Westoe Travel, which has gone the extra mile for holiday-makers for more than three decades, has been crowned the North East top travel agency.
Run by husband and wife Graeme and Joan Brett for 31 years, the business has gone from selling bus tickets in the back of Brett’s newsagents, to arranging longhaul trips across the world out of its base on Westoe Road.
On Monday, June 1, the company was recognised as the region’s best in TTG’s Top 50 Travel Agencies, which celebrates those who go above and beyond in the sector.
The family-run business has seen staff undertake a sign language course to help a customer and drive one client 111 miles to catch up with a missed bus transfer.
Graeme is also a trustee of the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, which he helped set up in memory Chloe Rutherford – an apprentice with the business at the time of the Manchester Arena terror attack.
“For us, as a family business, it means so much it’s a great honour to win against so many other great contenders,” said Graeme.
The news is a particularly welcome boost, given the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which has seen staff working longer hours to cope with cancellations and cast a shadow on the future of the travel industry.
He continued: “We have been working so hard during the current climate to re-book holidays and give refunds to customers who have been affected, so it’s been a real boost for us.
“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. We have had a lot of people taking the opportunity whilst they are in lockdown to book holidays for next year, so our bookings for 2021 are well up.”
Graeme added: “We want to thank all of our customers – a lot of whom have been with us since the very beginning – we really appreciate that it’s their support which has helped us win this award.”