Set up by Rachel Dartnall-Smith over seven years ago as a homeworking company, Pebble Shore Travel has made the move to retail premises and opened its first shop within the popular Scarborough Market Hall.
The new shop – which is open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm – is a big break with the past as up until this point Pebble Shore Travel had traded solely online, in conjunction with Independent Travel Experts (see: https://bit.ly/3kfklRY.
Experienced independent travel agent Rachel, who has worked in the industry for nearly 20 years, took the plunge into bricks-and-mortar retail despite experiencing what she calls ‘the toughest time for travel in living memory’.
“I had originally planned to open a store early last year,” explains Rachel, “but the Covid-19 pandemic changed all that. Like many travel agents, all I seemed to do was months and months of nothing but cancellations, refunds, and re-bookings.
“Pebble Shore Travel has lots of loyal customers who have re-booked, but I wasn’t earning anything and it was very demoralising at times. However, my current homeworking setup has allowed me to be much more agile and continue to engage with my customer base far more than would have been possible otherwise.
“I wanted to stay in the industry I love and it made me more determined than ever to open a shop.”
It was at this point that fate stepped in when a hairdresser friend mentioned the retail units in the indoor market, which is spread across three floors of a historic building in Scarborough’s St Helen’s Square.
“I knew the time was right to branch out,” she adds and decided to make a go of it.
“It has been a big investment for me, even with a relatively small shop like this, but fortunately I’ve had the full support of Independent Travel Experts and The Travel Network Group consortium, and I’m now open, and up and running!”
Years of industry experience and an extensive network of professional contacts combined with passion and the human touch are at the heart of this growing business where customer care and safety comes first and foremost.
“We’re finding that existing and new customers are keen to come and see us in person to help them through the paperwork and forms that now accompany travel and holidays abroad. Even though we’re only a phone call or email away, it’s been a genuine surprise just how many people still prefer that face to face interaction.
“We try to be fully committed to each and every customer, and want to make their holiday experience perfect from beginning to end. I’ve been in the travel business for quite a while so I know where and when to get the best deals. And if I don’t know, I know someone who will!
Pebble Shore Travel has also been supported throughout the pandemic and is now in her new shop by Jet2holidays.
“They have been a fantastic support for us throughout Covid; it’s great to work in partnership with the UK’s second-largest tour operator.” Jet2holidays include hotel, return flights, 22kg baggage, and transfers up in one ATOL-protected package, for a low £60pp deposit. Recognised as a Which? Recommended Provider for both beach package holidays and city breaks
“This has allowed Pebble Shore Travel to confidently offer customers package holidays they can trust, knowing they will receive award-winning customer service from start to finish. The continued support from Jet2holidays is invaluable for a small, growing business like Pebble Shore Travel.”
Pebble Shore Travel is a proud member of Independent Travel Experts, part of the Travel Trust Association (TTA U9197), and offers customers 100 percent financial protection and the widest choice of holidays from the biggest brand names to the smaller and more individual operators.
“Whether it’s a UK short break, a Mediterranean beach holiday, or a luxury trip of a lifetime, there’s not much we can’t do,” adds Rachel.
“We’re looking forward to helping the people of Scarborough fulfil their holiday dreams.”