Travel returns to Hale’s high street
Established in 2019, Black Opal had only been trading for just over a year when the travel industry hit perhaps the toughest period it’s ever been through. Despite this, the agile family business has not only weathered the storm but grown its team and moved into a new premises in Hale just this month.
“With the world tentatively opening up again, we’re in great shape to work with new clients, our new home in Hale is a big part of that.” says Managing Director, Jamie Smith. “We know the pandemic has been hard on Hale high street, and there has traditionally been a presence of luxury travel agents in the area for many years, so moving here felt like a no-brainer!”
“We’re also very fortunate to have welcomed Senior Travel Consultants Keri Gee and Louise Vernon into the Black Opal family.” says Jamie. “They both have a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked locally in the sector for years. No doubt they will be familiar faces to some locals.”
Keri and Louise both joined the team from another Hale travel agency, Omega Travel, when the business closed last year. Black Opal Travel Group’s move marks the return of a travel company in Hale. The opening of the travel lounge at 116 Ashley Road, is a welcome addition to the high street, which suffered several closures last year.
With the tag line “Don’t follow the crowd”, Black Opal offer a selection of luxury travel experiences that can be tailored to the individual. Their portfolio ranges from indulgent beach holidays to bespoke sport tours, where lucky travellers fly to see international tournaments, often accompanied by sporting greats. These include former England internationals such as rugby player Scott Hastings, and cricketers David Gower and Gladstone Small. Current England batsman Zak Crawley is also a Brand Ambassador for the group.
“We are a one-stop shop for all things luxury travel.” Jamie says. On the life of the company for the past year or so, he adds; “Being a small, family-owned business meant that we could be more resilient and adaptable during lockdown.” Smith explains. “We also used the time to secure our ATOL and ABTA statuses directly so we can offer clients the utmost security. We can’t wait to start connecting in person once again, and welcome local residents to pop in and say hello.”
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