Covid-19 job loss prompts Martin to launch out on his own
- Credit: Martin Kindred-Langdon
A man who worked as a retail agent on the High Street for 23 years has launched his own travel franchise.
Martin Kindred-Langdon was devastated when his job came to an end in the Spring after TUI shut down in Ely.
He wanted to keep a career in travel, so launched his own franchise from home with agency, Travel Counsellors.
“It was risky, as we are still in a pandemic, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss and I had the full support of my husband, Andy,” said Martin.
Martin has now been in his new role for just over a month, and is thoroughly enjoying it.
He said: “I can offer my customers something different – that personal touch.
“I can even remind them when their passport needs renewing!
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Martin’s passion for travel started when he was young.
He was fortunate to have travelled to France, Germany, USA, Spain and the Balearic Islands before he was 16.
Fascinated by the industry, Martin studied a GNVQ in Travel and Tourism.
“During the first term, I asked to do a work placement on top of studying,” he said.
“That was the official start for me – January 16 1998, and then a week later I was asked to work paid weekends!
“That was the beginning of my second home at 23 High Street, Ely.”
Throughout Martin’s time at TUI, the travel industry was faced with 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and Icelandic volcanic clouds.
“Each one showed the strength and resilience of the industry,” said Martin.
“But then in March 2020 the world seemed to stand still.
“Our shop closed on March 24 and I was immediately placed on furlough for the rest of the month and for April.
12 months later, Martin received the news that his beloved store was closing.
He looked at other jobs outside of the travel industry, but the pull of travel was just too strong for him.
“All the knowledge I had built over the years was too much for me to leave the industry I love,” he said.
“My friend Becky suggested Travel Counsellors – she knew my passion for travel and customer service!
“As things are hopefully starting to resume, I think there will be pent up demand to travel the world.”