Ocean Holidays Founding Story
In 2002, Daniel and David Ox established their travel company, which specialized in Florida and Dubai holidays. They soon became inundated with business, prompting Daniel to invest in the internet boom and launch BeatTheBrochure.com. Meanwhile, David’s bespoke approach was attracting high-net-worth clients, leading to the creation of Winged Boots, which remains a crucial component of the Ocean Holidays business today.
At the same time George and Harry Hastings had embarked on a similar journey with the establishment of their own company specialising in holidays to Florida. The two sets of brothers collaborated more frequently, with each honing their niche expertise, and eventually joining forces. By 2008, their combined companies were generating nearly £30 million in bookings annually.
Despite their success, they faced a significant setback when they discovered that their business partner had not paid them correctly and refused to hold board meetings. This issue went unnoticed due to their inexperience and busy schedules. In 2012, they faced a £1.8 million black hole, but rather than give up, they started anew with a people-first philosophy and sound financial footing, launching Ocean Holidays in 2013.
Today, the quartet lead the fastest-growing travel company in the UK, and their inspiring story is one of triumph over adversity. Their journey demonstrates that relationships, resilience, and persistence are essential ingredients for business success.
Ocean Holidays focuses on human contact instead of automated systems, and their people-first approach proved invaluable during the pandemic. While other travel companies were closing their call centres and furloughing their staff, Ocean Holidays retained 85% of their bookings and nearly all their employees. The
company doubled in size, and its 2020 revenues alone included £40 million from new customers. In 2021, they grew even further, with £77 million revenue from January to December.
The brothers at Ocean Holidays credit their success to their commitment to people, namely their employees and their customers. Their story serves as a reminder that resilience, persistence, and relationships are key to achieving business success, even in the face of adversity.