Growth on the horizon for North East travel firm with new city centre base

A travel specialist based in the North East has expanded operations in anticipation of growth during 2021.

Independent cruise travel agency Now Lets Travel has extended its head office and contact centre in Sunderland as well as launching a new store in Newcastle city centre.

Founded by Paul Johnstone, Now Lets Travel is headquartered at the North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland and specialises in a range of holidays and cruises.

The firm’s new store on Ridley Place in the heart of the city is the second branch for the firm in Newcastle, with its first physical branch situated in Jesmond.

Paul Johnstone, Now Lets Travel’s founder and managing director, commented: “In the seven years since we launched the company, it continued to grow year-on-year until the pandemic hit in March. We’re confident that, once the market returns to normal, this latest expansion will help us pick up where we left off pre-Covid.

“Our staff continued to work throughout the crisis, ensuring all of our customers received the support they required to deal with cancellations and to provide them with advice on future bookings and we’re already starting to see this hard-work bear fruit with an upsurge in interest for 2021/2022.”

Commenting on support given by the North East BIC, Paul continued:: “We moved to the BIC 18 months ago and the team have been absolutely fantastic in helping us grow the business. From a small business point of view, the setup is perfect for any company looking to quickly scale its operations.

“The flexible office space they provide has meant we’ve been able to expand our presence with little to no interruption to our service. They also manage everything from our telecoms to our IT systems and utilities, leaving us to focus on the business while they manage everything else.

“We couldn’t really ask for anything more and look forward to continuing working with the team as we look to the future.”

Donna Surtees, centre manager at the North East BIC, added: “It’s been great working with Paul and the team over the past 18 months.

“The fact that they’re continuing to grow and create jobs, at a time of such hardship for the travel sector, is testament to the fantastic work they’ve put in since launching the business.”