This Suffolk agency was launched in 2012 by Lee Hunt, a former Thomas Cook regional manager, who went from acquiring the premises to taking his first bookings in little more than two months.
The sleekly furnished store in the centre of the picturesque town of Woodbridge now turns over close to £3 million per year and enjoyed its best month on record in January 2018.
Strong relationships among the agency’s experienced staff are key to its success; many of the team worked together at Lunn Poly back in the 1990s.
Having started as an apprentice himself, Lee is passionate about bringing on the next generation, and latest recruit Hannah joined the agency after doing a placement there. The agency also invites local school children in store and Lee helps with career days at a nearby college.
The team relishes getting involved in the community and, as a member of business network Choose Woodbridge, Lee frequently (and proudly) lends Deben’s support and sponsorship to the town’s societies and sports clubs.
Back in store, whether it’s diffusing an exotic scent as you walk through the door or the use of a virtual reality headset to transport would-be customers and engage the whole family in the booking process, Deben is never afraid of innovating to stand out.
Excellent customer service is a given, with recent examples including Lee buying his clients drinks in the coffee shop over the road when he bumped into them there, and giving complimentary attraction tickets to a client following a misunderstanding with a tour operator.
Last year, the agency held its first cruise event, the Suffolk Cruise Show, which attracted an impressive 500 guests and garnered more than £50,000-worth of bookings. Deben also grew its solo travellers club in 2017, giving intrepid singles a chance to chat and consider their next adventure.