The Freedom Travel Group has grown the size of its business overall by 10% in the last year.
The figures, which refer to Thomas Cook’s rebranded homeworking division, Freedom Personal Travel Advisors, and its Freedom Travel Group consortium agents, are for the 12 months ending September 30, 2017.
Sales were up by 13% for the year, while passenger numbers were up by 11% and average sales values by 4%.
Kelly Cookes, head of the Freedom Travel Group, told agents at this year’s conference in Nottingham that 30 agents had joined either the consortium or homeworking division in the 2016-2017 financial year, accounting for 10% growth in the size of the overall business.
She added: “This is our strongest year in terms of recruitment for the last four years, since I have been in the job. We have done some recruitment campaigns but it has come mainly from recommendations.”
Three personal travel advisors have also switched across to become Freedom Travel Group consortium members in the last year as a result of growing their businesses, she said.
She admitted it had been a “turbulent year” as a result of hurricane Irma in the Carribbean and the collapse of the Monarch Travel Group, adding: “It looks like 2018 will have its own challenges, kicking off with credit card fees….We want to carry on doing what we do well.”
The Freedom Travel Group now sits within Thomas Cook’s commercial division following a recent restructure in the business.
Head of commercial, sales and relations Phil Gardner told delegates it had been a strong year, with sales and revenues up, but admitted margins had been tight because of price rises.
He said the group was working hard on its supplier partnerships for Freedom agents. “I am a big believer in the independent trade and I am looking forward to making them [supplier partnerships] stronger.”
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