Halsbury Travel Ranked Sixth Fastest-Growing UK Tour Operator

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The Recent UK Tour Operators Industry Review By Plimsoll Has Identified Halsbury Travel As The Country's Sixth Fastest-Growing Tour Operator.

The Sharkeys at the Midlands Family Business Awards

The Sharkeys at the Midlands Family Business Awards

We work closely with teachers throughout the process of arranging their school trips and this, along with our own background in teaching, gives us the insight we need to offer tours that provide real educational value for students.

Winner of ‘Fastest-Growing Family Business’ at the 2013 Midlands Family Business Awards, Halsbury Travel has now been ranked as the sixth fastest-growing UK tour operator in a recent industry review by Plimsoll.

Whilst the UK tour operator market has seen an average sales growth of around 4.3%, Halsbury Travel has seen a growth of 46% and is now the fastest-growing educational tour operator in the UK.

All this is welcome news for the leading school tour operator which is celebrating its 30th anniversary next year. Founded in 1986 by former French teacher, Keith Sharkey, Halsbury Travel specialises in tailor-made school trips and now also has specialist divisions for music, sport and ski tours.

Sharkey, who continues to run the independent tour operator alongside his wife, also a former teacher, and their two children, attributes this success to a combination of factors. “Firstly,” he explains, “we have worked hard over the last three decades to ensure that we expand our product range in line with what our customers are asking for. We work closely with teachers throughout the process of arranging their school trips and this, along with our own background in teaching, gives us the insight we need to offer tours that provide real educational value for students. In recent years, we have created dedicated divisions for our music, sport and ski tours which are staffed by specialists in those areas.”

To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Halsbury Travel launched an innovative loyalty scheme, which rewards customers from their very first trip with the company and allows them to build up points towards a discount on their next trip or a special gift for their department. Sharkey believes that this too has contributed to the company’s rapid growth: “We have many customers that book their school trips with us year-on-year and creating a scheme to thank them for their loyalty seemed like the perfect way to celebrate such a poignant milestone. What we couldn’t have predicted was the popularity of the scheme, which has seen our customer retention rates soar.”

Finally, the other key point to which Sharkey attributes Halsbury Travel’s growth is the tour operator’s ability to look to the future. “We are very lucky to have the support of a dynamic team who are always looking at new ways to improve our services for customers. Our continued investment in new technologies for both customers and staff means that our in-house development team are always very busy, but we consider this an important factor in providing the very best service possible to all the teachers who choose to book their school trips with us.”

The future certainly looks bright for the leading school tour operator and, with exciting plans set to be announced shortly for the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations, 2016 looks set to be another successful year for Halsbury Travel.

Halsbury Travel was founded in 1986 by former French teacher Keith Sharkey, who passionately believes in the educational value of school travel. Still independently owned, Halsbury Travel is a family-run business with two generations of the Sharkey family now working for the company, supported by a dynamic team consisting of former teachers and school travel specialists. Family values are core to the business, with honest advice and quality of service key to what makes Halsbury Travel unique in the school travel market. For further information: http://www.halsbury.com/

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Katie Sharkey
@HalsburyTravel
since: 07/2011
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