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Charles Duncombe

Richard Dixon

Mr John McEwan
Board Member

Joanne Aldridge
Head of Franchise

In late 2002 ex-Corporate Lawyer turned Internet Entrepreneur Charles Duncombe met with Travel Agency owner Richard Dixon. Shortly after, with an initial investment of just £6,000, Holidaysplease was born.

Combining new technology and cutting edge web marketing, with an old school commitment to delivering outstanding levels of customer service, Holidaysplease grew rapidly. By 2005 sales were exceeding those transacted by Richard's high street travel shops. It was time to take Holidaysplease to the next level!

Holidaysplease joined the Hays Independence Group, part of Hays Travel, the largest independently owned travel company in the UK. This provided the launch pad for further expansion.

The business consistently achieved double-digit growth and was soon picking up National and Supplier awards a plenty. In 2011/12 and 2013/14 Holidaysplease was named online travel agent of the year at the nationally recognised Agent Achievement Awards.  Most recently we were awarded Top Online Agency at the TTG Top 50 awards in March 2017.  

2013 saw Mr John McEwan join the Board at Holidaysplease. John is ex-Chairman of ABTA, and a past Managing Director of Thomas Cook in the UK. His incredibly successful career in travel spans 50 years and his energy and passion for the travel business have already proved to be a major asset to the Holidaysplease Team.

Recognising the power of the brand and the massive opportunity presented by the family holiday market, inIn 2015 Holidaysplease bought online travel agent the Family Holidays Company.

In 2015 Holidaysplease invested in prestigious new offices centrally located in Birmingham. From humble beginnings, the business is now a sizeable and respected travel business numbering 100 odd people.

The creation of our exciting Family Holidays Franchise opportunity followed, culminating in the appointment of Jo Aldridge as Head of Franchise ahead of our official launch in August 2016.

Jo has over 16 years in the travel industry and has worked for major brands such as British Airways, Thomson & First Choice. Having worked her way up from an Apprentice Jo has experience of host of different sectors such as training & development, driving sales, field sales management, service measurements to retail store design, to name a few.

She is committed to propelling us to the number one provider of Family Travel Franchises.

In October 2016, we were delighted to have passed the panel to become a member of EWIF, encouraging women into franchising. They are a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. Their primary focus is to support women looking for a route into the franchise industry. We are really looking forward to working with them and supporting their members.

In 2017 Holidaysplease clocked up over £100m holidays sold and were awarded Top Online Agency at the TTG Top 50 Travel Awards.

In 2018 our franchise business was accredited by both the British Franchise Association & the Approved Franchise Association, we are the only travel franchise business to be awarded this accreditation.

We are also launching The Holidays Franchise Company to expand our offering beyond family holidays.

Our businesses continue to grow and expand.