Northampton travel agent confident about business coming back stronger after winning national award

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During a difficult year, the Northampton-based travel business has managed to gain customers due to how staff have handled the situation

A Northampton travel agent who has been recognised with a prestigious national award following her hard work to continue her business during a difficult year is confident that business will come back stronger.

Donna Cody, who co-owns Northampton-based Ben and Co which is a Not Just Travel franchise, has been named as a ‘rising star’ in ‘The Carrier 30’ - an initiative run by luxury tour operator, Carrier.

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The list of 30 travel agents acknowledges the people and businesses in the sector that have gone above and beyond and should be recognised for their achievements.

Donna Cody has been named as a 'Rising Star'.Donna Cody has been named as a 'Rising Star'.
Donna Cody has been named as a 'Rising Star'.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Donna and her partner are proud to have survived the last year without losing a single client, or their money.

The 53-year-old said: “It’s brilliant to have been recognised.

“They’re one of the biggest luxury travel operators in the country so you can’t get better recognition than that.

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“It is normally done on who passes them the most business, but this year it was about customer service and how we present ourselves to our customers.

“It’s been a tough year, but we have made sure our customers haven’t lost money and that they got refunds back in a timely fashion.

“We didn’t lose customers because of it but instead we have gained customers because of how we have handled it.

“You never know how good you are until you’re faced with a difficult situation.”

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Thanks to the award, Donna says she now has more confidence to grow the business and move forward, which she is looking forward to doing as restrictions are lifted later in the year.

Donna added: “Travel agents will come out stronger as a sector as people are far more worried about booking their own holidays and not having someone to talk to.

“We are now starting to see people come back to book holidays, so if someone wants to go in the summer we are recommending the countries that are most likely to be allowed.

“I am confident that the likes of Greece will be OK for the summer and then I think there is more of a chance for anything else from September onwards.

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“We’re seeing strong bookings for Greece, Spanish Islands, New York and other areas in America. Anywhere that is forward thinking with vaccines really.

“But we’re also seeing a lot of staycations and cruises around the UK as they are brilliant value for money.”

Once restrictions ease, Donna and her partner, who launched Ben and Co together around three years ago, are hoping to find a premises for the business as Donna believes the high street travel agent industry is ‘not over yet’.

The duo is also planning to put on events across the county such as luxury cruise evenings with wine at local wine bars and coffee mornings with different holiday themes.

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Visit the Ben and Co website to find out more and register an interest.

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