Travel business marks 20 years

THE travel business and holiday trade had some high profile casualties in 2009 - but there were success stories, too.

IPSWICH: The travel business and holiday trade had some high profile casualties in 2009 - but there were success stories, too.

Fred Olsen Travel has celebrated 20 years of town centre trading in Ipswich and marked the milestone with a complete refurbishment of its Upper Brook Street base over the Christmas and New Year period.

Bosses say the revamp is part of a commitment to face-to-face personal customer service which has continued to be popular, despite the competition of the internet.

The family-owned Fred Olsen group includes its cruise line business which dates back to the 1960s, with its ships now including Boudicca, Balmoral, Black Watch and Braemar.

Louise Tweed, group retail manager, joined the company more than 20 years ago, and opened the Ipswich travel shop in 1990.

“The company had decided to move to Ipswich, from London, and decided to open up this shop in January 1990,” she said.

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“It is going from strength to strength and 2009 was another very good year for us.

“There are now seven branches, including Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds. It is a very competitive world and it has not been an easy time for the travel trade.

“We offer fantastic customer service, which we feel is where we win.

“All our staff are very well travelled and can help with specialist knowledge.”

Another Fred Olsen Travel speciality is Exclusively, a range of holidays, not just cruises, which are organised from door-to-door for the customer.

The new 2010 brochure is being launched at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich on Wednesday January 20.

The retail business now employs around 35 staff.

Is your business fighting back against recession? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk