The East of England Co-op Travel branch in Tiptree, Essex, has been shortlisted as one of the top five high street agencies in the region.
The shortlist has been compiled as part of a power-list of the of the nation’s best agents by the Travel Trade Gazette. Ninety finalists across 18 categories have been shortlisted from over 950 entries. The final list will comprise the best three high street stores from each of 12 regions; the best two nationwide agencies in each of six categories; and two special awards recognising business innovation and the best retail space.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for this award and are so thankful to all of the tour operators that voted for us,” said Lisa Lightly, branch manager at the East of England Co-op Travel, Tiptree. “I am immensely proud of my team at Tiptree and long may our success continue.”
East of England operates 14 Co-op Travel branches across Essex and Suffolk. These are independent from The Co-operative Travel joint venture operated by the Co-op Group that have recently been taken over by Thomas Cook. “We’d like to reassure all our members and customers that [the Thomas Cook takeover] affect us,” said a statement from East of England. “Our travel business remains open as usual.” Central England, Chelmsford Star, Midcounties, Lincolnshire and Channel Islands also operate independent travel businesses.
The shortlisting stage was undertaken by a panel of 60 travel suppliers including airlines, tour operators and car hire providers, who rated travel branches according to their business performance, customer service and innovation. In the next stage of judging, a Travel Trade Gazette journalist will visit each shortlisted agency to find out more ahead of the overall winners being announced in March 2017.
Travel Trade Gazette editor Pippa Jacks said: “Now in its second year, our Top 50 Travel Agencies initiative takes us the length and breadth of the country to uncover stories of brilliant agents going the extra mile for their customers, giving great value, and serving their communities.”