STA brings Bridge the World brand to high street

STA Travel has revealed plans to open six retail stores under its new over-50s brand Bridge the World, which launches on Saturday.

In the company’s first move outside the youth market, STA Travel bought the brand name from Stella Travel Services UK after research revealed strong brand recognition among customers, despite it not having traded for the last three years.

The long-haul tailor-made operator will initially focus on Australia and New Zealand and will move into Asia in November.

Fifteen staff have been employed to work across the website, call centre and its first retail shop in Bournemouth, which will open at the end of this month. It aims to have
six shops by the end of 2011.

Commercial director James Herbert said: “We are tailoring the shops to this market. They will still have plasma TV screens, but also globes, wooden floors and
high-grade furniture.

“We want to stretch ourselves beyond the youth market. People are very au fait with the internet, but they still want to talk to someone or see them face to face. Consultants can really add value, especially when it comes to complex itineraries.

“We have mostly taken on people with a travel background, but also people who have travelled extensively.”

Bridge the World will source new hotel product and focus on premium economy travel.

Herbert added: “We see this as a place for STA Travel customers to migrate to.”

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