Travel firm is named ‘Best in Britain

Garstang Travel's owner Nicole Eaves (centre) and assistant manager Karen Hall (second from right) pick up their trophy at the TTG Top 50 ceremony from TTG Media managing director Daniel Pearce (left), TTG editor Pippa Jacks (right), and Jeremy McKenna of sponsor Norwegian Cruise Line

Garstang Travel's owner Nicole Eaves (centre) and assistant manager Karen Hall (second from right) pick up their trophy at the TTG Top 50 ceremony from TTG Media managing director Daniel Pearce (left), TTG editor Pippa Jacks (right), and Jeremy McKenna of sponsor Norwegian Cruise Line

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A 32-year-old high street travel agency in Lancashire has been named the best in Britain.

Garstang Travel, based in Market Place, was selected from 500 contenders as the UK and Ireland’s number one travel agency by the Travel Trade Gazette (TTG).

The top 50 list was announced at ceremony in Birmingham after an exhaustive judging process led by TTG.

It saw agents rated by tour operators and other suppliers, and assessed by travel trade journalists.

And owner of the Garstang travel agents Nicole Eaves says it was a massive surprise to win but can’t thank her team enough.

“It’s all down to the people that I’m surrounded by on a daily basis – my team is amazing,” she said. “It’s great to see TTG honouring the retail agents who are out there on the front line. People have said that high street agents are dying but this is proof that the high street is alive and kicking.

“With everything going on in the world at the moment, people are coming back to the high street agent, because they want security and because they want knowledge. The Top 50 is superb, it’s the crème de la crème and it’s great to honour the retail people that are on the front line. To think I’ve won the number one has just blown me away.”

TTG editor Pippa Jacks said: “We had our work cut out to decide the winners from a huge list of 500 contenders, and the 80 stores and businesses that made it to the shortlist stage should be extremely proud.”

And Nicole said customer service had always been paramount to Garstang Travel, and a huge investment into a shop refurbishment a few years ago had significantly “paid off”.

“Twenty years ago they said the high street was going to be dead,” she said. “And then 10 years ago they said the same - this is the proof that the high street is alive and kicking.

“With everything going on in the world at the moment, people are coming back to the high street agent, because they want security and because they want knowledge.

The award will now take pride of place in the shop and we’ll be making sure customers see it. It’s just such a massive accolade.”