A start-up travel agency has opened its second branch just three months after its husband and wife owners entered the industry.
Sunlounger Travel owners Iain and Sally Kirkbright were inspired to start the business by travel agents they met on a beach while on holiday in the Bahamas.
Now, they have opened a branch in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire – adding to their shop at Arthur Business Park in the nearby village of March, which has a team of three led by ex-Thomas Cook agent Jo Francis.
The Advantage Travel Partnership member has recruited three more staff, including two former Thomas Cook employees, for the Wisbech branch.
Iain, who has a background in affiliate marketing, drew comparisons between his previous job and running an agency.
“Operating a travel agency isn’t too dissimilar, it’s just a different product,” he said.
“We haven’t got the necessary travel experience to sell the holidays ourselves, but we have great people. While we don’t know all the ins and outs, we know how to run a business.”
He said that the close proximity to Thomas Cook’s former headquarters in Peterborough made now a good time to recruit compared to when Sunlounger hired for its first branch, which opened on September 1.
“When we first set up, we only had a couple of people apply who I would class as good, whereas this time we had a lot,” he said.
Iain said the agency specialises in “higher-ticket” holidays in the Indian Ocean and Caribbean but sells “whatever customers ask for”.
He said affordable rents had enabled the quick expansion to a second branch, which opened on December 21.
“It’s a good size in a good location so we thought we’d snap it up and have it trading in time for peaks,” he added.
“Wisbech has a busy marketplace with plenty of footfall traffic, and the council holds a lot of events which bring people into the town.”
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