Barrhead Travel, Scotland’s largest independent travel group, will officially launch its new Business Travel office in Belfast this evening (Tuesday 26 October).
The new office, which has been quietly operating since March this year, is the firm’s first franchise outside Scotland. Having recently secured a contract worth over £1m with a major international pharmaceutical firm, the new office is already well on its way to reaching its annual sales targets.
Despite difficult trading conditions over the last 12 months, Barrhead Travel has had a very successful year with the company reporting a 25% increase in profits and an annual turnover of £100m – up 20% from 2009.
Chief executive of Barrhead Travel, Sharon Munro, said: “The last 12 months have marked an extremely exciting period for us, scooping numerous awards including UK Travel Company of the Year, opening a further four stores across Scotland, launching our own-brand package holidays, and now expanding into Northern Ireland with our Business Travel franchise.
“We are committed to developing our brand and have reinvested a large proportion of our profits back into new store openings. We are already planning to open another three stores in Scotland and aim to roll out our franchise programme across the rest of the UK over the next 12 months.”
Heading up the new operation is Barrhead Travel’s new managing director for Business Travel in Belfast, Edel Doherty. With over 27 years experience in the travel industry and a council member of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Edel is pleased to be working with Barrhead Travel and hopes to develop the firm’s presence in Northern Ireland.
Edel said: “Barrhead Travel is a highly successful brand offering financial security and professional, independent travel advice to all of its customers. The Business Travel franchise in Belfast builds on these values to provide corporate clients with fast, professional business travel solutions at a competitive rate. I am delighted to come on board with Barrhead Travel and look forward to developing the brand’s presence in Northern Ireland and beyond.”