Suffolk-based independent travel agency Andrew Rowdon has celebrated 10 years in business by hosting a black tie party for his customers.

Rowdon took 172 of his clients to the Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe for a ball earlier this month to thank them for their support since he started his business, Andrew Rowdon Travel & Honeymoon Escapes, in 2009 – which is based in Trimley St Mary in Suffolk.

Rowdon, who was also nominated as a finalist at the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards in June, says his clients have become firm friends and said: “I spend a good deal of time with them at the planning stage. I take great pleasure in ensuring every holiday booking, honeymoon or overseas wedding I am asked to research is treated as a trip of a lifetime.

“To be able to thank them for their support is really important to me. Without my customers I wouldn’t have been able to have a business.

“It’s so important to listen to what a client wants, build up a trust and then to go beyond the brochure for them by really researching their requests to make it happen.

Rowdon added: “It’s vital to always be available to answer any questions, even out of hours and weekends. It’s also very important that I spend time building up a strong element of trust and rapport with everyone. I also love to surprise my clients (particularly honeymooners) with a bottle of champagne or a lounge pass at the airport before they travel, or maybe complimentary parking or even an excursion, and then there’s always a ‘welcome home’ call or email to every client.”