Blue Bay 20th Anniversary: Celebrating Two Decades of Exclusive Holiday Sunshine

It’s the Blue Bay 20th anniversary! We’re celebrating 20 years of bringing you the exclusive holiday moments you love to live. 

We’re pulling the chord on the party poppers as 2023 marks Blue Bay’s 20th anniversary. We’ve come a long way from that small office in Stoke-on-Trent.

Well, technically we just moved slightly further down the road but our current office is much bigger. 

Across the last two decades, we’ve overcome ash clouds, pandemics, and Leighton Glover to become the celebrated and award-winning travel business you see today. 

In this blog, we’ll get nostalgic over how far we’ve come while looking ahead to a bright future full of new destinations, deals and delightful customers. 

From fresh-faced holiday enthusiasts to a best of British Tour Operator in 20 years.

Blue Bay 20th Anniversary: A Brief History of BBT

20 years is a long time in this industry, during that time we’ve seen many ups and downs. But it wasn’t always champagne receptions, glitzy award ceremonies, and jetting off to new oases.

To try and review that adventure, we’ve collected a couple of quotes and a few questionable pictures from the Blue Bay vault that we think perfectly sum up this brilliant but baffling business. 

Our Head of Finance, Lyndsey Walley recalls a simpler time when she first joined the business 9 years ago: 

There were so few of us we all had a physical payslip that I handed out every month.  And I always got moaned at for people having to pay tax. It was a great day moving payroll to HR.

Lyndsey Walley, Head of Finance

I’ve stayed with Blue Bay Travel over the last 10 years because this community of passionate, quirky and eccentric pathfinders is unmatched in its offbeat enthusiasm for world domination. We’re living proof that being “corporate” does not mean swapping your soul for a suit, building our successes through the authenticity of our people as opposed to ties and spreadsheets. The world is ours, fellow travellers.

Tom Malbon, Head of Business Intelligence

… Yep, we have a good time. 

Two Decades of Travel, in Numbers

Not only was 2023 our 20th year as a business, but it also returned our best-ever performance. With over 12,000 bookings and 30,000 passengers travelled already, 2023 has been extremely kind to us.

These numbers also mean that, overall, we have now delivered: 

  • 90,377 bookings 
  • 213,979 passengers flown
  • Millions of happy memories made

Those stats are great to look at. But they also prove that our performance is only getting stronger, this business is future-focused and intent on only heading in one direction. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the future holds for little ol’ BBT. 

What Does the Future Hold?

It’s never been more clear that Blue Bay Travel is only looking up. Two decades is a long time but, as Finance chief Lyndsey will attest, we’ve seen huge changes take place in just the last 10 years. Back then the business had no Finance department and “hotel payments that were on 1 piece of paper in a ring binder. Now it’s over £1m a month!

As we’ll hear from our CEO shortly, Blue Bay has never been better placed to ascend up the ranks of UK travel operators.

With a growing reputation that has already seen us scoop multiple industry awards and a swelling product portfolio that’s set to develop even further in 2024 (there’s even talk of a TV debut coming very soon) the future is certainly looking rosy. 

Let’s hear from Alistair now with more insights on what’s to come from BBT in 2024 and beyond. 

  • BTA Awards 2023
  • BTA Awards 2022
  • Stuart & Angela collecting an award
  • Kevin at the Sandals Star Awards 2010

Thoughts From the CEO

We couldn’t let this auspicious occasion pass us by without a word from the captain of the good ship Blue Bay. We like to think of him as the poster boy for sunshine, the Sultan of Sunshine, King of the Rays. None of these nicknames have been signed by the way… yet.

Blue Bay Travel is about to enter its biggest growth phase after its most successful year in 2023. We are adding even more EU destinations into the Subscriber Exclusive portfolio, and entering the Cruise market in a big way too.

Hiring a Cruise Product Manager is going to be crucual to us introducing these incredible trips to our deal hungry audience.

Our ambition is to grow by 70% in 2024, offering even more products and services to our loyal clients. As ever, these offerings will be fulfilled and supported by our award winning agents and Personal Travel Consultants.

We can’t wait for 2024 to begin. See you there!

Alistair Rowland, CEO of Blue Bay Travel
Blue Bay CEO, Alistair Rowland has always been forthright with the business’s position

Continuing Our Commitment to Charity 

If there’s one thing Blue Bay has always thrown itself into over the last couple of decades, it’s charity events. Whether raising money for our agreed charity partners or for larger causes like standing up to cancer.

Let it be known that our team knows how to come together

Here’s the evidence. 

Stuart’s Perspective

All those years ago two people had a vision to create the travel operator we see today. Stuart and Angela Wilson created the Blue Bay brand back in 2003, so let’s get the owner’s perspective on how far we’ve come. 

In the early 2000s, myself & Angela had a vision of creating a travel company that would set new standards in customer service, while encouraging them to go further than they imagined possible. 

That message and vision inspired our mission statement of "inspiring people to travel beyond their expectations and journey with us for life."

But this mantra was not just reserved for delighting our customers. It also helped us create an exciting, vibrant workplace full of like-minded travel lovers. 

Now, 20 years on, it gives us immense pride to see how far the company has grown and exceeded expectations. Thousands of customers use our services year in and year out. But, one of the most pleasing elements is, as the numbers grow we've remained true to those lofty customer service standards we set out right at the beginning. The service ratings continue to rise to the highest levels available in our industry.

Our team of exceptional colleagues continues to receive recognition awards for their commitment to excellence. It gives us immense pride to see the team growing and the company thriving.

Seeing our customers and colleagues jetting off to exciting destinations, with smiles on their faces, is a great reward.

We are delighted to have hit Blue Bay's 20th anniversary and remain absolutely confident that our wonderful company is strong and in safe hands.

You Can Be Part of it by Booking Today

We couldn’t have navigated this incredible 20-year journey, from industry unknown to national recognition, without our amazing customers. So, thank you for choosing to journey with us for life. 

After all that, we’re ready for a holiday. We bet you are too! Let’s see what we can do about that. 

Click below to check out all our latest award-winning offers!

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