Founded in 2003 by Stuart and Angela Wilson, Blue Bay Travel provides holidays to more than 16,500 passengers per year.
The business operates under several specialist brands – including Caribbean Warehouse, specialising in destinations such as Mexico, Dominican Republic, Barbados and Saint Lucia – and Tropical Warehouse, focusing on the Indian Ocean and Far East. Since 2003 the business has won over 60 awards including Travel Company of the Year 2011 and Best UK Travel Call Centre of the Year 2015.
In February 2017 Blue BayTravel secured a £6.5million investment from LDC.
Following the investment, Blue Bay Travel plans to accelerate growth by investing in its proprietary price comparison technology and online booking platform, expanding its 60-strong team of travel experts, adding more homeworkers to the sales team – and launching new, innovative products.
As part of the deal, LDC has acquired a significant minority shareholding, with Investment Director David Andrews joining the board alongside independent non-executive Lawrence Dean, and travel industry veteran Andrew Gardner as non-executive Chairman.
Blue Bay Travel celebrated a record start to 2018 by increasing year-on-year sales by 71 per cent and securing a record numbers of bookings made in a single day, week and month.The business has also continued to invest in its technology platform, increased headcount by 30 per cent, expanded its office space, and launched its premium Xclusivity brand to provide a broadened geographic and bespoke product offering to customers.
In addition, Blue Bay Travel has pioneered online transacting in the long-haul travel market with its online and offline booking and customer service model, which sets it apart from more traditional operators in the luxury segment. This investment in technology has led to more than 30 per cent of its bookings being made online, as consumers shopping for premium holidays turn increasingly to the internet. The business’ typical booking value has now exceeded £4,000, solidifying its position in the luxury market.
Building on this technology leadership, the business plans to further diversify its holiday destination portfolio and evolve the online functionality of its website, whilst maintaining its high levels of customer service. The new partnership with members-only travel site Secret Escapes will also bring a widened audience to Blue Bay Travel’s growing customer base, direct web traffic and social media followings.