The South Ayrshire Gift Card can be spent with over 100 businesses across South Ayrshire, including family owned travel agents and travel money experts The Good Travel Company.
Vanessa Good is the Director of The Good Travel Company:
“We’re a 4th generation family business offering holidays and currency. Even though we have lots of luxury holidays, people can get put off by that word, thinking the holidays will be out of their price range, instead we say we sell ‘lovely’ holidays. A lovely holiday means different things to different people. We sell a wide variety of packages. Everything from city breaks to luxury long haul.
“My great grandfather was the first to open a local business with his greengrocer shop. Over the four generations we’re diversified and adapted. The current model of travel agency and currency provider is the longest running. It’s still very much a family firm, with my aunt working on the currency side and my brother playing a part in the business too.
“One of the best reasons to book with a local, independent travel agent like ours is the service that comes with it. People often think it’s cheaper to book a holiday online, but with us, you’ll get a similar price but the benefit of years of travel experience too. We all lead busy lives and travel requirements have changed so much that having someone there to run through entry requirements or to find the exact holiday to suit specific requirements is invaluable.
“It’s exciting that a customer can use their South Ayrshire Gift Card for a city break”
“The reason we joined the South Ayrshire Gift Card is because we saw how well it is working in East Ayrshire. It’s a great concept and a way to create our own local currency in South Ayrshire, and support the small, independent businesses in the region. Another positive is that it’s a cross sector card, so retail businesses can join, but so can firms offering experiences such as travel agencies, restaurants, salons and so on. It’s exciting that a customer can use their South Ayrshire Gift Card for a city break in the UK or even as a deposit for their international holiday.
“I’m highly passionate about the regeneration of our high streets. Our Ayr business is located in Newmarket Street, which is an active and proactive community of businesses. The Newmarket Street Business Group has a mission to make our street a destination in itself; we have our own Facebook group and take part in activities to ensure the vibrancy and success of Newmarket Street. Schemes like the South Ayrshire Gift Card work alongside everything we’re doing to make our high street thrive.
“If you can buy locally for the same price, then you should choose that local option”
“Being a part of the South Ayrshire Gift Card could encourage people who’ve never used us before to give us a try. We’re trying to encourage a change in mind-set that online equals cheaper. I’m of the opinion that if you can buy locally for the same price, then you should choose that local option because it makes a huge difference to the area where you live. Yes, it involves getting out of the house and visiting a local business but I truly believe you’ll benefit from it in more ways than one.
“Our shop in Ayr has three big windows, people come in and they have a chat and they leave here smiling. A holiday is a really nice thing to buy and as a business we invest in that whole experience, like with our new virtual reality headsets where you can show someone their hotel. We’ve even got our own wine bar to add to the overall experience of purchasing a holiday. You can’t get that online.
“Online shopping is detrimental to our high streets. As business owners, we need to think outside of the box so we can come up with new ways to innovate in our towns, and make the experience of visiting the high street worth it for the customer. The South Ayrshire Gift Card is a way to encourage customers onto the high street, then it’s down to us to keep them there.”