We are delighted to be celebrating our twentieth successful year whilst still being at the forefront and an industry pioneer of the travel consortium. We are extremely proud of our heritage of being family owned and we stand by our mantra of providing our members with the best of both worlds – the support of a large travel industry organisation, without compromising your independent status and identity.
We are a living and breathing travel company with the largest independent travel retail network in the UK and we are committed to supporting your business whether you are new or existing to the travel industry.
We recognise that each partnership is unique and that each of our members requires tailored support to suit the nature of their business. A key ingredient of our success is our passion for travel and people; as an independent travel company with 35 years experience we have real expertise and insight into the travel industry.
Whether you’re looking to start a new travel business or you’re an existing retail agency, tour operator, online retailer or telesales operation we have a bespoke solution for you. We recognise that each partnership is unique and that each of our members requires a tailored package to suit the nature of their business.
Our UK based dedicated team is here to offer you a personal service, helping all of our members to reach the goal of running a profitable business. You can concentrate on maximising sales and profits, with the benefit of reduced operational costs and overheads with our state of the art selling and back office systems.
We allow you the space to concentrate on the running of your own business, allowing a truly independent status and identity. This means you decide your own marketing, discounting and racking policies, whilst we negotiate the very best tour operator and supplier commissions and overrides. As an independent agent, you can really concentrate on maximising sales and profits, with the benefit of reduced operational costs
We are very proud of our achievements and numerous industry awards, however most of all we are proud of our people and our members – here at the Hays Travel Independence Group, it’s all about partnership, profit and people.
You have seen our history – so let us be part of your future!
As a business, we’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings. Today, we employ over a thousand people across our network and have grown to become the UK’s largest independent travel agent.
Year-on-year we’ve broken our own record by investing, to maintain our enviable position as a frontrunner within the industry and, last year, our turnover was a record £650 million. What’s more, we’ve been recognised as one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies in the UK to Work For.
Through our continued expansion throughout the North East, North Yorkshire and the North West, we currently operate 43 retail branches and a call centre. We also employ over 200 Personal Travel Consultants and Telesales Homeworkers; and have in excess of 100 Independence Group members.
Fully ABTA and ATOL bonded, we’re able to offer complete financial security, and our independent status means we really can offer impartial advice to find our customers the perfect holiday. We work with hundreds of suppliers to ensure this.
Becoming a Hays Travel Independence Group member brings with it a variety of benefits. We’ve detailed some of these below:
ABTA and ATOL Bonding
On joining the Independence Group, you’ll be issued with a unique ABTA number, meaning that you’ll receive financial protection and peace of mind for your clients, as well as the added credibility of being part of the UK’s most recognised and respected travel associations. We’re responsible for the bonding and membership so you don’t have to worry. However, we’ll expect you to adhere to the ABTA code of conduct. Our members have access to our in-house ATOL facility, which gives you the opportunity to package your own holidays safely and legally. Not only that, but it also provides your clients with peace of mind knowing that they’re protected.
The Latest, Low-Cost, Cutting-Edge Technology and Communications Network
The Independence Group offers user-friendly, cost-effective, and innovative travel software systems. Both front and back office systems are supplied at excellent rates with regular enhancements to keep your business at the cutting-edge of the industry.
Independence Group members receive:
iSell: selling system | iTour: tour operating selling system | high-speed internet access | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | automated credit card authorisation software | email addresses | anti-virus software
No Joining Fees
We don’t charge any set-up, joining or annual membership fees to be part of the Independence Group – you’ll simply pay a monthly management services charge.
Excellent Commercial Terms with an Extensive Portfolio of Tour Operators and Suppliers
Our Commercial department negotiate to secure the best and most competitive commercial terms with all our suppliers. We enjoy preferred agent status with package tour operators, flight only operators, accommodation only suppliers, cruise lines, and ancillary product suppliers. There are also fantastic extra earning opportunities. Staff incentives, special promotional activity and tactical offers are communicated immediately and effectively via the Independence Group intranet. As an independent organisation, we trade with industry bonded tour operators large and small, across the whole spectrum, including car hire companies, accommodation suppliers, and ancillary product providers. We also offer access to exclusive hotel and transfer rates via our own Hays products.
Our head office and field based recruitment team are all from varied travel backgrounds. We believe that there’s nothing better than the personal touch, so they will guide you through your journey, from the first stages of enquiring right through the set up. They are responsible for bringing new members on board and nurturing them through the set up process to ensure they have the best possible solutions for their business. We also work in unison with our IG support, finance, commercial and training teams to ensure consistency and ongoing support now and moving forward.
Chris Oakes – Head of Hays Travel Independence Group
Tel: 07961 833 135 | email@example.com Twitter @HaysTravelIG
I started in the travel industry in 1988 in Corfu and moved on to be a manager in Greece, Spain, Gambia, Tunisia, Italy and Austria. I moved back to the UK in 1998 and then have worked for tour operators, call centres, retail, business travel and ancillary products before joining Hays Travel in 2014. Away from work I love spending time with my family and I am getting back into the great outdoors with mountain biking and skiing two of my great passions. I look forward to hearing from any new members – everyone is different and unique and I will be happy to discuss your individual requirements.
We have an enviable award winning training team who provide, free of charge, a bespoke training programme for every Independence Group member. Your training plan will be tailor-made to suit your business requirements. The training will be held in Sunderland, where you’ll get the opportunity to meet our friendly head office team. You’ll leave feeling confident about all of our systems and procedures, and there’ll always be support following your training, should you have any further questions or queries. During training, you’ll really get to grips with the systems, administration and finance, among other things. Once your business is up and running the training team can continue to support your training needs and even help your staff to achieve NVQ status.
Friendly and Helpful Support Team
We have a head office based Support team in Sunderland. The team are just a phone call or email away, and they’ll do everything they can to help with your questions or queries. Whether you’re a new or existing member, the team are dedicated to supporting you. From general queries to selling systems, commission rates or new staff set ups – the team are here to help support and guide you through. In addition we have our own intranet system the IG Hub that you can access 247 x 365 so you have information as and when you need it at your fingertips.
Finance and Administration Team
Our Finance team provide support on any financial queries you may have – this could be anything from transactions to commissions. You have access to daily commission reports, and our Finance team are great at helping our Independence Group members utilise these for financial planning. We supply you with your own online PDQ and merchant facilities and our state of the art selling system manages your bookings seamlessly through to our back office system without the need or resource for any manual intervention. All tour operator payments are processed in a timely manner and all reconciliation is made from the UK so no delays or outsourcing to any third parties. Finally any incentives or overrides we have in place are paid by our payments team and we guarantee that as a Hays Independence Group member you are paid 100% of of any such incentives.