Swords Travel has set its sights on three shops in five years as it prepares to open its first retail premises and unveils plans for a golf brand and revamped website.
The upmarket travel agency is set to open its first high street shop in central Wimbledon in mid‑August and aims to open two more in affluent towns in southwest London and Surrey.
The agency was set up in June 2016 and ran from Mark Swords’ home for the first 18 months before moving to its current offices in Wimbledon Park, where it hosts appointments with clients.
The new agency, on Merton Road, will include three desks, a seating area with an espresso bar, and an ‘inspiration’ counter for clients to chat with staff or browse holidaysin brochures or online.
For the first year, the agency plans a different destination theme each month, complemented by supplier presentations for clients.
Swords said: “We want to engage with the local community. Hopefully clients will come in for a chat; I don’t want the desks to be a barrier.”
The new luxury golf brand, Swords Golf Travel, launched this week with its own website, Swordsgolftravel.co.uk, and is targeting £500,000 turnover in the first year.
It will work with operators and create tailor-made golfing holidays under its own Atol, specialising in long-haul. Brand sales manager Sean Gay will be based at the Wimbledon store, which will feature the golf brand in its window.
Meanwhile, the agency’s new website will feature a refreshed logo and more content about staff trips.
“We want to shout about the trips we’ve done, and tell clients how it works when you book a holiday and the effort that goes into it. [We want] to change the perception [some have] of agents,” said Swords.
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