A BASINGSTOKE travel business is looking forward to 2023 after a turbulent few years, launching just before the pandemic hit.

NetTours Limited opened its doors in Church Street in January 2020 offering to find residents the perfect holiday.

But just months later it was forced to close when Covid-19 put the country into lockdown and travel businesses were hit hard by restrictions.

Net Tours managing director Andy Fixler had to rethink his plans and so decided to reopen after restrictions lifted as a travel business and tearoom with his wife Agnes.

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The First Floor Tea Room proved popular, with Agnes baking cakes and Andy serving customers.

However, the couple from Basingstoke, who have two children, have now decided to focus solely on the travel side of the business, which was their original plan, and have since refurbished the upstairs space to convert it back to travel agent NetHolidays.

Andy, who fell into the travel and tourism industry following the death of his mother, Agnes, when he was just 19-years-old, said he felt a need to follow in her footsteps.

Living in Budapest at the time, Andy had to change his career plan of becoming an artist and instead took on his mother’s former job as a tour guide.

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He said: “I started university and two weeks after she died. I was given the chance to continue her footpath. I was deep in cold water and I had to swim. I never left the industry.”

Andy added: “Life changes your path, or it has something else in store for you. I felt that I had to fulfil her expectations when I was given the job when she passed and I wanted to achieve. It’s been a burning fire in me.”

NetTours offers a personalised experience for customers looking to book a holiday, with the team researching the perfect location.

Andy and Agnes have kept some of the elements of the tearoom, with customers still able to enjoy a coffee or tea while discussing their holiday plans.

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Andy said: “If you go to another travel agent and you want to find inspiration the environment might not be the best place. When people come here, they can sit somewhere comfortable and enjoy a coffee or tea and they start talking.”

He added: “We have always wanted to create a peaceful, relaxing and quaint environment.”

For more information visit netholidays.co.uk or pop in to meet the team in Church Street.