New travel agency set up by Thomas Cook staff

Former staff of Thomas Cook, which closed its Newport store when the travel giant went into liquidation on September 23, are setting up a new travel shop in Newport High Street.

The news that they are setting up a branch of Barrhead Travel was announced by Emily Watson, former Thomas Cook store manager. The opening date has not yet been confirmed and they are also looking for new team members to join them.

Emily described the emotional roller-coaster they have been on since they lost their jobs. She said: “After the collapse of Thomas Cook many of us were approached by Hays to return to our old store and work for Hays Travel. But Alison Shiner, Sarah Dann and I did not feel comfortable going back into our old shop as our memories were all made by Thomas Cook.

“Around the same time that Hays Travel approached us all, we were also approached by our former Thomas Cook chiefs who now work for Barrhead’s Travel Leaders Group, project managing Barrhead’s nationwide expansion.

“They knew we had fantastic clientele on the Island, built many relationships with our customers and really have a passion for the travel industry and giving the best service to our customers. We were thrilled when they asked us if we would like to open one of their stores on the Island.

“We are extremely excited about a new brand coming to the Isle of Wight and being able to be back with our customers.”

Barrhead Travel gets its name from a small town near Glasgow where the first branch was opened in 1975. The travel trio, who have over 50 years of travel experience between them, have been in Glasgow training this week and will continue for the next couple of weeks. In the meantime their new shop will be getting ready for opening, planned to be before Christmas. They will be selling tailor-made holidays, package holidays, city breaks, flights, UK breaks, cruises and more. There will also be a travel money bureau.