Hays Travel opens up tour operation to third party agents

Hays Travel is targeting independent agencies outside of the group to sell its tour operation for the first time.

The agency has brought former JTA Travel regional sales manager David Hinder-Edwards on board to help attract business from independent retailers.

Hays Faraway and Hays Cruise, which are part of the Hays Tour Operating brand, have been sold primarily through Hays’ own agents and its consortium members, but the company wants to raise its profile among all independent agents.

Based on the road, he will be emphasising the operator’s “generous commercial terms”, dedicated support team and a £150 holiday deposit as standard.

Hays Tour Operating national sales manager Dan Steabler said: “We’ve tried and tested these products ourselves and know what works. I believe independent agents benefit from working with us as it helps retain their independence in the market.”

The tour operation offers short and long-haul holidays, escorted tours and fly-cruises. Its brochures include Luxury Collection; USA & Canada; and Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.

Hays would not give specific details but said it runs a “full fam trip programme”, mainly to long‑haul destinations, with places allocated mainly via sales performance and competitions.

Other operators appeared unfazed by Hays’ strategy. Jetset sales director Adrian Smyth said he had “no issue” with tour operator competition.

Susan Allan, head of trade sales at Specialist Holidays Group, said: “We have seen good growth through Travelmood since its launch in October and therefore understand why Hays would want to launch its Faraway brand into the trade domain. We would like to wish them the very best of luck.”

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