As the UKs largest independent travel agent Hays Travel, specialises in providing good value, quality holidays alongside excellent customer service.
From its inception in 1980, 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 Travel's 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 41 shops in this part of the country, covering Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Wales.
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.
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“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”
Putting people at the heart of what we do has seen Hays Travel become the largest independant travel agency in the UK.
"Because of the diverse training opportunities and on-going support available to Hays Travel Managers, I know that I can rely on both the Learning and Development Team and my line manager to support me in my role and to help me make sure I am the best I can be and also that I get the best out of the people in my team in terms of performance and team work."
"I would say it's about the people I work with, all being one team/one family and all looking out for each other. Working for a hugely successful company who looks after their staff well by nurturing them, helping them progress to reach their potential."
"I joined at just 16 years old as a retail apprentice in our Houghton-le-Spring branch and it was the best decision I ever made. The apprenticeship gave me the best possible start at what will be a lifelong career in an industry that I love. After becoming a fully qualified Travel Agent, learning all things sales and joining the Contact Centre selling holidays through Facebook, I found a new opportunity and made the move into the Social Media team at Head Office. In my three years at Head Office I've been promoted and even travelled around the world. I wouldn't be where I am today without the Hays Travel Apprenticeship programme."
"Since joining Hays Travel as an apprentice in 2014, I have had many opportunities to build on my skills, leading to fantastic career opportunities. Training has been a combination of sales, service and personal skills, which has enabled me to be successful with my sales targets and given me the confidence to apply for the acting assistant manager role I am currently enjoying."
"I started as the training department's apprentice where I learnt all about the training we offer and I took on a lot of training operations jobs. Once completed I started to take on more responsibility within the following year, and was given the opportunity to become a learning & development coach, where I support and develop our head office apprentices throughout their apprenticeship programme."
"I joined the business in 1992 starting as an apprentice in our Sunderland Vine Place branch progressing on to Assistant Manager and then Branch Manager in various different branches. I came to Head Office equipped with the invaluable experience, skills and knowledge of our business before joining the Learning and Development (L&D) Team. Our L&D Team are industry experts providing our organisation with the skills, knowledge and behaviours to fulfil their roles and aspirations, from apprentices to senior leaders and we support all colleagues throughout their journey."
LeanneLearning and Development
"I started as an apprentice in the Learning and Development team where I learned about the different training programmes we offer. Once I completed my apprenticeship I started to take on more responsibility including a lot of operational tasks and I was given the opportunity to progress into the role of a Learning and Development Coach. I have been able to develop my coaching skills through completing our rising stars programme which has helped me gain confidence in coaching, motivating and supporting those around me and I look forward to see where this can take me in my career at Hays Travel."
MelissaLearning and Development
"I joined the company in 1990 as an Apprentice. I progressed quite quickly from Travel Consultant to Assistant Manager to Branch Manager and I was lucky enough to be promoted to Regional Sales Manager which was a position I held for many years. I was delighted to be promoted to my current role of Head of Retail. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work alongside many different teams within the business which has been invaluable and I have watched Hays Travel go from strength to strength, very much a forward thinking Company and I'm proud to say I am part of that journey. What I love about Hays is you can be yourself, you are encouraged to have a voice, your opinion, ideas/suggestions are listened to and you are recognised for your achievements."
"As a senior leader at Hays Travel I have had the privilege of building my career through a range of roles within the business. My journey began as an apprentice in our Seaham branch before joining my colleagues at Head Office. I spent 6 years as General Manager of the Personal Travel Consultant division and in 2022 I took on the role of Head of Corporate and Consumer Events. I am lucky to work with so many amazing teams within my role, all of which are valuable in ensuring our events are a huge success!"