Northern Ireland’s largest independent retail travel agent Clubworld Travel is celebrating its silver anniversary after 25 years in the tourism industry.
The travel agency was established in Lurgan by Delia Aston and since then over £1 million has been invested in the business which now has seven branches across Northern Ireland - including Portadown and Banbridge - and employs over 35 members of staff.
As part of the 25th anniversary and to continue to improve its consumer offering, the travel agent has launched its first dedicated group travel service. The service will make it even easier for schools, sports clubs or any large group to book their travel and will be headed up by David McDowell who has over 30 years experience in the travel industry.
Delia Aston, proprietor of Clubworld Travel, says her agency has enjoyed an increase in business over the last year and that holidaymakers are increasingly returning to the high street to book trips.
“It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since I opened the first branch of Clubworld Travel.
“I worked in the travel industry for 15 years before I decided to open up my own business. Over the years, we’ve provided holidays to families, young couples, singles and the business community and I have to praise the staff for their work and support.
“Despite being faced with challenging times including the growth of online booking sites and pressure from local and national competitors, we’ve built upon our reputation and continued to be successful.
“The increase of online booking has transformed the industry and has had a huge impact on high street agents however we’ve actually seen an increase in consumers returning to the high street to book their trips over the last year.
“We’ve found that most of our customers actually prefer to book though a travel agency. They enjoy the personal service and the security of knowing they will have a point of contact should any issues arise before or during their holiday. This is of particular importance when it is a long-haul holiday, a group trip or a special holiday such as a honeymoon.
“We’re committed to continuing to invest in our business and to mark our 25th anniversary we’ve launched a dedicated group travel service. This will provide a tailored service for groups, making it easier for them to book and personalise their trip as well as offering groups the best deals available.”