Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Increased Turnover and Jobs on Horizon; in Association with RBS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Increased Turnover and Jobs on Horizon; in Association with RBS

Article excerpt

Byline: By Christopher Knox

ATRAVEL company has opened a dedicated cruise agency which it believes will help increase its turnover by more than pounds 60m and lead to the creation of 150 jobs.

Hays Travel has set up its first Hays Travel Cruise high-street operation adjacent to its site in Sunderland after noticing a sharp increase in the number of customers requesting a cruise holiday.

The Sunderland-based company also plans to open Hays Cruise sites in Newcastle and Stockton by the end of the year with the aim of increasing its turnover from pounds 307m to pounds 368m.

The new site has already created eight jobs since opening last Friday and is expected to achieve pounds 1m in sales in its first year of trading.

Chief executive John Hays said: "We have always held a strong position in the cruise market. However, with a new high-street presence for our cruise operation we can now strengthen this position even more.

"Don't get me wrong, the bulk of our business will be very much based on flights to mainland Europe, but we see cruises and long-haul flights as our main area of growth in 2008."

The company is also looking at new sites in the North-East in which to set up more of its regular agencies, with its current 126 employing the bulk of its 850 staff.

In addition, the firm plans to add another 100 home workers to the 400 already under contract throughout the UK by the end of the year.

It also planning to strengthen its head office operations by creating a number of new roles including a commercial director and a purchasing director, both of which it is currently recruiting for.

The firm's impressive growth plans have also been helped by an extensive TV advertising campaign over the new year period, for which it paid a six-figure sum.

Despite the threat of tighter trading conditions as a consequence of higher consumer fuel bills and lending charges, Hays expects a positive year that will see holidaymakers book their holidays earlier as a result of last year's summer washout in the UK. …

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