Hays Travel

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Hays Travel
Hays Travel Limited
FounderJohn Hays
England, UK
Number of locations
745 (including former Thomas Cook premises)
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Irene Hays (Chairman)
John Hays (CEO)

Hays Travel Limited is an independent travel agent chain headquartered in Sunderland, England. It is currently the largest independent travel agent in the United Kingdom. As an independent agent, Hays Travel uses other UK tour operators to provide package holidays to customers.


Hays Travel was founded in 1980 by John Hays in Seaham, Durham, where he opened a small retail store behind his mother's clothing store.[1]

In 2018, Hays Travel reached a turnover of over £1 billion.[2]

On 9 October 2019, it was announced that Hays Travel had purchased all Thomas Cook retail stores, which were all assumed to be closed due to the travel agency entering liquidation the month prior. The company has taken over 555 retail locations across the UK, almost trebling the number of existing stores and doubling their workforce. [3]

As of the 12th of October, over 120 ex-Thomas Cook stores are open and trading, with more to come and most now awaiting re-branding to Hays Travel.[4]


  1. ^ "Meet the couple behind Hays Travel as they offer hope to thousands of Thomas Cook staff". Chronicle Live. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Hays Travel passes £1bn sales mark". Travely Weekly. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Rival buys all 555 Thomas Cook stores". BBC News. 2019-10-09. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  4. ^ https://www.haystravel.co.uk/thomas-cook-stores

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