Worldchoice agency Triangle Travel has “ambitious” plans to increase its sales by focusing on the touring market.

It will also target cruise sales as part of its growth strategy.

Founded by managing director Rob Kenton in 2001, the agency has four branches, in Mortimer near Reading, Newbury, Pangbourne and Wallingford.

Originally a one-man band, it now employs 20 members of staff and four homeworkers.

Kenton said turnover in his first year was £800,000 and by 2018 it had reached £10 million.

He said he had “ambitious” plans to increase sales by 10% annually, as the agency doesn’t want to “sit on its laurels”.

“A focus on cruising and touring is the way to go,” he said, while attending The Travel Network Group conference in Budapest.

“Those two areas are 50% of our business and could be 60-70% in two or three years.

“The growth in touring is immense. The older demographic want to have the security of an escorted tour, and now we’re seeing those aged 50+ as well as those 60+.

“We have more of a younger clientele and more diverse touring products than 10 years ago.”

He said TV travel shows fronted by celebrities such as Joanna Lumley were boosting business for escorted tours to far-flung destinations such as the Silk Road and Japan.

Triangle’s tours have a maximum group size of 20, and clients have the choice of dining where they want, or joining the tour leader for meals.

Cruising is seeing a similar trend, with more younger clients recognising the value for money and range of itineraries on offer.

Kenton hailed the agency’s membership of Worldchoice – part of The Travel Network Group – as a key factor in the company’s success.

“TTNG is like an extension of our business; it’s like our own head office – that’s how staff see it,” he commented.

“We could not replicate their standards of marketing – and it is all included in the membership fee.

“We can call them for help and get to the right people immediately. The staff and the directors see us as customers.”

Kenton advertises in local newspapers and parish magazines but Facebook is one of its biggest areas of marketing expenditure.

“The return on investment [with Facebook] is unbelievable,” he said.

“An ad on Facebook about our currency exchange rate went out at 9am and by 11am our Newbury shop had sold out of euros and dollars.

“It was just an £8 advert, and took two hours to sell out.”

Photo: Steve Dunlop Photographer