Attracting and keeping talented travel agents has been a hot topic in the travel industry for several years and Flight Centre U.K. is actually doing something about it. Realizing the necessity to hire and retain more travel agents, they are raising starting salaries by 50%.
Managing director Chris Galanty told Travel Weekly UK that basic starting salaries were going up from £12,000 to £18,000 plus commission. With the increase a travel agent could earn between £25,000 and £26,000 (about $40,000CDN), including commission, in their first year.
“We have to do this, because the reality is that in our industry it takes time to be really good at your job, so this allows new starters to earn really well, even in year one,” Galanty said. “If you’re going to be a serious offline player in travel, you’ve got to be good at staff retention, so higher starting salaries will help this.”
Galanty added, “A lot of our very loyal repeat customers, who are really valuable to us, come back and book because of the agent they dealt with. If that agent moves on, very often their customer goes with them. An £18,000 starting salary is very good in this industry so this should help ensure they stay.”
Flight Centre is looking to recruit another 200 staff this year across all 10 of the brands it operates in the U.K.