Travel Counsellor Ian Walsh celebrated 10 years as a Travel Counsellor this year. He lives with his husband John Paul in Athy, Co. Kildare. We chatted to Ian about his experience in the travel industry over the last 18 years:
“I will be working in travel for 18 years come January 2020! I started in travel after I did a college course in International Business and Tourism with a Galileo course with British Airways Fares and Ticketing. As part of the course I needed to do a 6 week work placement and at the end of the placement the agency owner asked me to come and work for her.
I always knew I wanted to work in the travel industry either with an airline or as a travel consultant. I worked in a couple of high street agencies until 2009 but then the recession really hit, and redundancies were called for in the company I was working with. This really was the catalyst for me to make the jump to Travel Counsellors. I was always interested in running my own business. I thought long and hard about contacting Cathy as I was fearful about making such a big decision while the economy imploded. I had some long conversations with my husband John and we both really questioned where I would get the clients from to build my business. I asked myself the same questions over and over: “Would people still travel? Am I mad not looking for a steady job in another high street agency?” So I met with Cathy and her enthusiasm and drive for Travel Counsellors inspired me to take the plunge. The genuine feeling that I had the full support of the Head Office Teams in Cork and the UK made the decision quite easy to make and I haven’t looked back since.
The best thing about being a Travel Counsellor is having the support of hundreds of colleagues from our Irish and UK offices and TC colleagues around the world. I love the freedom that being your own boss brings me and not being tied to an office. The flexibility to be there for my customers when they need me is invaluable.
The first couple of years as a Travel Counsellor were difficult when trying to grow my business but through networking with local business, asking family and friends to share my contact details and business cards, I built up a steady customer base who support, book with me and most importantly they refer me. This really helped me grow my business.
If you’re considering setting up your own travel business, then Travel Counsellors should be your first and only option. If you have a passion for and a love of all things travel, along with a determination and drive to succeed then you will thrive! The support from our offices in Cork and Manchester is incredible and my TC colleagues are the most helpful people you will ever have the pleasure of working alongside! You may be working from home or in your own office space, but you are never alone. With our instant messaging service, video calling and our message boards for travel advice from over 1900 colleagues worldwide, there is always someone with first-hand knowledge, tips and pointers to help you with your business. Also, our award-winning technology, Phenix, is designed to allow you to create, build and tailor-make the perfect holiday for your customers based on their needs and expectations. It really is that simple!”
Thank you Ian for your encouraging and positive words about us here at Head Office. We look forward to celebrating 10 more years with you!