The idea of Travelmania came from the mind of Andrew Neophytou, whose passion in life revolved around airplanes flying and holidaying in the island of Cyprus where his parents where from. Andrew was at the time employed at Cyprus Airways and had also worked previous to that at one of the first Greek travel agents, “Homatas”.
Andrew’s younger brother, John, was at the time at college and was indecisive as to what career to pursue, so it was Andrews idea to get John to take the same diploma in Travel and Tourism and to eventually have some sort of career in travel. John passed his exams with flying colours and got a job straight away at Apollo Travel based in Camberwell, South London. He then went on to Cyprair Holidays which was the tour operating arm of Cyprus Airways.
At the same time, John and Andrews younger first cousin, Anna Papaphotis, had also become interested in the same diploma. With Andrew and Johns help she became one of the youngest people in the UK to graduate at the age of 16. Anna than went on to work at the established Hercules Travel in Wood Green, North London.
Now, with three people in the same family all with the same qualification, it wasn’t long before the cousins united and had the idea to start up a travel agency for themselves. After an extensive search, the name Travelmania was agreed upon. The reasoning for this was the enthusiasm of the founders and the fact that the name did not limit the destinations that the office would offer. Making it a worldwide travel agent. Another family member, our cousin Andrew Anastasiou, was called upon to design our company logo.
Fortunately, Anna’s father, Nicos Papaphotis, was in a good position to help. Nicos was successfully trading as a clothing manufacturer. His factory was located in Holloway Road, Islington, and was then producing garments for the likes of Chelsea Girl now known as River Island. All three approached him and it was agreed that part of the clothes factory would be converted into a small shop front.
In January 1988 the Company was incorporated with all four members of the family being equal shareholders, and on March 24th, 1988 Travelmania opened its doors to the public. Within the first year, the company obtained its ABTA and IATA licences. Initially only John and Anna were working full time and at minimal wages. Nicos had let them have the office on a rent free basis to allow the business to grow. All investments in the company came from Nicos who was now the main guarantor, Johns parents, Anna and Nicos Neophytou and Andrew Neophytou’s own personal savings.
In 1991, Andrew left his job at the airlines to come and help at the office as it was now at the point where all hands were needed. The company now employed at least 5 full time members of staff. Travelmania grew rapidly, and in 1992, it obtained its own ATOL license to allow the company to operate as a tour operator this subsequently lead to the launch of “Cyprus Elite”. This was a high end of the market product, selling only 5 star accommodations in Cyprus as package holidays.
In 1998, Nicos Papaphotis decided to retire and sell his factory. Travelmania bought one of the properties from Nicos and relocated the offices 2 doors away. John was made Managing Director and has steered the company from strength to strength. In 2007, the Company was nominated and was a finalist in the category of small offline agency of the year at the Agent Achievement Awards.
In 2008, the Company celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a fabulous party at the Kensington Roof Gardens along with its co-hosts, The Four Seasons Hotel Limassol, and the Cyprus Tourist Organization. Travelmania was honoured with an award from Cyprus Airways in recognition for the long standing good relationship that the two companies had formed over the years and also an award from the Four Seasons Hotel to commemorate their 15 year relationship.
The Company’s success can be put down to a number of factors, the hard work and dedication of the staff and directors of the company, the guidance from the company’s accountant, Chris Pieri from Kallis & Partners, a regular loyal customer clientele. Travelmania overall outlook on business is to try and offer the best service it can offer and a wealth of knowledge of destinations, climates and advice plus an unbiased view. The interest of the client is at the heart of every sale. If they feel that a holiday is inappropriate, they would rather forgo the sale than have a dissatisfied customer. With so many forms of sale in the market, including internet, teletext, teleshopping etc, they feel that it is a great achievement to keep the Company growing. They thank all their clientele for all their help and all their staff for they’re continued dedication and hard work.
“Book with Confidence. We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. We provide financial protection for your money when you buy a package holiday.If you buy other travel arrangements such as accommodation only this protection doesn’t apply.”