Independent agency TravelTime World is to move premises in March in light of rising shop leases and business rates.

The agency, which has been based on Berkhamsted High Street for 25 years, is to relocate to a new base within the Hertfordshire town.

The move will mean the agency, run by former Advantage Travel Partnership board member Jackie Steadman, will no longer have a shop window.

Instead, it will introduce an out-of-hours service including home visits in and private appointments.

A ‘travel lounge’ will be created at the new location where holiday plans can be discussed over coffee.

Steadman said increases in leases and rates is making a high street shop presence “cost-prohibitive” at a time when the majority of bookings come via email or telephone.

High charges and limited availability of car parking is also contributing to a drop in the number of people shopping in the town centre, she added.

The agency will extend its hours to have staff available seven days a week.

Steadman said: “The percentage of clients walking in is getting less and less so we took the opportunity at the end of our lease to start looking at other options.”

TravelTime World agent Ashley Quint said in a company blog: “We will still be directly on the high street, at the front on the ground floor, just without the massive front window we have at the moment.

“So it’s going to be business as usual. It’s not an old conventional shop, but something new and fresh.”

He added: “You can still come in to see us, call us, stop us in the street, send us emails, and we are delighted to outline some new additional services and events all designed to give you a better service.”

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