Congratulations on your new business Sarah Kelley!
- 20 Jan 2021
- Danni de Nervaux
Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, former Advantage member, Sarah Kelley decided to set up her own business through Advantage Managed Services Trust Account (AMS). We wanted to catch up with Sarah to find out more about her plans for Future Travel Group and to find out about her first month of trading.
Q: How long has the business been trading?
Sarah: Future Travel Group was unfortunately born because Thornton’s Travel ceased trading last year. As with many companies Thornton’s was massively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and had to close its doors in September. I had worked for the company for over 30 years and like most people in the industry, travel is in my blood. I was lucky to secure an investor and possibly crazy enough to start again in December with Future Travel Group.
Q: How many people work in the business?
Sarah: There are four of us in the company at the moment, I am very fortunate to have Dawn who was a cruise expert at Thornton’s, has a wealth of knowledge and delivers fantastic customer service and also, Gin who was manager of the Chew Valley office at Thornton’s, a travel guru who is well known in the industry. We also have Geoff who has travelled vastly and will be bringing new ideas to the company.
Q: What do you see as your biggest business challenge?
Sarah: Definitely the biggest challenge this year is still the pandemic and our clients’ confidence in travelling again. We have been making bookings in January which has been fantastic, and the appetite is definitely there, so I am optimistic for travel from May onwards.
Q: Are there any areas you specialise in?
Sarah: We specialise in cruise, luxury and tailormade holidays. We enjoy the challenges presented by the client and make them feel special by connecting with them on a personal level, ensuring the feeling of exclusivity and individuality is delivered from start to finish.
Q: What was the main reason for deciding to join AMS?
Sarah: At Thornton’s Travel, we had been part of Advantage for a very long time, so I already knew how well they worked alongside their travel partners and suppliers. It was the obvious choice and the support we have received so far in setting the business up through the AMS Trust Account facility has been fantastic.
Q: What is your favourite holiday hotspot?
Sarah: Definitely French Polynesia, I was very lucky to win a trip there 15 years ago and took my then boyfriend. We stayed on Tahiti and Moorea, overwater bungalows at each destination, you could dive from your balcony and watch the fish below from your viewing spot inside. My boyfriend proposed to me on the trip and we have now been married for 13 years!
Q: If you were not working in the travel industry, what work would you like to do?
Sarah: I would love to help organise music events and festivals, living in Bristol I have been to Glastonbury many times and I don’t think you can beat seeing a band live (I can’t wait to be able to go again).
Q: What's your favourite food?
Sarah: Having two children and not being able to eat out right now, I would say anything I don’t have to cook myself; I can’t wait to go to a restaurant again!
Q: Anything else we need to know?
Sarah: I think this is a very worrying time for anyone in the travel industry and I thought my previous job would be the place where I would retire. It’s been very scary starting again after 30 years with one company, but I would say to anyone out there finding themselves in my position, that you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.
A big thank you to Sarah Kelly for talking to us, you can find out more about Future Travel Group here.
If you would like to find out more about Advantage and becoming a member, please contact us here.
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