Global Travel Group: Top flight opportunity

The Global Flight Centre has been established for 10 years and is one of The Global Travel Group's longest standing members. Neil Osthoff, Marketing Manager, reports

David Finlay and his team of two have brought The Global Flight Centre to the success it enjoys today. Previously a Development Manager for WH Smith, David has always been a keen traveller. His love of travelling was the deciding factor in leaving his position within WH Smith to embark on his own exciting business venture. 'I chose to become a member of The Global Travel Group because the package offered everything you could need to start a new business,' David explains.

So, being new to the travel industry, did David struggle when he started out? 'Not at all!' he laughs. 'Even though I had no travel industry experience I was very well travelled and could draw on my own personal experience to offer advice and knowledge to customers. It was also a great help that the Group systems, particularly the back office system, was so easy to use.'

As the name suggests, The Global Flight Centre specialises in selling flights, but they also offer a wide range of holiday products to suit every taste. 'City breaks to Europe are particularly popular at the moment and we are currently seeing great success through packaging holidays with the Group ATOL and Dynamic Packaging Solution,' reveals David. 'We enjoy searching for the components to tailor-make every customer's holiday to their exact requirements.'

David mainly advertises his agency in the Yellow Pages which he finds beneficial, but due to the loyal customer base he has achieved over the years, most of his business is repeat custom. Since the launch of Global Travel Money, the Group's online foreign exchange facility, back in June, The Global Flight Centre has been one of many agents to benefit from the system. 'It's an easy way to make money,' says David. 'We put leaflets in with all of our tickets and have an A-board outside the agency to promote the facility. Many of our customers are pleasantly surprised that we can offer them this service.'

David has enjoyed the benefits of being a Group member for many years now and has some words of advice for new members. 'Being a member of the Group supplies you with benefits such as access to fantastic technology and a huge range of Tour Operators,' David explains. 'The back office system is brilliant and incredibly easy to use. However, it's not just an easy way to make money. You need to know what you are talking about and have a real love of travelling. It will show to your customers if you are passionate about the products - I'm sure that has been the key to our success.'

With 10 years of business behind it, The Global Flight Centre is looking to the future. 'Our long term vision is to get to grips with the internet and get a good online presence. We have a Global Travel Web site and are looking forward to this becoming an important part of the business in the future.'

The Group has recently formed a commercial venture 'The Triton Travel Group', which unites independent agents and further increases buying power for the benefit of members.