What is the Best Independent Travel Agent?

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What is the Best Independent Travel Agent?

Planning a trip is not easy, especially in the age of Covid-19. There are no two ways about it. The only way that you can make planning your next holiday safe, secure, and easy is to work with a travel agent. Your tour company will handle all of your travel needs from logistic and travel, to accommodation and holiday activities. Travel agents ensure you have a wonderful experience on holiday by ensuring you are comfortable and happy throughout your trip

But what about when you want a unique experience, for instance, you are planning a honeymoon, a family holiday, or a group holiday? If you want to take control of your holiday and still enjoy the goodies of having someone else ensure you’re comfortable and happy, you should work with an independent travel agent.

Travel agents have evolved. Before the internet, planning for even simple trips was through an agent. The agent was important, and the only way you could book complicated flights and accommodation arrangements, saving you the trouble and hassle of contacting airlines and hotels.

Modern travel agents are different. With the widespread use of the internet, travel agents have rebranded. The modern travel agents, often called travel advisors or visit travel agents, offer more than just flight and accommodation booking. They are destination specialists – they plan your activities, and help you customise your holiday or trip to meet your needs.

An independent travel agent will focus more on advising you than offering you their packages. They will listen to your needs and narrow down on what matters to you, and how to make your desires become a reality. Therefore, with an independent agent, you are sure to have maximum fun on your next trip!

With many independent travel companies in the UK, your choices are unlimited when looking for a travel agent. However, if you are looking for the best experience, Hays Travel is the largest independent travel agent in the UK. But why book with them? What makes them special? Read on to learn more about Hays Travel…

Why Book Your Next Holiday with Independent Travel Agent Hays?

  • Experience – the company has been in existence since 1980, and has served many thousands of happy customers in that time.
  • Reputation – Over the years, Hays Travel has earned a good name in the travel industry for offering custom and affordable deals. Their ratings and reviews say it all.
  • Awards – Hays Travel has won many awards for offering the best services. One of their top awards is the Silver Award for being the Best Large Independent Travel agency.
  • Custom packages – Unlike many other travel agents, Hays Travel will customise your holiday needs and give you the best deal.

The History of The Company

John Hays started Hays Travel in 1980. The company was launched in Seaham, Durham, where John opened a small shop store behind his mother’s clothing shop. The company grew rapidly, and John Hays opened another branch in 1982 in Sunderland. By 1987, John had seven shops, and by 1990, Hays Travel opened their first call centre. The success story continued, and in 1995, Hays Travel Independence Group was formed.

Fast forward to 2006, the company appeared among the top 100 companies to work for in the UK. Not only was it a great company to work for, in May 2018, the company hit over £1 billion in sales. Hays Travel turnover increased by over £42 million over 2017, and the pre-tax profit was over £10.1 million.

Hays Travel Expansion

In 2013, Hays Travel acquired Bath Travel, which was the largest independent travel agency in Southern England. This acquisition made the company expand dramatically, and cover more ground, thereby serving more customers and increasing revenues.

By 9th October 2019, Hays Travel had purchased Thomas Cook Group. Hays Travel agency took over 550 retail locations across the UK, giving it a large shop window to the UK public, and doubled its workforce as a result. Following Thomas Cook’s acquisition, Hays Travel was declared among the Top 100 Employers in the UK.

Is Hays Travel In Trouble?

Over the years, Hays Travel has become a very successful independent travel agent. In 2020,  they laid off some employees for the first time as a result of Covid-19. The company laid off 900 employees in total, and put others on 50% pay. This was expected considering the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic and its effect on the tours and the travel industry at large. This, however, is not enough evidence to say that the company is in trouble, as this pandemic has affected all other independent travel agents as well.

John Hays Death

John Hays died suddently on 13th November 2020. He died after collapsing at the company’s head office in Sunderland. His sudden death surprised the world, and Hays’ Travel employees feared the worst that the death of their boss in the middle of a pandemic could affect their jobs. While John Hays’s death was a shocker, there are no clear signs that his death has affected the company’s performance.

To date, Hays Travel remains the best independent travel agent in the UK in our opinion. They offer some of the best deals, so you can be sure that you are getting a great deal when booking your next holiday.


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