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Franchise general manager named for Hays Travel-owned Explorer Travel

Steven Reilly has been promoted by Hays Travel as franchise general manager for homeworking franchise arm Explorer Travel, acquired in June.

He joined Hays Travel from Thomas Cook in October 2019 with the acquisition of the failed travel group’s retail arm.

Reilly steps up from the role of east Scotland regional sales manager.

As franchise general manager, he will be responsible for the day-to-day management and business development of the Explorer franchise division.

The remit includes recruitment of new franchisees as well as supporting franchisees in building their business and database, offering a range of tailored training and business development sessions.

Deborah Gannon and Steve Heaton, both formerly admin manager and operations manager at Explorer, have been employed by Hays Travel in new business sevelopment roles, supporting Reilly.

Marketing and homeworking director John Milburn said: “I am delighted that Steven has taken on this new position and is already making a positive impact.

“We always knew that Explorer was a great business, as they were part of the Hays Travel Independence Group.

“Now that they are fully part of the Hays Travel family, we will be looking to support existing franchisees grow and develop their business while at the same time welcoming new Explorers.’’

The Explorer franchise model is seen as providing a stepping stone between the traditional homeworking model and an Independence Group member.

Reilly added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to be driving this new venture from the start.

“I have been excited to learn about our current franchisees’ businesses and how I can work in partnership with them to support them reach full potential, with all the added benefits of being part of the wider Hays Travel family.

“Having Deborah and Steve on board with their combined knowledge of Explorer has supported a smooth transition.’’

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