Helena started her journey in the tourism industry in 1984 by Joining South African Airways, at the Then Jun Smuts Airport assisting Passengers with Ground and Airport Handling. She moved through the ranks from Ground Handling, to Ticketing and Fares, Yield Management, Sales & Marketing and finally ended her journey with SAA as one of their Trainers. Training has never left her blood as she then went on to become a freelance Galileo Facilitator when she took the package at SAA in 1993. Whilst being a freelance Galileo Facilitator, she took on the role as Lecturer in Travel & Tourism at Wits Technikon and it is here where her dream, slowly became a reality. Here is where she saw that a dedicated institution was required for the tourism industry and where smaller classes and individual attention would be the way to go. It was here where the idea for the Travel Learning Centre was born and in the final months of 1996, she started and opened the Travel Learning Centre.
In 1997 She started her first class with 11 students and it grew year on year, never being more than 20 learners per class in order to ensure the individual attention is never compromised. Every year, Helen made sure that each graduating learner was placed in the industry for their practical experience, which always became permanent employment. In the time that Helena owned TLC, she successfully placed 1000’s of students. Whilst being a hands on Principle of TLC, she became very aware that the need for practical application was very important and it was here that Travel by Arrangement came into being.
In 1999, Travel by Arrangement (former TBA Corporate) started with 1 consultant with the aim of being an agency where the learners could go and practice and gain experience. TBA only had 1 or 2 clients to start with, but as with everything else Helena touches, it grew! In fact it grew so much that it had to become its own legal entity and had to get its own IATA License.
In 2010, Helena had to sell Travel Learning Centre, which wasn’t an easy decision to make… Travel By Arrangement was becoming a force to be reckoned with and needed her undivided attention.
So from humble beginnings, Helena has become a force to be reckoned with. A dynamic business woman with a heart of gold. This is evident in the way she runs her Agency, with compassion and care. The staff at the agency are like her family and this we believe is the secret to her success.
Travel by Arrangement is 17 Years old this year and currently has a staff compliment of around 30 and an independent team of 22. They are the leader in innovation as they’re constantly improving their digital footprint to keep up with technology.