About Hays Travel

As the UKs largest independent travel agent Hays Travel, specialises in providing good value, quality holidays alongside excellent customer service.

From its inception, the business expanded steadily with shops cropping up across the north-east. In 1990, the first Hays Travel call centre opened, and in 1995 the Hays Travel Independence Group was formed – a consortium of independent travel retailers retaining their own independence and branding, but benefitting from Hays Travels buying power, technology, and back office functions.

In 1997, the company diversified into homeworking, and in 2013 Hays completed the acquisition of Bath Travel, the south of England's largest independent travel agency network.

In 2013, retail coverage expanded hugely with the acquisition of southern England's largest independent travel agency, Bath Travel. Founded in 1924 and based in Bournemouth; Bath Travel had over 60 branches and 330 employees who joined the Hays Travel family. The acquisition represented a substantial growth in the company's retail network, with Hays Travel branches now covering Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, and Sussex.

A year later, in 2014; Hays took on its first franchise in the north-west of England, a 14-branch travel agency formerly known as Just Go. With quick expansion also in this region, Hays Travel now has almost 30 shops in this part of the country, covering Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Wales.

In 2014, Just Go, an independent agent based in Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Wales, joined the group and started to operate as a Hays franchise. The group of shops was rebranded as Hays Travel and the network expanded significantly - they now have 44 branches, an annual turnover of £63 million, and employ 197 people.

2019 saw Hays Travel take a strong lead in the industry and acquired the Thomas Cook retail estate; providing re-employment opportunities to former staff;who were made redundant following the collapse of the travel giant.

Another year later in 2020; Hays Travel took over all 20 Tailor Made Travel shops as well as retaining around 100 employees. 

Today, Hays Travel has huge buying power and invests heavily in state-of-the-art technology. The company has an award-winning in-house training programme, won Best High Street Large Agency at the Agent Achievement Awards, and is recognised in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, as well as the Sunday Times '100 Best Companies to Work For' list.

Fully ABTA, ATOL and IATA bonded, it offers its customers complete financial security, and its independent status means staff are able to offer impartial advice and an extensive range of travel opportunities. The company works with hundreds of suppliers to ensure this.

To view our Group Tax Strategy, click here

To view our Modern Slavery Statement, click here

To view our Gender Pay Gap Report, click here

To view our Insurance Product Information Document, click here

Pensions – Statement of Investment Principles, click here

To view our Pension Implementation Statement, click here

Our Smile Values


“When people support each other incredible things happen”


“A motivated person is someone who is inspired, appreciated and does far more than is expected”


“It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen”


“Respect is earned, honesty is appreciated, trust is gained, and loyalty is returned”


“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well”

Our Journey

John Hays opens the first branch of Hays Travel at the back of his mum’s children’s wear shop in Seaham, Co Durham

Hays Travel opens second shop in Sunderland, where the company has its headquarters today


Third shop opens in Washington, Tyne and Wear

Expansion reaches seven shops in the North East


First Hays Travel call centre opens

Hays Travel Independence Group is formed


The company diversifies into homeworking

Hays Travel recognised as one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK


Hays Travel Group hit £300 million turnover

John Hays honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at the Agent Achievement Awards


John Hays picks up the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Globes

Celebrate 30 years and John Hays’ inauguration into the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame


Turnover hits the £500 million mark

Acquisition of Bath Travel, the South of England’s largest independent travel agency


Hays Travel Academy launched

Another inclusion in the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For list whilst John Hays is awarded Freedom of the City of Sunderland


Turnover reaches £850 million

Turnover passes the £1 billion mark


Thomas Cook retail estate acquisition

Recruited additional 100 HTOL employees