Boost for Llanelli town centre as new travel agency opens
Two travel experts are bucking the trend of shop closures in Llanelli by opening a new independent travel agency in the town centre.
Mark Maunder and Anne Wiltshire have more than 70 years of experience in the travel industry behind them.
They have opened Eastgate travel, opposite the new Ffwrnes theatre, at No18 Park Street.
“It’s a big move for us to set up a brand new business, but we are backing Llanelli town centre,” said Mark.
“Our new shop is in a great location and we are looking forward to welcoming customers to Eastgate Travel, a firm committed to great personal service.”
Andrew Stephens, the President of Llanelli Chamber of Trade, said he was delighted to see Mark and Anne opening their new shop.
“There have been many positive developments in Llanelli town centre and it is great news to see a brand new shop, owned and run by local people. I wish them every success and hope the people of Llanelli and district support Mark and Anne in their new venture.”
Mark and Anne are partners in the business, having worked together in the travel industry since the 1970s, when they were employed by Richards Travel in Cowell Street, Llanelli.
Their careers have taken them to other locations since then. Most recently, Mark worked for the Cooperative/Thomas Cook agency at Llanelli’s Morrisons store and Anne worked for the same business in the Cross Hands Coop.
Anne said: “We had both reached a stage where we felt the need to branch out for ourselves. There is a wonderful freedom in working as an independent travel company. For example, we can now deal with 100 more companies than we could under the brand of national companies.
“We provide the full range of travel services here at Eastgate Travel. We are ABTA bonded covered by the ATOL licence and customers can be assured they will get the best of our years of experience when picking the holiday of their choice.
“I am fully bilingual, so customers can deal with us in Welsh. You’d be hard-pressed to find two travel agency workers with more experience than the two of us and over the years we have built up a wonderfully loyal customer base. Some are more friends than customers and we like to think we are well known throughout West Wales, from Llanelli, to Carmarthen and Ammanford.”
Mark added: “We are very proud of what we have achieved so far in opening this new shop. We have done the hard work without any help from government or local authority grants. I am a Llanelli boy and Anne is from Tumble, so we care passionately about the local community.
“When we looked at opening a new shop, we did consider Carmarthen, but in the end we plumped for Llanelli and we are delighted with the initial response to the opening of the new travel agency.”
Eastgate Travel is open six days a week - 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday. In addition, the firm offers a special ‘appointments’ service for customers who may be working during the week. You can book an appointment to see Mark or Anne between 6 and 9pm.
Photo: Mark Maunder and Anne Wiltshire at the new Eastgate Travel shop in Llanelli.
No18, Park Street, Llanelli, SA15 3YE
Photo slideshow from Eastgate Travel