November 9, 2009

New jobs as Holiday Extras restructures for growth

Holiday Extras, a UK market leader in holiday add-ons and a major employer in Kent, expect new jobs to be created as part of a re-organisation of the company announced this week.

As part of the restructure, Gerry Pack, the company’s founder, will stand down from his role as non-executive chairman but will retain non-executive director position on the board. Steve Lawrence, who has been with the company for 15 years, the last five years as its chief executive officer (CEO), will become executive chairman.

Steve Lawrence said: "The UK has seen a 15% downturn in travellers using its airports during the current recession. By focusing on the customer and through hard work we have grown bookings by 4%."

From December, the company, which is based in Newingreen near Hythe, will operate as four distinct businesses, each headed by a newly-appointed CEO promoted from within the organisation. Gerry's son Matthew Pack, currently web and marketing director, will become CEO of Holiday Extras in the new structure.

Matthew said: "I can only hope to emulate what my father and Steve Lawrence have achieved at the helm of Holiday Extras over the past quarter of a century. With a robust strategy and fantastic team in place I intend to harness the latest technology to make booking travel add-ons easier for our customers."

Other appointments include Howard Dove as CEO of Airparks, the largest provider of off-airport parking in the UK; and Simon Hagger becomes CEO for short breaks, whose brands include Play & Stay and Show & Stay and is also the primary operator of UK and German short break contracts for Europe’s leading visitor attraction operation Merlin Entertainments. Finally, Martin Pundt, currently managing director, becomes CEO of the Holiday Extras Continental operations based in Germany.

Gerry Pack said: "The company ethos has always been that whenever a decision is made we ask ‘What is best for the business?’ and right now it is vital that the Holiday Extras business model evolves in line with industry and technological developments. This restructure will ensure that the company can keep on growing and leading the market.

"It’s obviously quite an emotional moment for me and I am immensely proud to see my son, Matthew, take on his new role."

Since launching in 1983, Holiday Extras has grown into an award-winning, multi-million pound business, employing almost 1,000 people in the UK and Germany, and making arrangements for more than six million travellers every year.