Sports holiday specialist Black Opal has continued its expansion with the recruitment of two senior travel consultants.

The business has also moved to a high street location in Hale, Cheshire.

Keri Gee and Louise Vernon both joined from another Hale travel agency, Omega Travel, which closed last year.

Jamie Smith, managing director, said: “They both have a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in the sector for years, and will be familiar faces to some locals.”

Other recent recruits include South Africa-based senior tours consultant Richard Nurse – who has more than 30 years’ experience in luxury sports travel – and Kym O’Brien as sales director.

Established in 2019, Black Opal offers luxury, tailored tours to international sporting events. Many sports tours are hosted by former England internationals such as rugby player Scott Hastings, and cricketers David Gower and Gladstone Small.

Smith added: “With the world tentatively opening up again, we’re in great shape to work with new clients directly and the travel trade nationwide.

“Our new home in Hale is a big part of that; with the travel lounge downstairs set up to welcome clients, and offices above, so the whole team has a base.”

He added: “Being a small, family-owned business meant that we could be more resilient and adaptable during lockdown.

“We also used the time to secure our Atol and ABTA statuses directly and build events for our client base online. We can’t wait to start connecting in person once again, in our new setting.”

Black Opal staff at the new Hale premises are, pictured from left: Keri Gee, Kathryn Morris, Jamie Smith, Louise Vernon and Alex Taylor.

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