John Hays, 66, opened his first travel agency in County Durham in 1980 and now has more than 120 branches and two call centres. The Sunderland-based group more than doubled its retail shop network in 2013 when it bought Bath Travel for an undisclosed sum, boosting sales 47% to £253.1m in 2014. It also employs more than 400 homeworkers to handle customer enquiries.
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