Not Just Travel has ‘big growth ambitions’ says new commercial director

Homeworking agency Not Just Travel has ‘big growth ambitions’ for the next few years, says its new commercial director, Chris Harrison.

The ex-Dawson & Sanderson managing director joined the business three weeks ago to oversee business development, revenue generation and training for Not Just Travel’s consultants.

He said the Dorset-based company currently has about 900 franchisees and his appointment is part of the strategy for growth.

Furthermore, his post is the first of several new senior roles to be appointed, which will enable co-founders Steve Witt and Paul Harrison to concentrate on expansion and the wider business strategy, said Chris Harrison.

“The business is growing and as it grows, we need to optimise the revenue opportunities and excel at the next level,” he said, who has experience of supplier relationships, purchasing, selling and running sales teams from his time at Newcastle-based Dawson & Sanderson, as well as Thomas Cook.

Harrison has just returned from the company’s recent retreats in Cyprus, which were supported by trade partners Constantinou Bros Hotels and Classic Collection.

One hundred travel consultants attended training sessions and experienced the hotel group’s properties first-hand – with several of them making bookings during the retreats.

“They made me feel really welcome and the engagement was incredible – it was intensive training,” said Harrison.

“Everyone was very enthusiastic for the product and lots were doing bookings before they even left.

“Such face-to-face events are brilliant…giving consultants a chance to cross-pollinate their skills and come together to galvanise the community.

“I have never been on a classroom-style trip like that with so many enthused for knowledge.”

His priorities include improving the onboarding training by “taking it up a couple of notches” and offering more value-added initiatives for trade partners.

“The level of interest in franchises has gone up because of recommendations and success stories,” he said.

“People can join from a non-travel background and in a few years they can be turning over more than a single high street store.

“That pays tribute to the process and support network. We invest in people as much as we invest in the business.

“The retention rate is high and our commission structure is market-leading.”

The company is headquartered in Christchurch, Dorset, but, like the consultants, Harrison will remain working from home in the north.

“It reflects the way the business is run; I do not need to be in the room,” he said.

“We are a very technologically advanced business and technology is part of our success.”

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