Travelwise goes remote after 41 years in Muswell Hill
- Credit: Travelwise
A travel agency in Muswell Hill closed its doors on Monday after 41 years on Fortis Green Road.
The owners Kim Hart, Nici Davies and Pauline Duffin have been working for Travelwise for 26 years, joined by Dallal Benromdhane.
After being a part of the local community for so long, the decision to run operations remotely was a difficult one, they said.
The owners cited rising rent and a lack of industry-wide support from the government during the coronavirus pandemic as reasons for accelerating their move-out on September 27.
Kim told the Ham & High: “It was an emotional and tricky decision but we realised that it was right for the future of the company.
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“We will really miss chatting to locals and other traders but our shop had sadly become an expensive luxury.
“We can now officially say that we are going from Travelwise Muswell Hill to Travelwise global – running from our homes in Essex, Bounds Green and Hertfordshire.”
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It was back in 2015 that the trio bought Travelwise. They quickly put their stamp on the company, vying to distinguish themselves from other high street travel agencies.
Kim continued: “We focus on luxury and tailor-made holiday packages. We ran lots of successful holidays this summer. We all have areas of expertise which cover the majority of the world.”
On the secrets behind the company’s success, Kim said: “The three of us are completely different but it works as we have a lot of love and respect for each other.
“We also have a range of clients who gravitate towards us for different reasons.
“We started dealing with some of our customers back in the 1990s when we were young, then we started booking their children’s holidays and now we book their grandchildren’s.”
Regarding the future of travel agencies, Kim remains optimistic. She believes that the complications and restrictions created by the pandemic point to the need for industry experts.
She said: “We were one of the first travel agencies to go brochure-less and one of the first high street agencies with an ATOL licence, meaning we could completely tailor people’s holidays. As a business you have to evolve when times are changing.”
Travelwise remains on its existing email addresses and can be reached at 020 8444 4444.