Kirsten Hughes - UK MD & Chief Commercial Officer - Travel Counsellors

Judge for The Castle Corporate Finance Scale-Up Business of the Year Award

Kirsten Hughes is UK MD and Chief Commercial Officer at Travel Counsellors. From her original role as travel consultant in 1995, Kirsten was promoted to telesales manager within two years and became commercial manager soon after. 2004 saw Kirsten promoted to commercial director, and most recently to the role of UK managing director in 2016. Kirsten’s progression through the business and her leadership of the commercial division is well-regarded within the travel industry, evidenced by the quality of the supplier-partner relationships she has forged on behalf of Travel Counsellors across two decades.

During her 25 years at Travel Counsellors Kirsten has been instrumental in growing the company from a UK-focused travel agency with three employees, to an international network of over 1,900 expert travel professionals. Her role in delivering the commercial strategy, and now leading the UK business, has seen Travel Counsellors double in size since 2005, and become a global leader in travel.

Kirsten has built an outstanding commercial portfolio, enabling the company’s agents to have access to the most beneficial supplier relationships in the industry. Due to her long legacy and experience within the company, Kirsten has nurtured a personal relationship with the vast majority of Travel Counsellor business owners, and her hands-on approach ensures the company achieves its mission to create inspiring journeys for its people – its customers, business owners, support teams and commercial partners.

Kirsten's passion for the business and the travel industry is palpable, and as an indispensable member of Travel Counsellors leadership team Kirsten continually strives to inspire and support both her peers and colleagues to deliver their best performance, and be the very best they can be.