Agent who went through ‘hell’ after starting business just before COVID is up for award

By Lisa James
31/08/2022
Home » Agent who went through ‘hell’ after starting business just before COVID is up for award

A travel agent who set up her own business three months before COVID struck has been nominated for an award for her perserverance and personal touch.

Geraldine Marshall launched Marshall Travel in Glasgow at the end of 2019, just 12 weeks before the industry was decimated by lockdowns.

She describes what happened next as ‘hell’, saying the effect of COVID on her business caused her to have a breakdown and she considered closing the business.

But perserverance has paid off and Geraldine is so busy now she’s moved from being a homeworker to having an office in the city.

As a result of her hard work, she’s been nominated in the category of Glasgow’s Favourite Business at the Glasgow Business Awards.

Geraldine started out in the industry at Bath Travel in Salisbury in 1993, as an ABTA trainee, before moving back to Scotland.

She decided to set up on her own in December 2019, initially working from home. The business is now so busy that she opened an office in Glasgow Southside in May this year.

She describes Marshall Travel as a ‘small family business’ that offers the ‘personal one-to-one touch’.

Geraldine told the Glasgow Times, which sponsors the awards category: “It was awful. I launched the business in December 2019 and we just got hit immediately the following year.

“It was hell. As a family business, it had a detrimental effect on our personal finances and our family.”

She told Travel Gossip: “Waking up every day during COVID to mass emails from clients, cancellations from tour operators and refunds was getting too much.

“When you’re alone running your business, I did not have the support of other colleagues to bounce off.

“I had a bit of a breakdown last year and thought about throwing in the towel and returning to full-time employment.

“However, my consortium, Global Travel Group, is now part of The Travel Network Group and they have been a shoulder to cry on.

“I’d like to thank [Director of Membership Services] Stephanie Slark, and [CEO] Gary Lewis for their support.

“I didn’t think in a million years I would be in for a local award, which means a lot to me and my family business.

“My eldest son, aged 19, has been assisting me, learning the ropes.

“If I won it would put Marshall travel on the map locally. I’d be extremely proud as we offer a different service, a bit like a personal concierge travel service.”

The award is the only Glasgow Business Award voted for by the public.

The winner will be crowned on the night of Thursday, 6 October.

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