Top Track 250

Husband-and-wife team John and Irene Hays, 71 and 66 respectively, opened their first travel agency in Co Durham in 1980, and booked £1.1bn worth of air travel, cruises and accommodation last year. Last October the group acquired the shops and customers of Thomas Cook, which had collapsed the previous month, adding 2,000 of its former employees to the payroll. During the pandemic, it won a contract for some of its customer service staff to work on the government’s contact-tracing schemes. In August it warned that 878 roles were at risk after changes to travel quarantine rules. This month it acquired the Welsh firm Tailor Made Travel out of administration, saving 100 jobs.

This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.

Company details
Year2020
Rank73
CompanyHays Travel
ActivityTravel agency
LocationSunderland
Sales £m240.6
Operating profit £m6.2‡
Main shareholdersJohn Hays (49.99%), Irene Hays (50.01%)
Staff1,465
Founded1980
Websitewww.hays-travel.co.uk

If applicable:

* supplied by company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda