An independent Northampton travel agency is undergoing a “huge expansion”, following a treble in turnover post-pandemic.
Footsteps Tours is expanding and moving into the former premises of Northampton Travel in Harborough Road from next Monday (October 2).
The independent travel agency was first established in 2007 and offers escorted coach day trips and holidays, with pick ups nearby from The Cock Hotel.
The business also offers individual holiday bookings, boat and river cruises, group and family travel, and solo travel options.
Footsteps Tours was founded by Jo Brooks 16 years ago and she now has a team of seven, following the growing demand for what the business has to offer.
The travel agency currently only has an office located at the bowls club near Kingsthorpe Recreation Ground, and the “huge expansion” will see it have a shop for the first time.
“Our turnover has trebled since the pandemic,” said Jo. “It was a positive for us. Escorted travel gives people the peace of mind and security.
“People feel safe and confident when travelling as part of a group.”
Jo is a member of the Gardner family and is the sister of the owner of Gardners Bakery, in Harborough Road on Kingsthorpe front.
The Gardner family grew up with the Gallone family, who run Gallones Ice Cream – as both businesses are well-established in Kingsthorpe and across the town.
The building Jo is moving into is owned by the Gallone family. Despite lots of big chains expressing interest in the property, it was Jo and Footsteps Tours that were chosen to take it on.
“It was nice they chose me as a small independent,” she said. “They kept it local.”
Jo shared that the travel industry has evolved over the years and people are now less available at the end of a phone.
The business founder said: “We still have a human touch and that has helped us to absolutely thrive since Covid.”
As most things are done via email and online nowadays in the travel world, Jo believes this deters some individuals.
“It is the personal touch that people want, especially since Covid,” said Jo, who believes not a long changed prior to the pandemic – besides the start of everything moving online.
Jo’s proudest achievement is Footsteps Tours’ reputation and the fact they survived the pandemic.
This came as a result of their “loyal customer base” and the feedback and response they receive, particularly on social media.
“It all comes down to word of mouth, a customer focus and going the extra mile,” Jo added.
For more information, visit Footsteps Tours on Facebook here.
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