Homeworking firm Explorer Travel has been acquired by Hays Travel in a move that will see Explorer’s 70 franchisees join Hays with immediate effect.
Hays, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, said Explorer was an "ideal fit" for its homeworking model, bridging the gap between traditional homeworking and membership of the Hays Travel Independence Group.
It said many individuals "with good ideas" had turned smaller franchise operations into successful independent businesses with the support of the independence group.
Explorer owner Steve Wood, who is leaving the industry to pursue other interests, said he was confident the business he created was in good hands with Hays.
Hays currently has around 350 people working in its homeworking division.
Dame Irene Hays, owner of Hays Travel, said: “John [Hays] and I always thought Explorer was a great business, and I was delighted when Steve approached me once he decided to leave travel.
"We have had a very good first meeting with the franchisees, and we’re looking forward to helping them grow their businesses and recruit more people into our latest franchise model in due course.
"It’s a very different approach, and I’m very 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 businesses.”
Wood added" "I am delighted to have handed over Explorer Travel to Hays Travel. I have admired John and Irene’s business ethos over the years and feel, now that I’d like to move on, that Hays offers the best place for Explorer’s franchisees to help their businesses grow."