TRAVEL Choice Direct has embarked on an aggressive recruitment drive after it announced plans to open a new call centre in Kilmarnock.
The £5m Scottish development will open on December 1 with 250 staff. A further 150 jobs will be created by the end of next year.
Travel Choice Direct managing director Chris Browne predicted a third of the call centre’s business will come from First Choice products, increasing to 50% by 2000.
She said technology will play a major role in the operation with Internet, Digital TV and Teletextlinks to the call centre.
“There is an emerging market of consumers who are used to telephone business and e-commerce,” she said. “By the end of the year there will be the facility to book on-line.”
Travel Choice settled on the Kilmarnock site after studying sites in Wales and Ireland. Work will begin this week on transforming the vacant 39,000sq ft unit into the high-tech centre.
Browne said it has also reserved an adjacent site which could double the size of the operation.
She denied there was any uncertainty hanging over the plan despite the possibility of Airtours rebidding for First Choice. “A direct retail operation is essential for any company,” she said.
Meanwhile, 35 Travel Choice branches will open in Scotland by the end of the year. The chain currently has 45 shops across the UK.
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