Polka Dot Travel has reopened most of its branches as it expects a rise in booking demand and an increased need for professional advice following the easing of travel restrictions.
The miniple has opened 14 of its 19 branches today, July 6, with extra safety measures in place.
The stores which have reopened are: Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Nantwich, Llandudno, Market Drayton, Rhyl, Newcastle under Lyme, Longton, Hanley, Cannock, Leek, Lichfield, and Stafford.
Director Mark Johnson said the lifting of all but essential travel advice by the Foreign Office for certain destinations and list of ‘safe’ destinations with no quarantine restrictions on return to the UK had increased the need for face-to-face customer service to give confidence to holidaymakers.
He said: “Before coronavirus there was a large proportion of travellers, particularly of a certain demographic, that would book a trip over social media or over the phone with little input from an agent, because we have become so accustomed to purchasing online.
“However, we anticipate that travellers will want an increased level of support and reassurance, as we slowly return to normal.
“This means customer service, particularly face to face, to instil confidence in our customers is key. The problems caused to travel arrangements by Covid-19 has reminded consumers of the benefits of booking through an agent.
“Therefore, we think the sooner our stores open the better. We have all the required safety measures in place for staff and customers and hope that, now we have the quarantine-free destinations, the industry will start getting back to how we knew it.”
The travel agency reported that 60% of its clients who had trips cancelled had opted to rebook their holiday for 2021 and, in many cases, lengthened their stay or upgraded their hotel while a number of those who opted for refunds had now rebooked.
The firm has had more than 20 staff working from home during the UK lockdown.