There is an “enormous” opportunity for controlled expansion of Barrhead Travel ‘s businesses into England and Wales, according to new business development director Trevor Davis.
Davis, who takes up the role next week after leaving Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel six months ago, indicated growth could involve recruiting existing agents or those out of work following large-scale redundancies at Thomas Cook.
He said: “It has to be controlled expansion. I’m not going to go out and ask everyone I know to join – it’s got to be right for them as well.
“There will be travel agents belonging to other consortia who may well think now is the time to change.
“There are a lot of people who will shortly be unemployed as a result of the consolidation taking place. These are experienced people that have worked in travel retail for a number of years.
“We will be the new kid on the block but with an experienced head on our shoulders.”
The Barrhead brand is “pretty much unknown” outside Scotland but no decision has yet been made as to whether to expand under a different name or which division – homeworking, franchises or its own shops – will be targeted more heavily for growth.
In addition to Barrhead’s cruise business, long-haul tour operaion, owned retail network of high-street shops, there are currently less than 20 homeworkers and under 10 franchises.
“Barrhead Travel has been under the radar for far too long at a counter level and my job is to raise its profile and do justice to the hard work that has been done,” added Davis.
“Bill (Munro) has talked about growing Barrhead’s own retail network. It could be under the Barrhead brand but there are lots of ideas.There are opportunities in all these areas. My responsibility will be to work with the existing team to identify the route we take,” he added.
Davis said he had been drawn to the job because of the company’s passion, team ethic and technology. “What really struck me was the team ethic among staff and the technology is probably the best I’ve seen in all my years in travel.”
Meanwhile, talks between Barrhead and Advantage are continuing following the agency’s decision to leave the consortium in September to form a joint buying group with Midounties Co-operative Travel.
Advantage leisure director Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “We will look at whether or not there are opportunities and benefits to Barrhead staying a member; clearly I think there are. I am hoping a decision will be made in the next couple of weeks.”
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