The Travel Experience agents share in excess of 180 years’ travel industry experience between them, and you simply cannot put a value on that. Managing director Julie Bangham set up the business more than 30 years ago, and the loyalty of her team – all of whom have worked with her for more than a decade, some nearly three – is testament to its strength, and Julie’s dedication to it and her staff.
No one’s resting on their laurels, though; every member of the team of six get away at least once a year to experience new hotels, destinations and ships, while Julie and shop manager Ruth Littlewood guide and encourage continual professional development through online training, supplier events and conferences, and well as by hosting in-store events.
Refit five years ago, the shop – which is set across two levels – is light, airy and welcoming; the comfy armchairs and sturdy wooden panelling and furniture lend it a timeless, boutique feel, while a modest brochure rack and limited window display help keep things clean. A piece of land behind the shop was also recently converted into a couple of client parking spaces to save them the trial that is trying to find a spot on the often-busy high street.
The Travel Experience website got a makeover last year too, and now features team biographies, inspirational blog posts charting their travels and signposts to social media.
Attention to detail is everything at Travel Experience; a tightly run schedule for clients’ bookings pre- and post-trip mean everyone arrives home to a card flagging the agency’s Facebook page, and a couple of bags of Yorkshire Tea – is there any other? Other quirky gifts, depending on destination, include mosquito spray and jet lag remedies, and the team think nothing of emailing ahead to hotels to arrange special requests for clients.
This ethos is at the heart of everything the team does; the Travel Experience team’s approach is always customer first, regardless of enquiry or budget. Sales have to be right for the client or there is no sale, and the business is lucky to have six dedicated travel professionals who will ensure they get this right every time.