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Significant Scots
Hugh Boyle

Hugh Boyle Bio – January 18, 2006

Hugh Boyle is the chair and principal shareholder of Zoom Airlines and the founder and chair of the resoundingly successful Go Travel Direct, Canada’s first direct-sell tour operator. Both businesses have grown rapidly in the six years since inception.  Go Travel Direct offers eastern Canadians the opportunity to take a break from frigid temperatures during the winter months and fly to a multitude of southern destinations while Zoom Airlines offers exceptional low rates to Europe from a whole host of Canadian locations.

Originally from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Boyle grew up in a middle class family where his father was a local grocer and his mother stayed at home.  Hugh attended St. Saviour’s High School and then graduated from Motherwell College where he trained as a chef.  After graduation, he began his practical experience at the Royal Stewart Hotel in Glasgow and then moved on to sunny Spain where he lived and worked for two years.  Moving to London in his early 20’s, Boyle was able to land a lucrative position as the private chef to wealthy industrialist Maxwell Joseph.  The post of private chef allowed  a little too much free time and Boyle, a man with endless ideas and a lot of energy, decided to move on to something else.  At this time , his brother John had recently started a travel business and was in need of some assistance so a partnership was formed that lead them both to become the successful and wealthy entrepreneurs they are today.

 In the 1980’s the Boyle brothers began what was then Falcon Holidays which was later purchased, for a large profit, by a major UK operator and the name changed.  Their next venture, Direct Holidays, started in 1991, gained strength and market share in Scotland becoming a house hold name with travelers venturing across the border.  Direct Holidays was bought in 1997 by My Travel P.L.C. wanting to attach itself to this highly successful business model.  The sale of this venture enabled Hugh to retire a very wealthy man, while still in his 40’s.  Hugh’s rise to success had left him little of no time to spend with his wife Christine and their two children.  It was then that as a family they made the decision to make a life change and move to Ottawa, Canada.  Both Christine’s brother and sister were already well established in this city so the decision was much less difficult.

Retirement was not in the cards for Hugh Boyle and his entrepreneurial spirit prevailed.  After traveling back and forth to Scotland and other destinations, he realized that Canada had a niche that needed to be filled.  Always having difficulty getting flights and wanting to have a more hands on experience when booking his holidays, Boyle brought his already tried and true travel model to Canada and started Go Travel Direct.  Still the frustration of having to deal with airlines that didn’t appreciate his reduced rates, Boyle took the matter into his own hands and Zoom Airlines was born.  These two companies have allowed him to operate his travel business on his own terms and keep his dedication to his clients in always offering them the best possible holiday experience. 

Canada has become home for Hugh Boyle and his family.  His daughter has moved on to University in Montreal and his younger child will probably follow.  Although he has adjusted to the Canadian way of life, Boyle still considers himself a Scot through and through.

Hugh became the "Scot of the Year" for 2006 which was awarded by the Scottish Studies Foundation of Toronto at the Tartan Day Dinner at Casa Loma in Toronto on 6th April 2006.

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