UK & Ireland Travel Agent of the Year – What a night, what an honour!

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To be back in one room with lots of our industry colleagues was an honour in itself, but for us to walk away with 2 incredible awards was out of this world!

Jo was crowned the winner of ‘Home-based Agent of the Year’ and then had the wonderful surprise and honour of beings the winners winner with the title of ‘UK & Ireland Travel Agent of of the Year 2021’.

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Emotions were high after the rollercoaster of a journey that Jo has shared with her colleagues and industry. This open and honest nature is one of Jo’s great attributes and one that has contributed to her earning this well-deserved title. 

Jo Shayler joined us 10 years ago with little experience and no customer base. She built up her super successful business using just our enquiry pool for many years, so is a shining example of the opportunity that can await you as a homeworking travel agent with Holidaysplease!

Here are just some of Jo’s proudest achievements:

*Being asked by Travel Trade Gazette to be a panellist on a live Agents Matter debate

*Setting the wheels in motion for hosting my first online client event

*Being invited to become an in-house travel expert for a women’s empowerment website with 600 members

*Being asked by Travel Gossip to offer an opinion for a vox pop on the latest Government announcements in relation to travel restrictions

*Being offered the opportunity by local business, Great Danes, to establish and operate a ‘travel clinic’ from their premises on a regular basis and potentially host local client events – a whole new aspect to my business

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*Being asked by Holidaysplease to co-host a live online Q&A to provide assistance to my colleagues from my first-hand experience of ‘travelling during Covid’

We are all particularly proud of Jo’s proactive attitude during the pandemic, dispute her personal struggles with mental health. Jo saw the step back from selling as an opportunity to grow her business laterally and she is now in a much better place for it with exciting times to come. All the time she has remained  focused on her customers and kept her feet on the ground with them:

”I have retained all customers and over 70% moved their bookings rather than cancelling. Between March 2020 and March 2021, I received 30 new client referrals, all of whom have booked.

This past year falls into the category of ‘the worst of times and had I known what lay ahead, I’m not sure I’d have found the will to do anything but the bare minimum to support my clients and the company that I proudly represent. However, embarking on my business self-improvement journey, surrounding myself with positive associates and having a plan throughout an unprecedented time of global turmoil has been rewarding on several levels, not least for my own personal health. Replacing reactivity with proactivity has helped me to stay engaged with clients in a way I hadn’t done previously, as well as reconnecting with several lapsed clients. It has enabled me to remain productive, pragmatic and purposeful and given me the confidence to promote myself as an experienced, professional, travel expert and realise that I just might be good enough after all.”

A penny for a Director’s thoughts on Jo:

Since joining the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team back in 2011, Jo has brought professionalism, resourcefulness and fun to the HP family, building a fantastic business for herself from scratch and providing a much-valued sounding board to the directors whenever any well-considered feedback is required. Richard Dixon

As an industry we have so much to be proud of, the applause on the night was for everyone who has battled through these tough times.

If you are still unsure of your future, have lots of opportunities to help retain the great people we have in this industry. If you would like the chance to be proudly holding this award in 10 years time, please do not hesitate to find out more by contacting us: careers@

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