Founded in 1994 by David Speakman, this family-owned firm provides holiday and corporate travel packages to 450,000 customers a year. Its 1,200 self-employed “travel counsellors” work from home as franchisees, and each attracts a portfolio of clients by offering a concierge-style service to create a personalised package. In 2005, the Bolton company exported its model to Ireland, and since then has moved into the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Canada. Under managing director Steve Byrne, international sales grew by 66% a year, from £3.5m in 2008 to £9.6m in 2010.
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