Interview: John Hays, the person behind the £1 billion business

John Hays joined the advisory board of Not Just Travel & The Travel Franchise in 2017. Here is a glimpse at the entrepreneur and his journey to success.


John Hays joined the Travel Franchise at our recent UK Conference as a guest speaker to talk about the travel industry. However, we grabbed a few minutes of his time afterwards to talk more about him and his success story.

John Hays is widely regarded as one of the great entrepreneurs in travel. His retail empire now covers the UK, he’s in the ABTA hall of fame and his business empire is about to turn over £1 billion in sales.

John has watched the success of The Travel Franchise with interest and recently joined our ‘Advisory Board’ to help support our continued growth.

The Travel Franchise has become the UK’s number one ‘Homeworking Agency‘ whereas Hays Travel grew through retail travel agencies. Despite the phenomenal growth and the now £1 billion of sales, it wasn’t always easy.

John started a travel agency when there was already lots of competition. An agency opened up virtually next door to him and the early days were tough. So how did he become so successful?

In this interview we talk about the entrepreneurial journey and what it takes to make a success, not just in a travel business, but any business.

  • What is John’s motivation?
  • What is important to him in business?
  • What was John’s goal when he got started in business?

John gives us some great insights into his success and ideas for what you need to think about when starting out in business.