Sunderland-based Hays Travel has launched a national recruitment campaign.

The firm, which is the UK's largest independent travel agent, plans to take on seven hundred apprentices, as well as experienced travel agents nationwide.

Owners John and Irene Hays say there is ''light at the end of the tunnel'', after the pandemic forced them to close 650 stores around the UK.

They say they're expecting an increase in bookings, with the government expected to relax some quarantine measures tomorrow.

700

apprentices and experienced travel agents are to be recruited by Hays Travel.

650

Hays Travel were forced to close all 650 of their UK stores when lockdown was announced.

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Hays Travel took on hundreds of Thomas Cook employees following the collapse of the firm in September 2019.

Hays acquired 555 former Thomas Cook branches.