Travel Counsellors has announced its new partnership with Express Travel Group, stating that Australian Franchisees will migrate early next year to “provide continuity for business owners”.
Travel Counsellors Australia franchisees will migrate to Express Travel Group (ETG) in early 2021 as part of a combined commitment from both networks to support business owners beyond the departure of Travel Counsellors from this market.
Travel Counsellors and ETG have held extensive talks to ensure that individual Travel Counsellors will be fully supported to continue running their corporate and leisure travel businesses in the country.
The transition will take place on 1 February 2021, with plans to launch a new brand under the ETG umbrella in 2021.
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Travel Counsellors CEO Steve Byrne will oversee the transition in an advisory role. Regional Managing Director Kaylene Shuttlewood and a number of the Travel Counsellors support team based in Melbourne will transfer to ETG, headquartered in Melbourne, with offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
A consultation process will begin for all Travel Counsellors Australia support team members, with a dedicated programme of support which focuses on wellbeing, finances and future career development.
Travel Counsellors CEO, Steve Byrne says, “Our aim in this has been to find an elegant and caring way forward for our people, and support as many of our franchisees as possible to transition their business to Express Travel Group, which has a long-established history in Australia since 1983.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, Travel Counsellors has been quick to react and adapt both financially and operationally, with the company embarking on a package of measures to support our long-term strategy and future growth, which has led to this transition decision.”
“As such, we have taken great care to source the right business partner for our people, and in doing so have found Express Travel Group share our core values, which are based on showing care, providing personal service to customers, and feature a strong organisational culture centred around putting people at the heart of everything they do.”
Steve Byrne, Travel Counsellors CEO
“Throughout this period we will support our colleagues and provide a safe, guided process for Travel Counsellors transitioning their franchise where they can look forward to a bright future as part of the ETG network, continuing to grow their businesses and deliver outstanding levels of customer care. We have taken the time to make sure that we have the team in place to support each and every individual whenever they need us.”
Express Travel Group CEO, Tom Manwaring says, ‘Express Travel Group has a long and proud history of supporting and promoting independent agencies, so we are delighted to have formed this partnership with Travel Counsellors, and look forward to welcoming its business owners into the ETG family.”
“The care and attention Travel Counsellors show to their customers means that they are a natural fit for our community here in Australia.”
“We look forward to working closely with Travel Counsellors Regional Managing Director Kaylene Shuttlewood, and CEO Steve Byrne, through this period to deliver a seamless transition experience for everyone involved.”
Tom Manwaring, Express Travel Group CEO
“ETG, through Express Tickets, continues to expand our market-leading independent travel agent offering. Aligned with this we will also be providing a new division for our mobile members powered by Express Tickets, and Aeronology NDC capable technology, with more to come.”
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