UK-Based Travel Counsellors Unveils Expansion Plan

Bolton, UK-based Travel Counsellors unveiled ambitious overseas expansion plans as it aims to increase annual revenues to more than $660 million within three years. The company is looking to establish franchise operations in India, China and Scandinavia for its next phase of growth.

Travel Counsellors already has a presence in Ireland, Holland, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Germany and the U.S., in addition to the UK.

Managing director Steve Byrne said overseas sales accounted for 15 percent of overall turnover in the year to the end of October.

The firm’s revenues climbed from $405 million to just over $416 million. Profit figures are not fully available, but Byrne said margins had held up and earnings would be around last year’s $7.6 million, or slightly higher.

The company, established by chairman David Speakman in 1994, now has 400 home-based travel agents abroad and more than 900 in Britain.

Travel Counsellors added 180 agents abroad in its last financial year and expects to recruit many more over the next 12 months, with South Africa and Australia earmarked for significant growth.