Jason Buckley Jason Buckley

Independence can empower

Going out as an independent agent can at first seem daunting – however with support teams and systems to help and guide new members this can be the start of an empowering and rewarding move, says Jason Buckley, general manager of FCTG Independent.

Buckley says now is a great time for travel professionals in general.

‘There has never been a better time where the consumers value and appreciate a good ‘agent’ than now.

‘Becoming an independent agent is a chance to take that next step in your travel career, manage your own time, build your own business and reap the rewards individually’.

Travel consultants from various agencies are reporting high levels of enquiries, with some stores seeing lines outside shops, and other retailers having to do appointments only. For independent agents, several of them are at capacity, and fielding new enquiries is at an all time high.

Members of Flight Centre Travel Group’s Independent pillar are seeing an overall sales increase of 30% compared to pre-Covid levels, with ticket sales up in excess of 60%.

Independent travel agents can apply to join the FCTG Independent pillar. The model operates where an independent agent can own and operate their own business but have 24/7 access to Flight Centre Travel Group resources, systems and support.

‘Agents with proven sales performance and an established customer base are prefect candidates,’ says Buckley.

Being an independent agent also means agents can specialise in the type of travel and products they offer to customers.

Looking ahead, with airfare capacity continuing to grow, Buckley says there may be some former travel agents who are wanting to return to the industry, but don’t want to go back into a retail store. There might also be agents currently working for brands that want to go out on their own.

‘There is a real opportunity to be a travel entrepreneur as we see the demand for expert travel professionals at an all-time high, as customers now value an experienced travel expert.’

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