Trade-only operator and consolidator Major Travel has formally established a scheme to support start-up travel agencies.

Major Independent Partners is aimed at “experienced individuals” who want to set up a business.

The company said partners would need to have the potential to employ 20 reservations staff by year five and to make almost £500,000 in profit a year.

Marketing director Mohammed Rashid stressed that Major Independent Partners is not a homeworking operation but will support agents who aim to “employ multiple people within three years”.

Major Travel will provide back-office requirements such as technology, a white-label website, product, accounts and licensing.

It will also offer business coaching and mentoring, training and marketing support.

Qasim Gulamhusein, managing director, said the London-based operator had been running an informal version of the programme for more than 15 years and works with eight agencies.

“We have never promoted this model of working,” he said.

“But we can see how successful it has been and believe now is the time to help bring more new travel brands into the market.”

The scheme will not charge joining or monthly fees but will take about 10% of the gross profit. Partners will be able to sell Major’s products and any supplier of their choosing.

Applicants will be interviewed to assess if the business has potential.

Major Travel will invest up to £50,000 in each new venture and will prioritise agents who specialise in niche sectors.

The operator has invested £450,000 in technology over the past financial year and said a large part of that investment was aimed at supporting its partner programme.

MoreMajor Travel acquired and goes trade-only [Feb 17]

Special Report: The new owners of Major Travel set out agent-first approach [Feb 17]

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