Hays Travel is to hand out bonuses to staff of £100 for every year they have worked with the business after it reached £1 billion in sales.

The company’s turnover passed the one billion mark for the 12 months to the end of April 2018, rising from £847.8 million for the previous 12 months to £1.006 billion, an increase of 18%.

The company said it was spending £1 million on staff bonuses and on celebrations to thank customers and suppliers as a result of the achievement.

Managing director John Hays made the announcement live on Facebook this morning from the company’s first shop in Seaham in county Durham. Hays said that the firm’s 1,600 staff, excluding 212 self-employed homeworkers, will receive an extra £100 in their pay packet for each year they have been employed by the company.

Customers will also benefit, with £1,000 to be handed out every day for the next 10 days and winners selected at random. Holidaymakers can register to put their name in the draw through Hays Travel’s website.

Suppliers will also be hosted at a special garden party on June 30 to say thank you personally by the company.

Of the staff bonuses, Hays said: “We have lots of staff who have worked for us for 30 years and this is a special one off payment. I am proud we are the UK’s largest independent travel agent, which we have been for a while. We want to keep growing on all fronts and we want to keep our foot on the accelerator.”

He put the company’s success down to a combination of factors, including consistently strong growth across the entire business as well as new homeworkers and shop openings.


Pictured: Hays Travel Seaham store, 1980 and 2018

Hays saw its biggest sales growth in its homeworking business with turnover up by 44% for the 12 months, followed by 28% growth in sales of its inhouse tour operation, while retail sales were up 23%, Independence Group members’ sales up 20% and foreign exchanges sales up 19%.

The number of Hays homeworkers has increased from 165 to 227 in the last year, and 300 are targeted by the end of October.

Hays said the hike in sales came as a result not just of taking on more homeworkers but because the company was working more closely with its homeworkers.

Hays said: “I am very pleased with how we are trading generally, especially our homeworkers who have been with us for many years.

“We have been working with them more closely and helping them to engage with clients and use the market tools available; this has got much more effective in the last few months.”

He added: “Homeworking has shown the biggest growth but it’s not the biggest part of our business. I feel we have not been punching our weight in regards to homeworking but in the last year that has changed dramatically.”

The company’s shop network now stands at 166, with 20 shops opened in the last year with mature shops seeing double-digit growth in the last year. “We are delighted with our performance, the brand is getting stronger and I think you can sense it’s a happy place to work,” added Hays.

The company will continue to look at opportunities for new shops, with plans to open a further 20 in the next 12 months. Several are currently in the pipeline, and Hays has not ruled out opening clusters of shops in areas where it currently has no presence.