We interview winner, Anna Dalrymple!
Travel Counsellors, as a business, has enjoyed a record year, with over £800m in sales achieved for the first time in its history. This success is due to the combined efforts of TCs and the support teams in the six countries where Travel Counsellors operate. TCs in South Africa, like their counterparts in the other markets, has had a busy 2022, and many have celebrated record sales.
The TCs many successes were celebrated during the annual UK Travel Counsellor conference in Liverpool, which took place in November. One of the many awards recognizes the top performer from each of the six markets; South Africa, Netherlands, Belgium, the UAE, Ireland, and the UK.
Four of our TCs were in the running for International Top Performing Travel Counsellor 2022: Roslyn de la Hunt, Anna Dalrymple, Helga Wenning, and Kerith Hulme. Unfortunately, there could only be one winner, and Anna Dalrymple walked away with the honours. Although she wasn’t in Liverpool to accept the award, we caught up with her after the announcement to talk about her life as a Travel Counsellor.
Congratulations you’ve come out tops against some stiff competition. How does it feel being recognised for your hard work on the global TC stage?
It’s lovely to be recognised, although I have imposter syndrome so do wonder how I’ve managed it. I look around at all the others and think they know a whole lot more than me! However, I am starting to think that maybe I do know what I’m doing.
Do you think being a TC has enabled you to achieve what you have, and how?
I don’t come from a travel background, so this is a difficult question to answer for me. I love the flexibility of working for myself and from home. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it any other way. Travel Counsellors provides a huge amount of support which I absolutely call on because I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes, especially with Galileo!
How would you describe your client base?
Very varied, and all lovely and not high maintenance at all. Quite a lot of inbound from the UK which is always good. Getting more and more from social media. Mostly all local to me so I’ve known them for a long time. This helps!
You’re very active on social media. How big a role does it play in bringing in new business?
I get a friend of mine to do my social media for me. She’s great and keeps on top of things. It’s starting to bring in more business now, but it’s taken a while. I’m in a few groups on Facebook which have been good for referrals as well.
What do you that sets you apart from any other travel professionals?
I wing it! I never say no to anything (aside from visas but that’s just since Covid). I’m happy to do a one-way flight from Nelspruit to Joburg or a round-the-world 3-month trip! I always tell people that if I don’t know anything about where they want to go, I know someone who does!
What does your support structure look like? Do you work in a team with other TCs?
I recently started working in a team with Kerith, Clare, Jaenette and Debby. Totally brilliant and the best thing ever. Knowing that someone is there for you the whole time when you want time off is amazing! And 5 heads are better than 1!
What are your top 5 tips for succeeding in this industry and as a TC?
- Just say yes
- Always be positive – at least try – this can be hard
- Use the resources that are available to us as Travel Counsellors and Google, if that doesn’t work
- Have confidence in yourself that you are good at what you do – this is also hard
- Have a good office space and buy extra screens – this has been life changing!
How does the TC Community support you?
They are always there when you need them, and they have your best interests at heart. We’re a family and they look out for you. And we have amazing resources – use them!
What destinations/experiences are still on your bucket list?
There’s still a lot of Europe I’d like to see, and I’d love to ski in the USA.