Web-based company Ladsholiday.com, which specialises in packaging together party holidays for groups of young men, has joined the Hays Travel Independence Group.

Tom Smedley from Ladsholiday.com said the company’s business type was somewhat different to what he thought the normal Hays IG member would be.

“However, they were really keen on the idea and how we could develop it, providing the advice and training we needed,” he said.

“We started as an information website in 2009, dabbled in some affiliate marketing and realised this niche had potential.

“We then began to run the site as a lead generation website, selling our leads to various travel agents.”

In November last year, Ladsholiday.com decided to take the plunge and bring the whole operation in-house so it could personally manage the sales process and get on their customers’ level, said Smedley, building a long-term brand rather than a short term profit.

“Joining Hays has undoubtedly been the best thing we have ever done, and has really surpassed my expectations,” he said. “I knew we would have the support of a huge company, but I didn’t think I would literally be on first name terms with dozens of people in the office, all a phone call away for any help or advice I need.”

He added: “There is a real culture of fun, yet professionalism, within the organisation, and I really like the way we are seen as just another Hays branch rather than an external company.

“We have access to great IT systems, the best commercial deals, and for the rate of the management service fee, this is really worth its weight in gold.”