Sad news today that the Co-operative Travel in Gillingham High Street is set to close as part of Thomas Cook’s proposed branch closure program.
Kent Online’s Business Editor, Trevor Sturgess, is reporting that eight stores across Kent, including five under the Thomas Cook brand and three under the Co-operative Travel, are among 195 on the company’s nationwide hit list, with the loss of almost 40 jobs.
Whilst no business which is not performing would, in all good sense, remain open, this is an unfortunate loss to Gillingham High Street.
I could launch into a predictable analysis of how our High Streets are dying and how parking charges and business rates are to blame, but in this case I doubt that would be a useful exercise; people are still booking holidays, but how they book them is changing, which is a shame.
For me, nothing beats walking into a travel agency and talking to an actual person, who can understand what you want from your holiday and find the best package to suit your needs and budget.
My agency of choice was, in fact, the Co-operative Travel in Gillingham High Street where, for every holiday, I would speak to the same person and get the same quality, personal service every time. In short, I was never left disappointed by the result.
When, for practical reasons, I booked our group holiday to Spain last year through a well-known travel company’s website, it caused no end of problems – and left me wishing we could have gone to the Co-operative Travel where such problems would not have arisen.
When I am in a position to be able to book another holiday, whatever happens, I will do so via a High Street travel agency. I hope that that will be the Co-operative Travel, and if it has closed, then I will consider it to be a great shame.
But, either way, I’d much rather book my holiday face-to-face with a person who understands what I’m looking for and can make the process hassle-free.