Business

UK travel agency chain Barrhead opens first store in Belfast

Pictured at the opening are (from left) staff members Michael Callaghan, Julie Farrell, Kelly Hutchinson (branch manager), Linda Kelso and Stevie Dunseath

GLASGOW-based Barrhead Travel has opened its first store in Northern Ireland after locating to a 1,270 sq ft unit on the upper ground floor of Victoria Square, creating 10 jobs in the process.

One of the leading independent travel agents in the UK, currently employing more than 1,000 people in 70 retail outlets, the company is well-known for combining traditional stores with state-of-the-art technology, including virtual reality headsets and artificial intelligence.

Sharon Munro, chief executive of Barrhead Travel, said: “Belfast is a brilliant city and we saw its potential as a great location to expand our award-winning travel services. Victoria Square is one of the busiest shopping centres in Northern Ireland and it is fantastic for our brand to be featured alongside so many big-name retailers.”

She added: “What sets us apart from other travel agents is the technology we use in store. When booking a holiday, customers can use one of our virtual reality headsets to experience their chosen holiday or view high-definition footage of the cruise, hotel or destination footage on our in-store video screens.”

Gary Martin, associate director of retail at commercial property agency Lambert Smith Hampton, who acted on behalf of Victoria Square to secure the new tenant, said: “This latest addition adds to an already diverse tenant mix in the centre.

"Barrhead is a new entrant to the market and having their first Northern Ireland store based at Victoria Square, is testament to the strength of the scheme as a top retail and leisure destination.”

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