THE future looks sunny for Wearside holiday firm Hays Travel following a successful year for its new tour operating business.
The Sunderland-based business, which operates 101 retail outlets and five call centres, launched Hays Faraway in 2012 to capitalise on the rising number of sunseekers looking to escape to far flung places, a division which brought in £40million in sales in its first year.
The firm’s tour operating business has expanded its products, marketing and technology within the tour operating business, which now encompasses Hays Cruise and Hays Travel Tour Operating, as customers continue to explore exotic locations outside Europe, where the pound stretches further.
And in 2013 the firm grew to become the fourth largest tour operator supplier, behind TUI, Thomas Cook and Jet2 Holidays, helping to grow sales by 22 per cent to £172.7million.
During the period the firm acquired Bath Travel, a retail travel agency based in the south of England, for £7.6million, a buyout which doubled its portfolio of retail outlets.
The October deal added 58 retail outlets and two call centres to its existing stable.