Mr Kelbie said his biggest commission had come from a booking to Mykonos this summer, which made him £1,800. He had contacted an Airbnb villa owner and negotiated the price from £19,000 to £13,000 on behalf of his client.
James Ferrara, founder of InteleTravel, said the business model had “offered a lifeline” to people at a time of record layoffs, particularly in the tourism industry. He said: “We have doubled travel sales since 2019, even while travel was at a standstill. People will always book a holiday.”
Mr Ferrara predicted a holiday boom in 2021 would make next year even more lucrative for his firm’s agents.
While there may be optimism for the new year, for now, people are stuck at home and many new travel agents have been unable to make money.
Emily Heath, a 56-year-old carer whose name has been changed, is more than £300 out of pocket