Late Escapes founder returns to industry

The founder of call centre agent Late Escapes Group is set to return to the travel industry with an online travel agency venture.

John Mclean sold Late Escape to Airtours more than a decade ago for £6.2 million and stayed on as chief executive of Going Places Direct for two years.

The Late Escapes Group and Going Place Direct employed almost 200 travel consultants, with a turnover of more than £30 million. Call centres were based in Newcastle, Sunderland and Darlington, with head office also in Darlington.

Mclean’s unnamed new company is poised to launch in January to coincide with the peak booking period.

The business will “look to target specific sectors of the travel industry via the creation of a number of different brands”.

Mclean said: “Online travel agents have come of age, and we will look to enter the market with a number of strongly targeted brands aimed at different sectors of the industry.

“The travel industry continues to change, but the principles which drive consumer behaviour remain the same.”

After selling Late Escapes, Mclean moved to Monaco, where amongst other business activity, he founded an investment group and graduated with a Masters Degree in Business (MBA) from the International University of Monaco.

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