Hays Travel UkA Sunderland travel agent has struck a deal to buy its rivals after the collapse of Thomas Cook last month. The family-run travel company is on the verge of becoming a big name after buying its parent company. It is the first time the family who run the business have bought a travel agent in the UK since the collapse of rival Thomas Cook.
TUI has a small number of overlapping branches, 70 of which are in Scotland and in Greater London, where Hays Travel used to be present. The deal is expected to see Hayes Travel expand rapidly with a ready-made store base across the UK, where it will have a strong presence, according to the company’s chief executive. There are no existing Hides Travel stores in the city, but he acknowledged that the company “needs to evaluate each and every one of them.” TUI’s parent company, Thomas Cook Travel UK, will be taken over by HAYS Travel, giving it the opportunity to grow its brand through new channels.
Thomas Cook is one of the UK’s largest travel companies with more than 1,000 branches, our analysis shows, but only 33 of its stores are in London, which is less than one per cent of all stores. Hayes Travel will see no overlap in terms of locations and only one Thomas Cook Travel UK store is outside London – in Manchester, for example.
Hays Travel is the country’s largest independent travel agency and has already hired 421 former Thomas Cook staff and is looking at other offers for high-profile former staff. It has been reported that the travel company has already hired some of these staff and Hays has also invited those who have been called in to interview for a new job at one of its stores in London. Although John and Irene come from the same family as the founder and former boss of ThomasCook Travel, it remains to be seen whether they will manage to keep their former employer’s branches open.
Hays will have to decide whether it is worth keeping the shop and whether to consider a renewal, whether to pay off the lease on the shop or not. Hays Travel could also take the opportunity to expand its presence in stores in regions of the UK where it has not been before.
This unique opportunity may be tempting enough for Hays Travel to miss out on the chance to jump to the top three in the travel market. The acquisition has allowed the company to expand rapidly over the past six years, increasing its revenue to over 1 billion pesos and its revenue to over half a billion pesos.
In addition to the shops, 240 travel agencies work from home and sell holidays on laptops. Moreover, the company has done so without threatening the package travel market. Hays Travel seems to be largely a more focused company, investing most of its economic energy in delivering a business – based on the presence customers who want to book their holidays can go to. However, some travel industry experts have spoken out, questioning why Hayes Travel has taken over so many high street shops while consumers travel online to organise their holidays.
Consulting with 344 employees who have been trained as travel consultants and 534 in the foreign exchange department. Other offers have already been made to the ex-employees of the travel company, and it has already recruited in-house staff. Hayes Travel could save up to 2,000 jobs in total by deciding to buy the old Thomas Cook branches.
There is ample evidence that Hays Travel is a more nimble and agile company than Thomas Cook ever was. Chris Hales, managing director of Hayes Travel UK, added: ‘Thomas Cook is one of the most popular brands employing talented staff.
Irene credits the success to the hard work and dedication of her staff and the support of Thomas Cook management. Chris Hales, CEO of Sunderland – Hays Travel UK, said: “Thomas Cook is a very popular brand in the travel industry and one of the most respected brands in the world.
Hays opened a call centre in 1990 and formed a consortium of independent agents to further develop the Hays Travel brand. Although still predominantly based in the North East, we have seen the number of shops more than double to 43, expand into the South West of England and double in size.
Hays surprised many in October 2019 when it announced it would take over the 555 travel agencies from Thomas Cook after the 178-year-old company was demerged. Founded by John in 1976 as a small travel agency in the North East of England, Hays Travel expanded rapidly, adding a shop in 1987 and another in 1990. By the end of the year, it had taken over 190 stores, 745 of which were overnight, and was dealing with more than 1.5 million visitors a month.
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