Just four years after starting her own business Harrogate-based travel agent Jacquie Cole has won a top industry award for the second year running.
Jacquie’s Bakewell Travel agency, on Station Parade, won the Association of Independent Tour Operators Specialist Travel Agent Shining Star Award this month.
The success follows her winning the Outstanding Achievement Award for AITO last June for the growth of her business, which she started in 2012.
Jacquie said: “I was astonished to win yet another award at the AITO Conference last week as I knew nothing about the nomination and overwhelmed to be recognised by my peers in the travel industry again.
“One of the most important aspects of my business is that I can sell exactly what I want and am not limited to selling particular products as in a large multiple travel agency chain.”
Jacquie started out in the travel industry 35 years ago as a trainee with a burning desire for overseas travel and worked her way up to a manager for a major multiple chain in Harrogate in the 1980s.
She went on to work for another travel agents where she saw a gap in the market.
“I felt there was an opportunity to work differently from the usual open agency, to work from an office by appointment and give clients the best service, privacy and confidentiality to discuss their requirements over a coffee. “Starting my business was a risk particularly as I didn’t have a shop front but I was busy from the beginning, winning a Small business SMARTA 100 award in my first year.”
“I have a loyal clientèle, a few have been coming to me for over 20 years.”