Hays Travel has acquired franchise homeworking company Explorer Travel.
The addition of Explorer’s 70 franchisees takes the number of homeworkers in the Hays Travel group to over 420.
Hays Travel owner Dame Irene Hays said the acquisition ‘fills a gap’ in the Hays portfolio, providing a steppingstone between the traditional homeworking model and an Independence Group member.
Announcing the deal, Hays Travel said the new acquisition is ‘an ideal fit with its homeworking model, which has seen many individuals with good ideas progress to become successful independent businesses as part of the Hays Travel Independence Group’.
Explorer owner Steve Wood is leaving the travel industry to pursue other interests and approached Hays Travel to discuss a buyout.
Dame Irene said: “[Hays Travel founder] John and I always thought Explorer was a great business and I was delighted when Steve approach me once he decided to leave travel to do other things.
“We have had a very good first meeting with the franchisees and we’re looking forward to helping them grow their businesses and to recruiting more people into our latest franchise model in due course.
“It’s a very different approach and I am very excited about it filling a gap between our Premier Telesales Homeworking and Personal Travel Consultants and the Independence Group, opening up new opportunities for our existing colleagues.
“It’s also allowing many more people to join who enjoy homeworking and are looking for the chance to earn a good living at home and eventually perhaps build their own business.”
Steve Wood said Hays offered ‘the best place for Explorer’s franchisees to help their businesses grow’.
Explorer Travel began in 2005 as the first UK-based travel franchise. Prior to the acquisition, it already had a close relationship with Hays.