School travel firm broadens horizons

WST Travels Deborah Beckett (managing director), David Craven (chairman) and Sian Belfield (head of customer relations).

WST Travels Deborah Beckett (managing director), David Craven (chairman) and Sian Belfield (head of customer relations).

Blackpool specialist educational travel company NGT – which also owns WST Travel – has snapped up and expanded a rival firm in its ambitious expansion programme.

The Bristol Avenue based firm has bought FHT Group Travel of Cambridgeshire.

WST Travel has experienced 100 per cent year on year turnover growth in the school travel market since being set-up in 2010.

It organises more than 15,000 educational visits per year to London, Continental Europe and the US and employs 23.

Established for four years, FHT currently carries over 10,000 passengers each year.

It provides educational tours for students in further and higher education, and will form an important part of NGT’s expansion strategy following industry predictions that increasing numbers of college and university students will go on educational visits as part of their course.

NGT has doubled FHT staff levels and invested in new premises in the move from Bishop’s Stortford to Great Shelford in Cambridgeshire since it took over in September.

Deborah Beckett, WST managing director, who has more than 20 years travel experience, said: “FHT is the perfect match for our expansion strategy and core values.

“The existing team have unrivalled experience and by bringing talented new people on board we can deliver on our promise to meet the quality and customer service needs of colleges and universities, whilst offering inspiring and affordable tour packages.”

WST was founded as Wirral Schools Travel in 1991 and was bought by a team of educational travel specialists from the Fylde coast in 2010 and moved to Bispham.

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