Is there anything that I can offer my customers as a Travel Counsellor which sets me apart?
Yes. Our Travel Counsellors set themselves apart from the rest by building personal relationships with their customers and delivering the highest level of personal service and care that can be found in the travel industry. It’s our unique approach to travel that makes us more than a little different from the rest. You’ll be able to offer your customers an authentic, tailor-made travel service, creating bespoke, ‘one-off’ itineraries that cannot be found anywhere else. And that’s what keeps our customers coming back year after year, again and again. In fact, 96% say they would recommend Travel Counsellors to their friends, family and colleagues.
What experience do I need?
Leisure agents will need to have a minimum of 5 years’ recent experience in a role selling travel and corporate agents must have 5 years' experience in managing travel for corporate clients. Agents must also have good fares knowledge, visa knowledge, a GDS certification, destination knowledge, be able to work under pressure and manage one's own time, be passionate about delivering excellent customer service and have soft sales skills.
How much can I earn as a Travel Counsellor?
How much you can earn as a Travel Counsellor is entirely up to you. Your earning potential is completely uncapped, so the more you put in, the more you get out. Our commission model is based on a 60/40 split – you retain 60% of the profit you make on your bookings – and with our in-house booking system, Phenix, you’ll have complete control over the margin you make on your bookings. Our Business Development team will work with you to set your own personal targets, but as a Travel Counsellor, we would encourage you to strive to achieve R250,000 per month in sales in your second year, with many Travel Counsellors exceeding this in their first year. The average Travel Counsellor earns R350,000 a year – that’s R65,000 more than when working in a retail/corporate agency. Many of our ‘Gold’ and Corporate Travel Counsellors earn more than R1 million, with top earners bringing in over R1.5 million.
Can I choose my own hours?
It’s your business, so you’re the boss. Just make sure that you’re devoting enough time to developing your business and nurturing your customer base. If you’re working one hour a day and expecting incredible rewards, you might be disappointed – it’s no coincidence that our most successful Travel Counsellors are also our hardest working! The flexibility that running your own business offers is one of the many reasons why our Travel Counsellors made the decision to be their own boss.
What does it cost to become a Travel Counsellor?
From just R5,000 + VAT, you’ll have everything you need to set up your own business, with all Travel Counsellors trademark and brand privileges. Plus, a monthly management fee of R500 + VAT.
Do I have to be home-based?
The vast majority of our Travel Counsellors work from home – but if you’d prefer, you’re welcome to rent a non-retail office. But our stats show that you’ll be happier and more successful working from the comfort of your own home!
I’ve heard homeworking can be lonely. What support is available?
There are over 1,800 Travel Counsellors working around the clock, around the world – so you’ll always find that there’s someone to talk to if you fancy a chat! But we’re not just about webcams, message boards and TCTV broadcasts. You’ll have plenty of ways to meet with your friends and colleagues face to face; with supplier coffee mornings, training days and our prestigious Annual Conference. As a member of the Travel Counsellors family, we promise you’ll never feel alone. If you would like support at any time, our friendly and helpful Business Development team are only ever a phone call away.
How long does it take to get set up?
Once your application is received and processed, you will need to work out your notice at your current employer, you will sign up to attend our 5-day induction training that is held over the first week of each month (Monday - Friday), so the transition is almost seamless!
How long is the initial training?
After a series of eLearning pre-induction modules, you’ll join our 5-day training programme at our head office in Cape Town. It’s a friendly and engaging way to learn all about the Travel Counsellors approach to travel.
Is there a minimum sales target?
Whilst we don’t set any defined targets, we encourage you to achieve a minimum of R250,000 sales per month in your first 24-month period. This is in your own financial best interests and to ensure you are setting off on a path to a sustainable, successful business. This shouldn’t present a problem if you give your full commitment and follow our advice on best practice.
When do I get paid?
You’ll be paid monthly by bank transfer, with commissions earned between 6-12 weeks before the customer travel date. If you have any queries, you can always call our Accounts team for friendly advice!
Do you provide leads?
No. You’ll build your client base from your personal network. We’ll suggest that you compile a list of family, friends and other personal contacts who you feel comfortable will support your new venture. You’ll be surprised how many people you know when you set your mind to it! You’ll then receive our full support to help you nurture a loyal customer base, promote your business and attract new leads.
Will you help me market my business?
You’ll have access to professional and effective marketing materials created by our talented team of creatives. We’re also on hand with plenty of tips on how to market yourself in your local area. If you’d like to discuss upcoming marketing campaigns, our Marketing team would be happy to take your call.
Is there out of hours support?
Wherever you are, whenever you need us, you can rest assured that there will always someone on hand to help you. Our duty office is available 24/7 to help and support both you and your customers should an issue arise either pre-departure or in resort. The duty office monitor worldwide events, so should an issue arise that may affect your clients then the duty office will communicate accordingly. They will also run a report to identify the bookings that may be in resort or travelling imminently and they will notify you of any bookings affected. The Travel Counsellor and the duty office work together to ensure our customers are looked after. Our South African after-hours emergency line is available for you to call should you have a ticketing emergency outside of traditional office hours.
What happens when I go on leave or if I'm sick?
We all need a break – so rest assured that your business won’t suffer while you’re taking some well-earned time away. We operate a buddy system, so a named Travel Counsellor (chosen by yourself) will look after your customers in your absence. We just ask that you return the favour!
Will head office take care of my admin?
No one likes admin – so we’ll do it for you! The team are here to process your supplier payments, sort out any billback problems for approved customers, claim commission on your behalf from third party suppliers, provide statements to clients, handle BSP, claim refunds (BSP), create credit notes, facilitate debt management and bank receipting.
I’ve always enjoyed going on educational trips - will I still have that opportunity?
We understand that to sell a destination, first-hand experience is invaluable. Thanks to our strong supplier relationships, we’re delighted to offer a wide range of educational opportunities to all Travel Counsellors.
Can I still employ my own staff?
Because of the unique nature of your franchise agreement with Travel Counsellors, it may be possible to hire staff if you feel you need to. However, we would encourage you to carefully consider the financial implications if you decide to do so.
Is there an IATA & ASATA license and a BEE Accreditation?
Yes, you can process scheduled air bookings, and the ticketing is done by our team at head office. We also have our own consolidated rates with major airlines. We are members of IATA & ASATA, plus we are currently a Level 2 B-BBEE Contributor.