Travel firm Superbreak marks 30 years

First published in Business news York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Business editor

SHORT break business Superbreak has plans for expansion as it celebrates its 30th year in the travel industry.

The business, which was set up in London with 20 telephone operators and a portfolio of 91 hotels in 67 locations across the UK, now employs about 150 people at its headquarters in York, and has 5,670 hotels in almost 700 destinations across the world.

Jane Atkins, director of sales, said: “Initially, Superbreak spotted an opportunity in the market and started offering short breaks when that really wasn’t a concept in travel. People took a two-week holiday and that was it.”

But the trend continued to grow, and the idea, which started as a marketing concept of British Transport Hotels by two former employees of British Rail, Christopher Dunn and Gordon Miller, became a registered company, Superbreak Mini-Holidays, in 1983, moving to York after the acquisition of GoldenRail in 1990.

The business recruited eight new staff at the end of 2012, said Jane, to prepare for the company’s expansion plans this year, which include the launch of its first mobile site.

“People often think about holidays when they’re with their friends, not at their desks, so a mobile presence is crucial. Ten per cent of searches on our site are made via a mobile device, and this will only grow in the future.

"We need to make sure we’re at the centre of that technology and customers can come to us how they want. We still book a lot of holidays through our travel agents, some people want to sit at a desk with a PC, or call our call centre. We have to present our product in every single channel,” she said.

In December, the business also launched flights from regional airports and will soon offer long-haul scheduled flights.

Superbreak is also looking at car hire, said Jane. “A business that isn’t growing is standing still. We have to look at new opportunities and new product-development portfolios.

“We will look at different additions that sit naturally in our short-break niche market product, but nothing that moves away from our brand DNA.

“To trade for 30 years and be successful is a huge milestone.”

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