A HIGH-flying travel store boss has stepped up a management gear to help the firm she works for cope with the rapid growth of the business.

Toni Smith, well known to people in the town as the Hays Travel Bolton branch manager, where she worked for four years, has been promoted to a new regional manager post.

Hays Travel North West, which is the UK’s fastest growing independent travel agency, has opened 10 new stores in the past 12 months and Toni has been selected to take up one of two new regional manager roles.

Toni will now be responsible for managing the firm's North Wales and Manchester stores, while her colleague Simone Murphy has been appointed to take charge of the Liverpool and Wirral operations.

The posts were created to support retail sales director Lindsey Barber in response to the sudden growth in new branches and will in turn lead to the recruitment of two new store managers in Bolton and Wrexham.

Toni, 42, was delighted to take on her new role and believes Hays Travel North West is unique in what it can offer.

She said: "I'm really pleased. I'm very passionate about Hays Travel. I love the new job, it's a totally different challenge to what I was doing before.

"I've got 13 existing shops and seven new shops which are due to open in the imminent future.

"It's about going to the shops and driving the business, making sure the manager is doing the right things and carrying out shop visits to make sure our standards are being met."

She added: "Shops are closing on the High Street but we're opening in lots of different towns.

"There are people who will always book on the internet and do their own research but there are a lot of customers who want a face-to-face service."