THE Beast from the East has contributed to a scorching hot 60 per cent sales boost in sunshine holiday sales at a leading North Wales travel firm.

Hays Travel North West, which has its Headquarters on Wrexham’s Lord Street and stores in Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Connah’s Quay, Flint and Mold, is reporting the upsurge in the latest March sales figures when compared to the same time last year.

Bosses believe the recent cold snaps have encouraged North Wales holiday makers to book a warm sunshine holiday to look forward to and created more time for snowed in customers to look on social media where they are alerted to the best deals.

Lindsay Barber, Retail Sales Director for Hays Travel North West, said: “The early part of the year is always a bumper sales period for us but our sales figures have been through the roof so far this year.

“Already in March, we are 60 per cent up on sales for the same month last year.

“For some of the individual stores, we have had a phenomenal increase with one reporting an increase of more than 200 per cent for March so far compared with the same time last year. In another, where the weather was particularly bad and staff ended up having to walk in to work, their figures were still up by more than 100 per cent.

“The Beast from the East has definitely had an impact. Many customers were coming in and telling us that they were fed up of the cold and wanted to get a holiday booked so they knew they were guaranteed some warmer weather at some point.

“It was the same for our foreign exchanges. People were coming in and picking up their currency and saying how they could not wait to get away, so we are sure the cold weather has impacted positively on sales.

“We also noticed a sudden improvement in the number of sales coming through via social media and with many people ending up stuck indoors because of the snow, there was possibly more time to sit down at home and use social media where we publicise some of our best deals.”

The bumper sales period will be further encouraged by an upcoming dedicated super summer holiday for 2019 sales day which is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year for Hays Travel North West’s 28 stores.

Aimed at offering a variety of discounts and incentives, particularly for families keen to avoid the summer holiday price hike, the Hays Travel stores will open early on Thursday April 5 and serve tea and coffee throughout the day for a stream of people keen to book ahead for 2019 and make the most of the deals available.

Lindsey said she believed there were other contributing factors to the surge in sales in the first part of the year for Hays Travel North West, which is the UK’s fastest growing independent travel agency.

She said: “Because we are independent, people know that we can offer such a wide range of holidays tailored exactly to what they want, from a traditional bucket and spade week in the sun to a round the world cruise and everything inbetween.

“These days, our customers are looking to explore different places and they are prepared to travel much further afield and we can literally help them reach any destination they like, however they like and that’s why they keep coming back to us.”

Hays Travel North West was set up by Managing Director Don Bircham, a father-of-two from Padeswood, who set the business up with a single travel agency in Mold town centre in 2000. Last year the company announced a record turnover of more than £50m.

His network of travel agencies are now the main partner of the hugely successful Hays Travel, based in Sunderland, which is expected this year to turnover more than £1bn and is the UK’s largest independent travel agency.