Welsh agency opens café next door

Six agents working for Flamingo Holidays in Merthyr Tydfil have set up a café in the premises next door to keep the tills ringing while travel remains subdued.

Flamingo Café serves speciality teas and coffees, freshly made panini sandwiches and ‘flamingo scones’.

Flamingo Holidays is a brand of Blue Skies Travel, which was re-acquired in September by former Tailor Made Travel boss Simon Morgan.

The café’s Facebook page says: “You may not know this, but Flamingo Café is run by a team of six travel agents.

“When the pandemic struck, we couldn’t sit at home and twiddle our thumbs so we got our hands on the café.

“We all retrained in cooking, health and safety and, most importantly, hospitality.

“We are a bonkers bunch of people and it’s truly not unusual to find us singing and or dancing whilst we work.

“It’s probably the most cheerful café you’ll ever find and tucked in between the breakfasts you’ll also find some delicious specials that we’ve found during our travels.”

It urges customers to pop into try the food – and ask for travel tips too.

Flamingo Cafe buns
Flamingo Cafe scones

Morgan (pictured left), director of Blue Skies Travel and Flamingo Holidays, said the venture brings in “much-needed revenue” while staff take it in turns to work in the agency next door, in the Beacons Place shopping centre.

He said the members of staff have “risen to the challenge” and have created a busy café after the previous eatery closed during the pandemic.

Morgan re-acquired the premises and staff of Blue Skies Travel in Whitchurch, Cardiff, for an undisclosed sum after Tailor Made Travel entered administration last September. Flamingo Holidays was set up as a mainstream brand.

The firm’s head office is now in Merthyr Tydfil to help control costs and the Whitchurch premises will reopen when “there’s a market”, said Morgan.

There are two other branches, one in Ystradgynlais, near Swansea, and the other in Llantwit Major.

Morgan said these are “very trying times” for travel agents, especially with added layers of confusion and costs because of the policies of the Welsh government.

More: Agents criticise extra costs and confusion of Welsh testing rules

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