News of more independent travel agencies opening on the high street and in shopping centres couldn’t be more welcome in the current climate of doom and gloom.

With retail store closures predicted to rise from 18,443 last year to 22,100 this year, it is heartening to hear independent travel agents up and down the country are investing in bricks and mortar when others, such as fashion giant Next, are seeing a slump.

It’s the post-Christmas, pre-Brexit pick-me-up we all need. But why do travel agents see a brighter high street future than other industries?

The reason, surely, must be that buying a holiday simply cannot be compared to your weekly shop, buying the kids’ school uniforms or even purchasing a new TV or coat.

When did you last get really excited about which groceries you’d fill the fridge with?

I like trying out the latest organic purple-sprouting broccoli as much as the next person, but it’s hardly the same as booking a trip for you and your loved ones.

Choosing a destination and accommodation and planning excursions are all part of the fun, which is exactly why buying a holiday stands out from the rest. Even better, some agents are making their shops even more of a “destination” to visit on the high street. Perfect Getaways, which has just opened two branches in Merseyside, has a bar, a children’s play area and sweet ‘shop’ in store.

Creating an environment that clients want to spend time in can only entice more shoppers. Not only can you pick your perfect break, but the kids won’t be tugging on your legs, and you can have a drink to boot.

On that note, I look forward to toasting the best of the industry at the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards next week.

Comment from Travel Weekly, January 9 edition