Investment boss launches career in travel after meeting 100 agents on a cruise

By Kelly Ranson
Home » Investment boss launches career in travel after meeting 100 agents on a cruise

A private equity boss has ditched the finance industry to sell holidays – after being inspired by a group of agents she met on a cruise.

Dawn Carney spent 25 years working in investments and acquisitions – and the last seven at a private equity firm in London – but decided to ditch it all for a career in travel after finding herself on the same Virgin Voyages cruise as 100 Barrhead Travel agents.

Dawn, 46, from Wynyard, near Stockton-on-Tees, said: “I went on the cruise with my mum and we had the best time.

“I met the group of 100 agents and they were telling me how great the job was. The were all living their best lives and it made me think about what I was doing with my own life and how much time I want to spend with my family, particularly my three-year-old grandson. So I went straight home an started researching travel franchise companies.”

She joined The Travel Franchise, part of Not Just Travel, in November 2023 and set up her agency, The Luxe Voyager. By mid-January she had secured 12 bookings with another seven in the pipeline.

She added: “I went to a networking lunch recently and secured three bookings alone just from that one event.  I’ve joined lots of groups including the Business Network International (BNI) – it’s great to be out networking and building relationships.”

In her old job, Dawn was regularly parachuted in as an interim Managing Director prior to a company being sold. She says her previous job was stressful, with not much downtime – but the travel industry is much more enjoyable.

“If I’m honest, it doesn’t feel like work to me,” she said. “It’s really enjoyable researching different countries and scoping together different trips for individuals or families in different countries. It’s exciting.

“If I hadn’t have gone on that cruise, I would never have thought of changing careers.”

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