The Travel Network Group’s homeworking arm has seen a flurry of bumper bookings in recent weeks with one agent bagging enough commission help him put a deposit down on his first house.

Kent-based Tony Fowler, a member of the consortium’s Independent Travel Experts (ITE), made a £104,000 booking for a billionaire who rubs shoulders with Elton John and Simon Cowell.

The booking, with If Only, was for a family of four to the Maldives with first-class Emirates flights.

Fowler – an ITE member for 10 years – said: “It’s the biggest booking I’ve ever made. I knew [the client] was speaking to a luxury hotel company direct, so I gave him about 10 options and he went with me.

“He’s good friends with Simon Cowell and Elton John, so hopefully he’ll recommend me to some of his friends.

“If I get a booking like this every three months it would be massive. I’ll probably use this as part of the deposit on my first house.”

The booking was the fourth Fowler has made for the billionaire, but eclipses other trips to destinations including New Orleans and the Bahamas in terms of value.

Also in the past fortnight, Wigan-based ITE member Kathy Kay made a £178,000 group booking for about 200 dance enthusiasts to travel to New York, while another ITE member, Samantha Gritt, of Southampton, made a £35,000 Royal Caribbean group cruise booking.

Lisa Henning, group membership services director at The Travel Network Group, said: “These huge bookings really show the strength of our homeworking proposition.

“Spending that much money shows how much trust people have in their travel agent.”

Have you made a big booking recently? Email ben.ireland@travelweekly.co.uk

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