London-based agency Swords Travel has taken on four ‘associates’ after changing its business model in light of the pandemic.

The agency, located in Wimbledon and owned by Mark and Stuart Swords, announced plans to change its structure last month as it looked to ensure it “was set up to handle a potential second wave”.

Swords Travel have since taken on four self-employed team members on a 60/40 commission-split basis, with the new recruits joining the brand on September 1.

The Swords Travel Associates are: Helen McCulloch, formerly of ITC, Abercrombie & Kent and Exsus Travel; Karen Cooper, formerly of Sovereign Travel and Eden; Sophie Bayo, previously of Luxtripper and Kenwood Travel; and David Knight, who had worked for Thomas Cook.

The associates are able to work remotely while also having the benefit of using the agency’s shop should they need a place to hold a meeting or attend training.

Mark Swords said they had “received a great amount of interest and lots of applications”, adding that he was pleased to have taken on people who had been made redundant in light of the crisis.

“We had lots of interest – there are so many talented people out there who have been made redundant at no fault of their own,” he said. “Interestingly, a lot of product and contracting people had applied, but we needed people with sales experience.

“I’m delighted to have our five associates in place. It’s a really positive step for the business and it’s nice to look forward – we’re really excited about the future and we’re determined to make this work.

“There’s a lot of negativity for the travel sector at the moment, and there’s been a lot of doom and gloom, but we’re really positive about the future for Swords Travel.”

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