Standing on the picture-perfect Stone high street, Regent Travel makes the most of its presence in a close-knit community and its rural surroundings.
Owner David Barrett often personally hosts special nights for clients – or for meeting prospective clients – and escorts the agency’s wide array of bespoke tours, showcased on a large dedicated brochure rack in the store.
These range from Regent-escorted trips to unusual destinations to journeys tailored for local special-interest groups such as the RSPB.
Such has been the success of Regent’s touring offering, a team of six makes up a dedicated groups department, tasked with planning, marketing and administration. Tours for solo travellers are particularly popular, with attendees invited to an informal information evening before departure as an opportunity to meet one another and better understand what’s in store.
Closer to home, Regent hosts regular events for customers – from a recent black-tie “World of Regent” night at the movies-style showcase to a group walk along the canal to another village, where a picnic lunch was put on. The esteem in which the agency is held by the local community is evidenced by its little mascot family – Tracey, Trevor and their children – knitted by a loyal customer.
This dedication is reciprocated, too. In the past year, David has driven a customer who needed a replacement passport with two days’ warning to Liverpool, and when one couple returned from a holiday to celebrate a special anniversary, another member of the team printed off a photo she had taken of them and hand-delivered it in a frame.
Regent Travel underwent a £20,000 refit last year including changing its company colours from purple to a fresher-feeling teal. Inspirational travel photos have been hung up on the walls, new chairs brought in and new signage erected inside and out. A walkway has also been created to guide the customer to the back of the store, where the foreign exchange counter is. Plus a new website has been launched, designed to be more intuitive and fresh, and David can often be heard on the local radio or seen on the likes of Watchdog giving his expert opinion on travel matters.