Travel-PA has appointed its first general manager as it anticipates trebling in size to at least 100 homeworkers.
The homeworking group, set up as a separate business by luxury operator Sunset Faraway last year, has recruited Shirley Bell, former business support manager of The Co-operative Travel Personal Travel Advisors, to oversee its growth.
The group has 35 self‑employed homeworkers.
Bell, who worked at The Co-operative Travel from 1999 until she was made redundant this summer, said: “The plan is to grow the business – 100 is a perfectly reasonable and feasible number. It will not become huge; we want to keep that family feel but I don't think the market is saturated at all."
Bell is keen to raise awareness of the group as there is a perception it sells only long-haul holidays because it is owned by Sunset Faraway. Homeworkers have access to Sunset's net fares but are free to sell any operator."Homeworkers can sell everything; there is no control over the suppliers list. Travel-PA is totally separate from the parent company," she said.
She cited the group’s technology, in particular its ability to dynamically package holidays in one “all-singing, all-dancing” system, as a big draw for new recruits.
The Travel-PA model pays homeworkers 70% of the commission they earn. There is no joining fee but homeworkers need to have their own customer database or be able to establish one.
As well as growing the business, Bell will be focused on supporting existing homeworkers, and helping them to grow their businesses. "A focus for me is to offer support and assistance to those who want to grow their businesses," she added. "We organise a huge amount of events for homeworkers to ensure there are plenty of opportunities to network and communicate with each other."
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