Galaxy goes down under

GALAXY Travel, the largest independent travel agency firm based in East Anglia, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by the international Harvey World Travel group.

GALAXY Travel, the largest independent travel agency firm based in East Anglia, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by the international Harvey World Travel group.

The 22 Galaxy branches across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire will be rebranded as “Harvey World Travel, the travel professionals for Virgin Holidays”, bringing HWT's network in the UK to a total of 83 stores plus three call centres.

Geoff Blagg, managing director of Galaxy, will not on the role of head of sales for the south, including responsibility for 32 Let's Go Travel branches also recently acquired by the Australian-based HWT group.

Mr Blagg said: “Anybody who knows me understands how committed I am to Galaxy Travel and the retail travel industry in general. I am also convinced that there is a great future for independent travel agents.


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“However, successful agents will need to be innovative, customer focused, inspirational, very professional and have unique offerings for their customer base whilst also offering a great working environment for their staff.

“Having talked to, listened to and questioned the directors and senior management of HWT I am excited about the vision that they describe and the plans that they have to fulfill that vision.

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“Their views and aspirations very much mirror my own and I believe HWT will deliver an innovative, inspirational and unique product to the traveling public whilst providing the best employment and career opportunities in the travel industry.”

John Donnelly, managing director of HWT, added: “For Galaxy Travel to be joining with us shows the further commitment we have for the high street travel agencies and I look forward to Geoff taking on his new role for the company of which he will be instrumental in this new venture and making it a success.”

Harvey World Travel, part of the S8 Limited Group of Companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is the largest single brand travel franchise group in the southern hemisphere.

Galaxy, which is based in Norwich and includes branches in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham, Halesworth and Beccles, was created in its present form in 1995 when a chain of travel shops formerly owned by bus operator Eastern Counties were acquired by husband and wife Steve and Sandra Dawson.

Later the same year, the business expanded further with the acquisition of the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society's travel business, Catours, and it has continued to grow through the acquisition of other independent travel shops around the region.

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