The Travel Franchise has a high percentage of female business owners who have started travel consultancies. Even though many have never worked in travel before, their businesses have skyrocketed. Meet Ami Wood whose part-time hobby grew into a full-time award-winning travel agency hitting £1.5 million in sales in 18 months.

Having dedicated 20 years of her life working for family businesses, Ami Wood thought that becoming a travel agent would be a fun part-time hobby that could give her some extra income. 

Never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d be on track to hit £1.5m in sales within 18 months and shortlisted for New Agent of the Year at a prestigious travel industry ceremony. 

“It’s changed my life completely. It’s a job I love and I’m getting paid to do it.”

When Ami first researched Not Just Travel, she admits she had never heard of the brand before. “But when I attended a conference I was gob smacked at the scale of its operations. 

“Since I joined in January 2022, it’s clear that it’s going places fast. I’m so happy that I signed up. I’ve experienced and grown so much.”

In her first 10 months, Ami travelled abroad with NJT on a ski trip to Colorado, a golf trip to Mauritius, a luxury cruise on NCL and explored Turkey with a trade partner.  

But was it plain sailing from the start? “The training was intense – there’s a lot to take in, but in the travel industry you never stop learning, even if you’ve been a consultant for 30 years. It’s exciting.”

So, it’s good to know that help is always at hand: “It doesn’t matter what time or day it is, NJT’s business development managers are there every step of the way.”

Ami also finds Facebook groups useful for fact finding, along with NJT’s key trade partners. “I’ve recently closed a £40,000 booking to New Zealand for a cricket tour – a country and sport I knew nothing about, but the supplier has been invaluable, even offering to speak directly to the client.” 

So how has she managed to find so many customers? “Friends and family are really supportive and social media is great, but the biggest way to get business is word-of-mouth. Once somebody’s booked a holiday with me, they are really happy with the service and then pass on my details to their friends.”

Ami now has a travel-inspired space in her local garden centre, a fantastic place with a great footfall to enable Ami to target a new audience that want a face-to-face service.