Travel Counsellors has acquired an online travel company that had around 100 travel advisers working from home, 50 franchisees, and about 50 employees.
Holidaysplease, based in Birmingham, achieved a total transaction value (TTV) exceeding £40 million in 2022. Similar to Travel Counsellors, the company has maintained a 5-star ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot consistently. Holidaysplease has been a member of Hays Independence group since 2005.
The deal marks Travel Counsellors’ first acquisition in its 30-year history.
In January 2023, the company experienced its highest performing month to date, with sales reaching £114 million on its platform. This was due to high consumer demand for popular destinations like the US, Spain, Greece, UAE, and the Maldives. This figure represents a 50% increase from January before the pandemic, and in Q1, the company traded 65% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Furthermore, in February 2023, Travel Counsellors generated £86.3 million in sales, marking its best February ever with a 22% increase from February 2022. Together, the combined sales for January and February 2023 exceeded £200 million.
Steve Byrne, chief executive of Travel Counsellors, said: “We are delighted to have acquired such a highly regarded, fast-growing and profitable business with a hugely complementary strategic fit. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the entire Holidaysplease community; we are incredibly excited at what this combination will mean for both businesses, our communities of travel experts, and our customers.”
He added: “Our strategic goal is to build a community of the very best travel entrepreneurs who are empowered by our technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Both businesses share incredibly similar cultures, each built on people-led values and a relentless focus on customer care. This is clearly reflected in both brands’ excellent customer feedback and ratings.
“Both businesses share outstanding momentum having each delivered exceptional growth in 2022 as well as record-breaking performances in January 2023, when Travel Counsellors achieved TTV of more than £110m while Holidaysplease recorded the most successful month of trading in its 20-year history. I am confident that this combination will only serve to strengthen both business’ momentum and exciting long-term prospects.”
Charles Duncombe, director of Holidaysplease, said: “Travel Counsellors is a business we have long-admired for its relentless customer focus, multi-award-winning proposition, and outstanding, technology-led growth.
“The opportunity to become part of such a strong, fast-growing business with significant growth prospects was incredibly compelling.
“I have no doubt that our business and our teams of travel advisors and franchisees will continue to thrive and be cared for as part of Travel Counsellors. I am looking forward to working closely with Steve and the rest of the Travel Counsellors team to deliver our ambitious shared vision for the future.”
Holidayplease work-from-home employees can continue running their businesses as usual after the deal.