Travel Counsellors daily – what do you think is the best thing about being a TC?

I hear it so often that the flexibility is key for their lives. The flexibility to drop kids to school, to take 3 weeks off to go on a holiday to South America, to bring their Mum to an afternoon tea treat on the day of her birthday which might happen to fall on a Monday, to take a random Friday off and not have to ask someone. The flexibility to fit their lives into their business which can be done very easily when you are a Travel Counsellor.

What does Travel Counsellors mean to you?

We are the best in the business… I am amazed by this company every day. We are constantly challenging ourselves as a team - how can we make it better for our Travel Counsellors and our customers? I started with TC nine years ago and the investment in our technology since is massive. Our booking system, Phenix, is a super tool to have when you have so much product out there and need to narrow it down to suit your customers. We have MyTC, our own Travel Counsellor App which I use for my own holidays and love it!

Our support is second to none also. If a TC needs helps with flights, our App, business ideas, networking, there is always someone skilled at the other end of Skype or the phone to respond. We also have a 24/7 Duty Office which is a great comfort to have.

We are constantly growing with the best talent in Head Office and with the TCs we take into our franchise. We are very precious about our brand and protective of it. Travel Counsellors is for ambitious, customer-focused sales people who want a better life for themselves and their families.

Where would you recommend travelling to yourself?

My favourite place has to be New Zealand, I particularly loved the South Island. I spent 10 days there and it was jam packed, from swimming with wild dolphins, climbing Glaciers to Sky Diving, I enjoyed every minute of it.

If you would like to get in touch with Bernie, you can email her on bernie.whelan@travelcounsellors.com