A travel agent with more than two decades experience in the luxury tailor-made market has started his own homeworking firm.

Ben Poole, who launched The Travel Journal on New Year’s Day, will meet customers in Harrogate’s iconic café Betty’s Tea Rooms.

He has 21 years’ experience working for luxury tailor-made specialists, including 15 years at Traveltalk in Harrogate, which he left to start his own business.


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Poole said: “More and more clients are cash rich and time poor so are looking for a personal travel agent to create their holiday. Families especially are realising that they will get more out of a tailor-made trip than a fly-and-flop break.”

He hopes to take some loyal clients with him but, to attract new customers, Poole is advertising in regional lifestyle magazines and hosting events including his ‘Around the World in 60 Minutes’ where six operators will have 10 minutes each to pitch their products.

Events will be ticketed, with proceeds going to a yet-to-be confirmed travel-based charity. “When people pay for an event, even a nominal fee, they’re less likely to change their mind,” he added. “And people like knowing it goes to a good cause.”

The Travel Journal’s name plays on a storybook concept Poole hopes his clients will pick up. He explained: “It’s as if this is my journal and I want to share it with my clients as they make their own memories. On my marketing on Instagram, I’m using Polaroid-style pictures – it’s a like a collection of photographs with notes, like a journal.”

Poole, a New Zealand, Caribbean and US specialist, who has joined the Global Travel Group consortium, hopes to employ another member of staff and open a retail premises in Harrogate later this year.

“I’m aiming big,” he added. “But I want to make sure every client gets that personal service that’s important in luxury. People like to deal with the same person, like a concierge – and I want to give them that personal service.”