Travel agent looks back on 25 years of change
PUBLISHED: 16:01 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:17 20 April 2018
Twenty-five years ago, when Nick Lee started Broadland Travel in North Walsham, it was rare for a family to holiday in the Caribbean or Far East.
Looking back on a quarter-of-a-century of running the business, he said: “The world has become more accessible with people travelling further for their holidays.
“In 1993 the most popular destinations were Spain and Greece, with Europe as a whole making up the majority of our bookings. While they have stayed popular, they no longer make up the majority of bookings. We have seen a large growth in the Caribbean, Africa and the Far East.”
Mr Lee, owner of the only travel agent in the north Norfolk town, took over the firm in the Market Place, then known as Broadland Travel Services, in 1993.
The 47-year-old, who lives in Walcott, said: “When I took it on, I was just 22. I think at the time I hoped I would still be doing it in 25 years’ time.
“I like dealing with people, so I would not have minded being an insurance agent, as long as it’s dealing face to face with human beings.
“When my parents were looking to retire they wanted to move from London, but my father Dennis did not wish to retire completely. As I was an assistant manager in a London travel agency they came up with the idea of us running one. Broadland Travel was for sale.
“My dad still works a few hours a week in the business doing the accounts.
“I love travelling and enjoy seeing new places. Even as a child I was lucky my parents took me on holiday every year to different places. I started in travel at 16 and became a qualified travel agent after 18 months, having attended college in London.”
His favourite form of travel is cruising, and he added: “There are almost four times as many people cruising now as there were 25 years ago. In the last three years I have cruised eight times. Sailing out of the UK is my favourite with no baggage restrictions and easy boarding.”