Wrexham-based Hays Travel launches big recruitment drive

Reporter:

Alan Davies

The UK’s fastest growing independent travel agency has launched a recruitment drive to take on 60 new staff as part of a major expansion.

Hays Travel North West, which has its head office on Wrexham’s Lord Street, is set to open 12 new offices across North Wales and the North West by the middle of next year.

The five newest stores in the fold will open their doors in Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Ormskirk, Southport and West Kirby by early December and managing director Don Bircham is urgently looking for new recruits to join his 146-strong team.

The travel firm, which has just announced an end-of-year turnover of more than £50m for the first time, has spent £350,000 on refurbishing the five new stores.

They will take the total number of Hays Travel North West branches to 28 with a further rise to 35 expected by the summer of 2018.

Don, who lives in Padeswood, near Mold, said: “I am very proud that we have developed the business to this level. It shows the resurgence of travel agencies on the high street and we have positioned ourselves perfectly to benefit from this.

“Our plans to expand are ambitious and we have identified around 60 towns across this region which fit our criteria and we hope will be part of the development of the business.

“Our focus always was to reinvest our profits and develop the business across North Wales and the North West and create jobs for the region at the same time.

“Now I am urgently looking for new people to join our team and we have a lot to offer, including competitive salaries and the opportunity to work in an exciting and fun industry for a fast growing organisation with career opportunities.

“People don’t necessarily need previous experience of working in the travel industry. We are looking for people with experience of working in retail, banking and other customer facing businesses, who are highly motivated and articulate and have an interest in travel.

“We don’t want people to assume they are not qualified because we can provide training to the right individuals.”

A £1m programme of refurbishment has also been carried out over the last 12 months to existing Hays Travel North West branches to complement the expansion of the business.

Close to £250,000 has been spent on modernising the company’s three Bolton branches and in the last 12 months the stores in Wrexham, Nantwich and Warrington have also received a makeover.

Don, who has worked in the travel industry for nearly 40 years, said: “Our refurbishment programme has meant a capital investment of nearly £1m.

“But this major investment is bringing us a return. It means our staff have a lovely, new shop to work in and feel proud of and there is no doubt that it has had an impact on sales.

“Customers, quite rightly, want a pleasant, inviting environment to book their holidays in with the very latest travel technology and it is important that we are up to speed with the demands of a modern retail industry.”

Don, a father-of-two, set up his business with a single travel agency in Mold town centre in 2000.

His network of travel agencies are now the main partner of the hugely successful Hays Travel, based in Sunderland, which is expected this year to turn over more than £1bn and is the UK’s largest independent travel agency.

Don said: “Hays Travel, which is ATOL-protected, is a well-recognised, solid and respected brand. Through Hays Travel we are able to offer a brilliant choice of holidays and we are not aligned to any tour operator so we can sell a wide range of holidays which fit the customer’s requirements.

“There is absolutely no pressure on our staff to sell a particular type of holiday so our customers come in and receive impartial advice. I think this is one of the main reasons people choose our branches to book their holidays.”

Email:

alan.davies@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Leader

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