After 26 years in the travel industry, Joanne Dooey decided to go it alone and started up her own travel agency on 6th September 2013 on the AMS scheme. Most new owners would be anxious prior to opening their first travel agency whereas Joanne was remarkably calm and collected. The AMS scheme allowed Joanne to focus on getting the right staff for her branch and not having to worry about getting an ABTA or ATOL.
The Love to Travel branch opened with Joanne being in undated with job applications which was a fantastic start – she wanted to get in place a team were keen to start bringing holidays to life. Initial applications came from a social media push by asking who wants a ‘Dream Job’ on Facebook – now Jo is lucky to have her dream job with Love to Travel.
Joanne feels confident with the team she now has in place as there’s no-one in the team with less than 19 years travel experience. Joanne herself used to run 42 shops for Thomas Cook and only had a handful that didn’t make money – only those where the people were not motivated! With Joanne’s extensive experience it was the right move for Joanne to sign up to the AMS scheme, she had far too much knowledge in the business to waste her time dealing with the admin side so here at Advantage , we took that side off her hands.
On top of that, Joanne herself has years of experience, including 17 years as a regional manager looking after up to 53 shop locations and one of the main reasons for setting up as her own was she wanted to become her own boss. Even through this is a tough job and Joanne works round the clock – she’s ecstatic with the move as she reaps the benefits or her hard work.
As well as long-haul and cruise, the agency plans to specialise in the family market and to offer a honeymoon gift service. And if this one is successful, Joanne plans to open another branch in a year’s time. Being part of Advantage helps Joanne start planning for this, Advantage can help with analysing the need in the market for what she wants to set up and have dedicated business advisors which assist Joanne in every step of the way.