Customers returning to High Street travel agents

Premier Travel staff in the Newmarket branch, Elaine Carr, Helen Leader, Rachel Hatherley, Amy Stear

Premier Travel staff in the Newmarket branch, Elaine Carr, Helen Leader, Rachel Hatherley, Amy Stearn. The branch experienced a 48% increase in bookings, year on year, in the first trading week in January. Picture: KELLY FELSTEAD - Credit: Premier Travel

An East Anglian travel company is celebrating after having its biggest January sales weekend.

Premier Travel saw a 46% year on year increase in sales across its 18 branches in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex on the first Saturday in January – dubbed Sunshine Saturday in the travel industry as it’s the most popular day to book holidays – compared to the same day last year.

A number of its branches also experienced a surge in holiday bookings during the first week of January, with five stores seeing a 50% increase in sales year on year.

Paul Waters director at Premier Travel, said it was the company’s most successful start to the new year ever, despite expectations of a slow January due to the economic environment, and that high street travel agents are definitely seeing a resurgence.

Suffolk branches are in Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.

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He said: “All of our branches have been incredibly busy, with double the number of holiday bookings and enquiries on the first Saturday of the new year,“ “This day is always generally the busiest of the year, but this year it has exceeded all expectations. It seems people still want to book early and grab a bargain, despite all the uncertainty at the moment.

“Over the last few months we’ve seen more and more people coming back to their High Street travel agent, claiming that there is too much information online and they don’t always trust what they read or feel secure booking. They also want to ensure they are financially protected if their airline or travel operator goes out of business.

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“We’ve seen an increase in customers booking experienced-based holidays for 2019, alongside traditional beach breaks.”

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