A former Thomas Cook regional manager is swapping toiletries for travel by setting up his own independent agency in Suffolk.
Lee Hunt and his wife Sarah will be opening Deben Travel in the affluent market town of Woodbridge on January 9. It will be part of the Global Travel Group.
Hunt is returning to travel after taking a four-year break from the industry to manage Boots stores across London.
He said: “One night I got home and just said we should do it. The next day I handed in my notice. I appreciate I will have half the salary and double the stress, but the part of my career I really enjoyed was booking holidays.”
Talking about working at Boots, Hunt said: “I learnt how to run a business while looking after costs, and saw the ambition Boots had to focus on its target market, which was the female 18-45 group.”
Far from being a barrier, Hunt says the difficult economy has helped him set up shop. “I would never have got a lease in somewhere like Woodbridge unless other retailers wanted to move out,” he said.
Hunt and his wife are targeting a well-heeled market and will offer an appointments service. However, he said: “We don’t want to be an elitist agency that turns away bookings. For example, people in Woodbridge don’t have anywhere to book National Express tickets, but we will book them.”
Bespoke walnut desks are being built. The agency will also have a soft drinks menu, a good coffee machine and a digital window display that includes Trailstream TV. Two experienced consultants have been employed to bring the team to four.
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