Family-run agency Glen Travel celebrates 50th anniversary

Scottish business Glen Travel is celebrating its 50th anniversary after overcoming “some pretty hard times” and successfully prioritising customer service.

The company, based in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, was set up by David Glen and his business partner Margaret Donnelly in 1973.

Now run by David’s sons, Alan, David and Douglas, the company clocks up half a century of trading this weekend, on September 10.

Alan Glen said: “It’s something to be proud of, having a family business that’s lasted the test of time.”

To mark the milestone, Glen Travel has organised events with clients and suppliers.

“I might have a little tear in my eye,” said Alan. “There are not a lot of independents left and you’ve really got to know your stuff to be here now.”

The business, which employs 19 staff, functions as both an agency and a tour operator.

The office boasts a range of features aimed at boosting levels of customer service, including its Schooner Bar, Emirates Lounge and Silversea Suite.

“You have to pay attention to the customers and make sure they’re looked after,” said Alan.

He added that even in the internet age, customers appreciate visiting the store because they place value on the human interaction and the depth of staff members’ experience.

“People like dealing with people,” said Alan, adding that footfall is as high as ever.

When the business started, it had to grapple with the miners’ strike and the three-day week, said Alan, which meant it quickly became accustomed to trading in difficult circumstances.

Other challenges encountered over the years include the emergence of the internet, the coronavirus pandemic and, more recently, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

The pandemic was the most difficult to deal with, said Alan, adding: “That’s a one-off event that we’ll hopefully never see again in my lifetime.”

As for AI, such as ChatGPT, Glen Travel’s mindset has always been a positive one. “We embrace technology rather than seeing it as a threat,” added Alan.

Even during this year’s anniversary celebrations, Alan said he would continue to look ahead and plan ways to drive the business forward.

“I hope I’ve got a few years left in the business – I’ve still got the enthusiasm and I want to see it grow,” he said.

Go to Source...