Online luxury long haul travel agent Blue Bay Travel saw a record start to 2018 by increasing year-on-year sales by 71%.

The Caribbean, Mexico and Indian Ocean specialist also secured a record number of bookings made in a single day, week and month.

The typical booking value has now exceeded £4,000 for the business, which has been backed by mid-market private equity firm LDC since February 2017,

LDC backed Blue Bay Travel to accelerate growth through investment in technology and launching new products.

The deal saw travel industry veteran Andrew Gardner, who founded, join the board as non-executive chairman.

The investment in technology has gone alongside a 30% increase in staff numbers.

The boost in technology spend has led to around a third of bookings being made online, as consumers shopping for premium holidays turn increasingly to the internet, according to the OTA.

The firm also its premium Xclusivity brand to provide a broadened geographic and bespoke holiday offering to customers.

Blue Bay Travel plans to further diversify its destination portfolio and evolve the online functionality of its website.

A new partnership with members-only travel site Secret Escapes will also bring a widened audience to its growing customer base, direct web traffic and social media followings.

Founder and chief executive Stuart Wilson said: “We’ve had a record start to 2018 and this momentum looks set to continue as we build on our current achievements, further extending our offering and harnessing best-in-class technology to directly offer great destinations, customer service and price transparency to our clients.

“Having an investment partner like LDC onboard sharing your ambitions has been hugely beneficial, giving us the clarity of vision to execute our growth plans, and the capital to make it happen.”

David Andrews, investment director at LDC, added: “Since we partnered with Stuart and his team just over a year ago, they have shown the drive and determination to achieve significant growth in a short space of time.

“With a clear plan to capitalise on the growing demand in the long-haul and luxury market, we anticipate the business’ sales to continue on an upward trajectory.”