Independently wealthy

Joining The Global Travel Group can be good for your wealth, explains Marketing Manager Neil Osthoff

Sam Redfern opened Independent Travel Shop with her business partner Barry in August 2005 and, after just a few months trading, reports business is already booming.

Opening the agency was a natural progression for Sam who has always had a keen interest in travel. 'I had always wanted to work in the travel industry,' she explains. 'I used to want to be an air hostess, but realised that the career prospects and earning potential was much greater selling holidays.'

Sam gained her experience in the industry by working for a My Travel retail outlet. 'I was making the agency a lot of money and didn't get any thanks for it,' Sam confides. 'My dream was to open my own agency but I never thought it would become a reality. When I found The Global Travel Group website I was really impressed and booked a meeting with the membership team. I thought the package and support members receive was fantastic so decided to take the next step.'

Despite carrying out little promotion of her business, in the first two weeks of opening, Sam's shop was full of customers wanting to book holidays. 'A lot of people walking past came in to have a look at what we offer,' says Sam. 'We spent time talking to the customers and many were surprised and pleased we could offer holidays from a range of tour operators rather than being tied to just one. I would definitely say this is a major benefit to being an independent agent.'

Another advantage provided by Sam's agency is the coffee area for customers waiting for help or just wanting to browse through the brochures. 'The coffee area is fantastic!' she enthuses. 'Customers can get themselves a drink and we have a computer set up so they can browse our website while they wait. We also have a range of DVDs, which we play to promote different products, such as cruises.'

Sam is really making the most of the exclusive offers made available to agents through the Group. 'They are working really well,' she comments. 'The offers we put in the window are really bringing the customers in to enquire and we have sold a lot of them already. We have also been doing a lot of 'late' bookings and I have been really pleased with the response so far.'

As a new member of the Group, Sam advises other new agents in similar situations: 'The Group provides all the tools, support and exclusive offers that you need and is a huge benefit, but you have to utilise its support. You really have to put the work in to see the rewards.'

So what does the future hold for Independent Travel Centre? 'I know it is early days yet but I would like to expand the business over time,' says Sam. 'I'm considering eventually opening a call centre.'

With such a positive attitude, we at The Global Travel Group feel Sam is sure to achieve her dreams and lead Independent Travel Centre to success.