Agency owner promotes 26-year-old son to chief executive

Mann Link Travel owner Brian Kelly believes his son has become one of the industry’s youngest chief executives after being appointed to the role aged 26.

The company, which is based on the Isle of Man, operates as a tour operator as well as a leisure, business and online travel agency.

Brian, who set up the business in 1982, has promoted his son Jordan Kelly to chief executive as part of a succession plan.

“I’m taking the chairman’s role and hopefully leaving a very good business for Jordan and the team to develop and expand,” he said.

Jordan’s two siblings also work in the business, with 29-year-old Hollie Kelly employed in the accounts department and Anna Kelly, 25, based in the leisure shop in Douglas.

Brian said the company, which also operates in Jersey and Guernsey, has been profitable every year of its existence, apart from two during the pandemic.

He appointed Jordan as chief executive in the belief that his son can expand the business, with Brian set to retire in the next two to three years.

Jordan joined the company in 2014 and gained experience in every department before being appointed to the board in 2018 as online travel director.

“Jordan has been on the board for five years, so he has a clear understanding as to the make-up of the business and how it’s structured,” said Brian.

“He’s probably one of the youngest chief executives in the industry but also probably one of the most experienced because he understands in great detail each of the sectors and the differences in how they operate on a day-to-day basis.”

Jordan told Travel Weekly he is eager to develop the company further, adding: “That’s the fun side – and I think we’re in a position now where we’re able to do it.”

While business travel is becoming an increasingly important area for the company, Mann Link Travel sells a broad mix of holidays.

Brian said: “We’re lucky that, because of our locations, the type of business we transact is high-value.

“It’s not unusual for somebody to walk in once a week and book a £30,000, £40,000 or £50,000 holiday – and we get the odd £100,000-plus holiday. But we get everything else as well.”

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