InteleTravel attributes rapid growth to flexible working

InteleTravel has revealed 70% of its 10,500 travel agents work part-time and claims this is behind its surge in homeworker numbers since setting up in the UK.

Most of the group’s UK agents who work part-time combine their homeworking job with other careers.

The group, which started in the US, was granted Abta membership in 2019, when it had about 1,800 UK homeworkers.

More: InteleTravel reports ‘strong’ sales despite Ukraine uncertainty

By last year, when it was granted its Atol licence, the number of homeworkers had risen to 10,500.

It allows agents to work full-time, part-time or as a hobby and does not require agents to have travel industry experience.

The group says it has enjoyed growth of about 40% in the last two years, which it also attributes to competitive start-up fees and monthly costs.

InteleTravel UK director Tricia Handley-Hughes said new agents have joined because they don’t have to quit their regular jobs and salaries while building their travel business and earning some extra income. She said individual transaction values were high despite the fact most agents worked part-time.

She added: “Sometimes our agents are judged on their performance alone, but we need to remember that their travel agency role is additional to the household income. Given the last two years, this is a godsend to many.”

Homeworkers must undergo the group’s training programme and pass the basic levels before they can sell holidays and there are further full-day workshops and events to build agents’ knowledge.

“After training, they can then decide how quickly they want to build their business and how much they want to work. This model and our low charges are attractive to both the agent and our industry as it nurtures new talent and creates a pipeline for sales,” she added.

One of the group’s top-selling agents also works full-time as operations manager for cyber security firm BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

Victoria Grieveson, who became an InteleTravel agent in November 2020, said the fact the job was part-time was one of the reasons she could do the job.

She said: “I’ve always loved travel and I just thought that I’ve got nothing to lose if I can keep doing my regular job in the meantime.

“Sometimes I’ve been working until 2am and on weekends but it’s a transitional period for me. My long-term goal is to be a full-time agent when I can match what I was earning from my corporate role.”

Penny Ross, who started Penny Ross Travel in 2019 as part of InteleTravel, is a manager for a property management company and manages the company’s vehicles in about 20 countries.

“I’d always wanted to do something in travel, but I needed to keep my secure income from my job for my family,” she said.

“Of course, you get out what you put in. If you want to treat InteleTravel as a business and work hard it will 100% pay you as a business and if you want to treat it as a hobby it will pay you like a hobby.

“It’s down to you and that’s the appeal.”

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