MoreSpecial Report: Barrhead Travel Conference

Barrhead Travel plans to open up to 25 stores over the next five years and appoint “luxury ambassadors” in every branch of the entire network.

The new stores are predominantly earmarked for England and Northern Ireland.

The openings would take the Scotland-based agency chain’s shop total to 98.

Barrhead opened four stores this year and expanded two others.

The Scottish agency chain, which was taken over by US travel giant Travel Leaders earlier this year, reported a 7% increase in annual revenues to £300 million during its annual staff conference in Scotland last weekend.

It has set out plans to bolster
its luxury business next year by appointing “ambassadors” in every store who will offer a personalised service for high-net-worth clients.

Customers will be able to make appointments at home or at a location they choose and the ambassador will meet them to discuss and book their holiday.

The service is already offered by staff at its luxury store in Glasgow and a handful of other branches.

Barrhead said it has seen significant growth in the luxury cruise and river sectors and has appointed dedicated business development managers to oversee supplier relationships.

More luxury client events, held in partnership with cruise suppliers, are planned for next year.

Chief executive Sharon Munro said: “Bricks and mortar are still the core of our growth strategy.

We recognise that retail has been hard this year and some big high street names have closed down.

“However, the demand for personalised service in our industry remains strong, and we will continue to invest in our stores and also what we believe to be our best asset – our people.”

MoreSpecial Report: Barrhead Travel Conference