Steve Byrne CEO - Making it Personal with Travel Counsellors


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In this episode, Jeannette talks to Steve Byrne who is the CEO of Travel Counsellors. They discuss the 3 evolutionary stages the business has gone through. A journey that resulted in double-digit growth every year to the point where turnover is now at £700 million.

Steve explains how the company has benefitted from actively working to do the right thing for its customers and to be the best. They are a relationship-based business, so their people and trust are the glue that makes them strong. He explains that despite the pressures of CoVid they stuck to their values and how it enabled them to come through that crisis. He also talks about using sounding boards, making decisions, being resilient, staying in shape and how to expand overseas.


  • We have looked at how we can grow by doing the right thing for our customers and colleagues.
  • Too many travel firms expend all of their energy chasing new customers instead of looking after the ones that they already have.
  • When you care more than anyone else, people notice the positive difference and come back to you repeatedly.
  • Your career works in tandem with your personal life. You determine how they are blended.
  • Surround yourself with the right people to act as a sounding board.
  • When you have to make tough decisions, do it in the most caring way.
  • Absorb headlines but don’t get overwhelmed by the details. You need to stay positive to be able to help.
  • Most people want to be the best that they can be, so find ways to facilitate that.


‘To keep it entrepreneurial you focus on growth and wanting to do better. ´

‘Two-thirds of our business is repeat business… and the rest of it comes from referrals.’

‘Build capacity within the team and create other leaders.’

‘Learn not to worry about things that you cannot control.’

This is the perfect time to get focused on what YOU want to really achieve in your business, career, and life. It’s never too late to be BRAVE and BOLD and unlock your inner BRILLIANCE. If you’d like to join Jeannette’s FREE Business Impact Seminar just DM Jeannette at or sign up via Jeannette’s linktree


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Steve Byrne joined Travel Counsellors in 2004 as Managing Director and became CEO in September 2016. Steve led an MBO of the business in 2014 backed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited, and in 2018 steered the company through a secondary buy-out with Vitruvian Partners.

Travel Counsellors’ platform enables a community of over 2000 independent travel counsellors to run their own independent businesses providing highly personalised corporate and leisure services and building lasting relationships with customers. The company operates in six countries and employees 250 people in its support team in Manchester.

The company has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the third time in the company’s history during 2021, alongside Best National Travel Retailer in the British Travel Awards, and topped MoneySavingExpert’s consumer poll of companies looking after customers during the pandemic, with a consistent 5-star Trustpilot rating.

The Company is currently investing £7m in its technology platform to provide the ability for individual travel counsellors and the company to take advantage of the opportunity that exists to grow rapidly.

The Company is trading significantly above pre-pandemic levels with sales expected to exceed £670m this year and £1b in a few years’ time.


Jeannette Linfoot is a highly regarded senior executive, property investor, board advisor, and business mentor with over 25 years of global professional business experience across the travel, leisure, hospitality, and property sectors. Having bought, ran, and sold businesses all over the world, Jeannette now has a portfolio of her own businesses and also advises and mentors other business leaders to drive forward their strategies as well as their own personal development.

Jeannette is a down-to-earth leader, a passionate champion for diversity & inclusion, and a huge advocate of nurturing talent so every person can unleash their full potential and live their dreams.


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Podcast Description

Jeannette Linfoot talks to incredible people about their experiences of being Brave, Bold & Brilliant, which have allowed them to unleash their full potential in business, their careers, and life in general. From the boardroom tables of ‘big’ international businesses to the dining room tables of entrepreneurial start-ups, how to overcome challenges, embrace opportunities and take risks, whilst staying ‘true’ to yourself is the order of the day.

business, growth, scale, marketing, investment, investing, entrepreneurship, coach, consultant, mindset, six figures, seven figures, travel, industry, ROI, B2B, inspirational:

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