Noeline Walsh and Michelle Downey Noeline Walsh and Michelle Downey

Broker expands business, stalwart sets up exit

Michelle Downey, owner of Auckland based Bucket List Travel and a travel broker with Travel Managers Group, is expanding her business.

Downey has purchased Skytrain Lion World Travel from long-time industry veteran Noeline Walsh, also a member of the group. Skytrain was originally set up by Downey’s father Ian Dyer, although several changes of ownership have since occurred. Walsh will be assisting with the transition of the business, before she retires. Downey says her business started out ‘just me on my own’ for three years. ‘Then in 2017-2018 I expanded and took on a staff member and then a sub-broker. With this purchase I’ll now be in growth mode once more, with an additional database and further staff,’ she adds.

Downey is intending to build up her groups and special interest tour offering with the purchase, which will be a new focus for her and her team. Travel Managers Group general manager Cath McLeod says sales and purchases such as this demonstrate the possibilities available not only to those looking to build or expand their broker business, but also the opportunities that might be available to retiring brokers. ‘There is huge benefit in our being able to offer an exit strategy for a retiring broker, whilst simultaneously providing an opportunity for expansion to someone looking to further-grow their business,’ says McLeod. ‘This is something that brokers should be setting themselves up to do, and strategically planning for in advance,’ she goes on to say.

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