STA Travel opens first Cheltenham store
ANOTHER new shop has opened in Cheltenham town centre, with STA Travel launching a branch in the High Street.
It opened a new store at 114 High Street yesterday, which had been empty for around six years and was previously Going Places travel agent.
This comes just weeks after clothing giant H&M and outdoor gear store Millets opened in the town centre.
With more than 2,500 people employed in 17 countries, STA is one of the world’s largest youth travel companies, with a global turnover of around £740 million a year.
A spokeswoman said the move to Cheltenham was an important milestone for the company, as it aims to broaden its reach in the UK beyond its traditional student market.
Jackie Knell, STA sales director, said: “We’ve chosen Cheltenham for our latest store because of its diverse population.
“It has a large student base, as well as a young professional and affluent and well-travelled demographic.”
STA will share the shop with its sister company, Bridge the World, which offers long-haul luxury holidays.
Most of the team at the new store previously worked at Tailor Made travel agent in the town centre, which closed in May this year.
The new STA store is headed up by manager Arron Mitchell, with a staff of four.
Mr Mitchell said: “I have worked in Cheltenham for several years, and there has always been a big gap for the student travel market, especially with the University of Gloucestershire in the area.
“Cheltenham is the perfect place for a store. But we want to provide travel options for more than just students, for everyone as well.
“We will be having conversations with the University of Gloucestershire in the near future about possibly working together. It is in the pipeline, but we have not started that yet.”
He added: “I love Cheltenham, I have been here for about 13 years.
“The town is so diverse, you learn something new everyday and you get to meet new people all the time.”