UK travel agency consortium Hays Travel forecasts positive evolution in number of bookings for winter 2011-2012

Hays Travel, the largest independent travel agency consortium in the UK –which has just held its annual conference in Benalmádena– is optimistic about the number of bookings for the 2011-2012 winter season. The consortium’s founder and Managing Director, John Hays, said he expected the sector to have a positive evolution.
To the Málaga-Costa del Sol Tourist Board, this is good news, given Hays Travel’s relevance in the industry. Last year, the consortium’s revenues totalled almost £500 million. In the cruise segment, it managed 28,000 passengers.

Hays Travel is UK’s largest independently owned company. It now has 43 branches and 350 travel retailers operating under the company’s licences and bonds (150 independent travel agencies and 200 agents working at home). They all got together at Hotel Torrequebrada in Benalmádena for their two annual conferences: one for Hays Travel staff and one for independent agents.

Hays Travel has been operating for more than 30 years and has a staff of 900. It is the largest independently owned travel agent in the UK and a member of ABTA, the British Travel Association.

According to agency sources, in the summer 2011, Hays Travel witnessed a 16% increase over the previous year, whereas in winter the increase was 10%. Half the reservations belonged to dynamic packaging.

According to Mr Hays, the results for the Costa del Sol had been positive in spite of the crisis. The Managing Director of Hays Travel believes the conference will boost business. In general, this kind of events tend to increase the tourist flow.

The Málaga-Costa del Sol Tourist Board contributed to the organisation of this annual conference, together with Empresa Pública para la Gestión del Turismo y del Deporte de Andalucía and the Spanish Tourist Office in London. The event was organised by Sehrs Tourism. In it, we made a presentation for travel agents.

The presentation was aimed at boosting the sale of Costa del Sol products, especially for winter, emphasising diversification to increase the number of visitors in the low season. All agents got very interested in our travel offer.

Our work before and during the conference will be complemented by meetings, online courses in real time for travel agents, call centres, and advisors working at home (especially those specialising in winter travel and its products, such as pre- and post-cruise stays, getaways, city breaks, health and wellness, fly drive holidays, cultural tourism, and food travel), and email campaigns targeting end consumers with the aim of boosting sales for the rest of the winter season.

At the conference, Hays Travel showed its support to Thomas Cook after a bank deal saved it from collapse a few days ago. Moreover, Mr Hays announced his company would continue selling the packages offered by the UK-based tour operator, provided they were backed up by the insurance company, while taking promotional action to boost sales, except for those products that were not protected by consumer protection legislation.


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