Navigating the Storm: Travel Counsellors' Resilience and Success Amidst COVID-19

Covid pandemic is still fresh in our minds. This period was undeniably the most challenging time for our industry. It had fundamental and lasting impact across travel industry segments, independent travel companies and ITC’s were particularly affected; however, Travel Counsellors' businesses were not only able to survive but achieved stratospheric results in 2022 and 2023.

The narratives that define this period tell of the steadfast operational, legal and financial support from Travel Counsellors Head Office.

Roslyn de la Hunt, a Travel Counsellor from Centurion, who achieved career-high sales coming out of COVID says that she wouldn't have been able to do it without the support team and the generosity of fellow TCs. "The Head Office support team and the TC community just came together to help each other through COVID. When the restrictions started to ease it was like the floodgates opened. From an operational perspective, the support from the Head Office helped me manage my business. I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own. TC held my hand during COVID and protected my business. I will be forever grateful for that."

Travel Counsellors has invested billions in pioneering technology that enabled franchisees to work in a seamlessly integrated, work-from-anywhere environment. This meant there was no disruption to operations when the pandemic hit and gave them a competitive advantage.

"We were ahead of the game. While other travel companies were scrambling to get their systems set up so they could all work from home, for us, it was business as usual. We were able to help our clients straight away and be there for them 100% of the time. I gained a lot of clients because I was able to help them immediately." says Karin Livingstone, a Travel Counsellor from Gordons Bay. Karin saw her business grow dramatically after COVID, because of the service she could provide during the pandemic and the relationships she built, as a result.

The support TCs received from Head Office, such as dealing with refunds and processing BSP, removed their exposure to financial risk, as Karin explains "There's no way I would have survived if I didn't have a Travel Counsellors franchise. All COVID refunds were done on our behalf and systems were put in place to help our businesses survive.”

Jaenette Struwig, a TC from Paarl, started her business during lock-down and has this to say about the training and support, “The extensive training was done digitally and ensured that I could start operating and generating an income even during COVID. Support was always a call away; I never felt like I was running my business on my own.”

The Travel Counsellors business model includes all the support and tools necessary to steer a successful travel business through an unpredictable future.

“I don't know how anybody, not part of the Travel Counsellors franchise, is running a travel business. Where do you find the time to do marketing, ticketing and things like BSP, and refunds? There's no way you could run a successful business." Says Karin.

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