Independent announces restructure as it celebrates 34 years in business

By Lisa James
24/01/2023
Home » Independent announces restructure as it celebrates 34 years in business

Independent agency Westoe Travel is expanding and restructuring the business, after marking its 34th birthday.

Owners Graeme and Joan Brett will continue to work full time, but Graeme will concentrate on Westoe Travel’s own tour operator, Rail Adventures, which packages rail breaks with hotels and attractions throughout the UK.

Joan will become Finance Director, as well as overseeing the company’s large portfolio of Canada tailor-made holidays.

Their daughter, Gillian Vogel (pictured left), has been promoted to Manager of the agency, while Alice Appleby (pictured right), who joined as an apprentice 10 years ago, becomes Assistant Manager.

Joan and Graeme founded South Shields-based Westoe Travel in January 1989, in the back of the family’s newsagency.

Daughter Gillian started working for the business while she was still at school and continued do so while she completed a law degree.

After that, she spent 18 months teaching English in Tokyo before returning full-time to the business in 2008.

In addition, Chloe Brown, who also completed her apprenticeship with Westoe Travel, becomes a full-time member of the team, responsible for social media and administration of the business.

Maddy Amos joins as travel apprentice, having completed her degree at Newcastle University in the summer.

Graeme said: “Alice and Gillian must be two of the most widely travelled people in travel. They have been to all corners of the world and their travel knowledge is a joy to listen to.

“They have both spent their whole working career at Westoe Travel.

“Their knowledge, and experience is invaluable to our customers and our new team members.”

Joan said: “The restructure will allow us to continue to grow the business and keep the same values that has won us so much repeat business and referrals from existing customers.”

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