David Speakman was the original pioneer of the travel agents working from home concept, and is the founder of Travel Counsellors, which was the first - and is also the largest - travel home-working company in the world.
After operating a chain of retail travel agents in North West England for 15 years, David founded Travel Counsellors in 1994. The company’s super-relational business model is based on empowering the best travel professionals to take control of their own destinies, building personal relationships, delivering the highest levels of service, and enabling them to take control of their own earning potential. Twenty years on, Travel Counsellors has enjoyed phenomenal success, with over 1,300 agents running their own travel businesses in the UK and overseas, and a turnover at the end of its last financial year (Oct 31 2013) of £385m.
Under David’s leadership as Chairman alongside Group MD Steve Byrne, company directors and general managers across eight countries, Travel Counsellors continues to be one of the biggest innovators in the travel industry. The company has an almost 70% repeat business rate and a world-beating 96% customer satisfaction score. It is the only travel agency to twice be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for business success, most recently in 2014 for its hugely successful expansion overseas. It has also being listed in 2011, 2012 & 2013 Sunday Times International Fast Track for international growth and the Telegraph’s 1000 Britain’s Brightest Businesses.
David is also an ardent champion of the customer. It was his vision that saw Travel Counsellors UK launch a Financial Trust in 2004 to guarantee all client money, and he has spoken at a number of high profile seminars on customer service.
David was honoured by the Hall of Fame in 2008.