The Travel Network Group buys Kayne Travel

The Travel Network Group has bought South Yorkshire agency Kayne Travel as the latest addition to its network of owned shops.

The agency has become the 20th branch of the group’s Worldchoice Plus managed service proposition TTNG Retail. It follows the acquisition of Abbotts Travel last month.

Kayne Travel, which was set up in 2018, has left Advantage Managed Services, the managed services division of The Advantage Travel Partnership.

Former owner Emma Kayne (pictured) confirmed the sale in the wake of her decision to switch jobs within the industry.

This followed a 12-month stint working outside the industry for the police during the pandemic following the sudden death of her mother after contracting Covid.

Kayne, who had already increased the number of shop staff to allow her to pursue a different career, joined Bedsonline as key account manager for the north in June this year but remained owner of the Rotherham-based agency until last week’s sale.

She said: “I decided to make the move back into trade and sell the shop so I could once again work with other agent partners and support their own businesses, after now having the full knowledge and experience of building up my own agency from scratch, and having the resilience to survive many operator closures and a global pandemic.”

She described TTNG Retail as the “perfect fit” to develop the staff and drive the business forward, adding she had received reassurances all staff jobs were secure under the new owners.

She said: “I am extremely happy with the move and am working closely with TTNG to ensure a smooth transition.   TTNG has given me assurances that they are committed to continuing my legacy on the high street and will do their very best by my customers and staff, and with their reputation I have no reason to have any doubt about this.

“It now leaves me able to move on with my own career in the knowledge that the staff, customers and business will be taken care of and given the attention they deserve.  I wish them all the very best with Kayne Travel and will be very proud to see her thrive with her new owners.”

Julie Pinkney, retail director at The Travel Network Group, said: “Emma loves the culture we have at The Travel Network Group and was very happy to be handing her team over to us to take on the next part of their journey. We are delighted to welcome Dawn, Abbey and Tracey into our TTNG Retail team.”

She added: “We look forward to continuing to build on our relationship with Emma as one of our valued business partners.’

At a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast at Abta’s Travel Convention last week, TTNG chief executive Gary Lewis downplayed the prospect of further expanding its managed retail portfolio other than when existing members retire or want to sell their business.

Asked about TTNG’s growth plans, Lewis said: “It’s really about how we help our members grow. We’re consistently having conversations about that. Our growth comes from their [our members’] growth.”

Meanwhile, confirming the departure of Kayne Travel from AMS, Advantage chief commercial officer Kelly Cookes said: “We are really pleased to have worked closely with Kayne Travel over the years and helped them develop their business to this exit point.

“Our focus at Advantage remains firmly on supporting independently owned businesses as a membership organisation, and not purchasing agents.”

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