Platinum World Travel has opened a store in Gloucester “four times the size” of its former site in the Forest of Dean – and plans to open a further seven before 2027.
Founder and director, Arron Mitchell and co-director Matthew Chamberlain want to have shops, trading as Resfeber Travel, in Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham and Cheltenham.
They plan to open their second store by the end of 2022.
Arron Mitchell at the new Resfeber Travel store in Gloucester
Mitchell said: “We moved from Coleford in the Forest of Dean because a lot of our new customers were coming from Gloucester. The last seven people that booked over the phones before we moved were Gloucester based.
“In Gloucester, the people’s mentality is very much like we are going to travel. Our shop is four times the size compared with our Coleford store. We’ve also gone from a market town to a city.”
Mitchell, a former STA Travel branch manager, is targeting locations where there are university students. He been planning to move to Gloucester since January.
“I loved working for STA because they were a forward-thinking company,” he said. “They sent me to the US for three months. I enjoyed my time with them, and I was sad to see their demise in August 2020.”
Last year, Mitchell set up a specialist tour operator called Syte, which is aimed at “18-30-ish” clients.
Syte, which stands for ‘start your travel escape’, offers a mix of holiday products for the youth market.
Explaining the change of name to Resfeber, Mitchell said: “We needed a brand to appeal to both the student and youth market and the Platinum World Travel-style clients.
“Resfeber is a good fit for both ends of the market,” he said. “We decided to change the look of the store and make a more casual booking environment.
“We have no desks and instead we have a bar, a ‘beach’ area which people can post on Instagram and an airline and armchair seating area
“Resfeber is a good fit for both ends of the market. We decided to change the look of the store and elevate the shop to today’s environment.”
Resfeber is a Swedish word meaning that excitement one feels before they travel.
“When we look at our competitors, they all cater for different markets,” said Mitchell. “We wanted to do something a bit more casual. Booking a holiday is an exciting purchase and we want people to feel relaxed and comfortable.”
Mitchell said Resfeber, which joined Protected Trust Services in April, works with almost all cruise lines and tour operators, including mainstream short-haul operations easyJet holidays, Jet2holidays, and Classic Collection Holidays.
Currently, he is in the process of switching Syte from a Atol franchise to become full Atol holder so the operator can trade with agents outside of PTS.