New travel agency promises 'booking process as exciting as holiday itself'

Husband and wife team Paul and Claire Welling

Husband and wife team Paul and Claire Welling - Credit: Submitted

A new travel agency has opened in Torquay - and it promises a booking process 'as exciting as the holiday itself'.

Instead of a bank of desks, there's a warm, welcoming office space decorated in vibrant hues and infused with the aroma of tropical coconut.

There’s comfy seating where clients can enjoy a glass of fizz or freshly brewed coffee, gaze at the retro Californian artwork or peruse travel brochures, guided by expert holiday designers.

The new ItsSo Travel in St Marychurch precinct, Torquay, is run by husband and wife team Paul and Claire Welling.

Paul said: "Being independent means we have the widest choice of holidays on the high street and work with all the major holiday companies and tour operators including Jet2holidays, EasyJet, P&O Cruises, Sandals and many more.

"We can create tailor-made packages, from short city breaks to New York shopping weekends, African safaris to Mediterranean package holidays as well as luxury Caribbean beach escapes."

ItsSo Travel launched seven years ago in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, bringing together Paul’s 35 years’ experience in the hotel and leisure industry and Claire’s lifelong banking career.

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Within a year, the company had upgraded from office to High Street shop, such was the popularity of the friendly, family enterprise.

In November 2019, they opened a second shop in Cambridge city centre, with their vision to reinvent the traditional travel agent as a luxurious destination, where the booking process is as exciting as the holiday itself.

Paul and Claire decided on a change of lifestyle after their youngest child of three left home for university in 2020 and the couple chose Devon as their destination.

They decided to open their third travel store in St Marychurch precinct - and customers are loving the inviting feel to the agency.

The vibrant décor, rows of brochures beaming images of divine destinations, can’t fail to inspire a spirit of wanderlust, said Paul.

He said: “We are loving it down here on the English Riviera, everyone has been so friendly and welcoming and we are enjoying providing holiday inspiration to the Torbay community.

"ItsSo Travel are all about keeping it local and provide an expert and personal service which you just don‘t get from booking online.

"It's not just about selling holidays either; add a sprinkling of funky travel accessories for sale such as Dock & Bay beach towels, sunscreen, travel soaps and destination candles evoking memories of your travels and you have the perfect travel agency."