Pictured: Scott and Sarah Murray, founders of Inverness Travel, which has gained Real Living Wage accreditation.
A leading family-owned travel agency in the Scottish Highlands has become the first in the region to sign up to the Real Living Wage scheme.
Inverness Travel has pledged to pay all employees a wage that covers the actual cost of living, far exceeding the UK Government’s national living wage.
The announcement comes as Scott Murray – who runs the business along with his wife, Sarah – is shortlisted for the John Hays Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Travel Industry Awards this week.
Mr Murray said:
“The travel industry has faced some incredibly challenging conditions over the last two years, with rules around international travel changing regularly.
“Our team has really pulled together to support each other, our customers, and the business through all the uncertainty, and we are so proud of all they have achieved even when things were at their toughest.
“We know, though, that such conditions can be unsettling for those working within the industry, so we have strived to provide a consistent and dependable working environment for our team.
“Gaining Real Living Wage accreditation is just the latest step in our commitment to providing an attractive employment package, not only to thank our hard-working team but also to attract new blood into the travel industry.”
The adoption of the Real Living Wage solidifies Inverness Travel’s commitment to investing in its staff and providing a welcoming working environment, creating an inviting proposition for new talent to enter the travel industry to learn the trade.
Alongside the Real Living Wage, Inverness Travel provides benefits including discounted food and drink, cost-price travel, and an annual seven-day fam trip allowance to enable the team to explore new destinations.
The firm also holds its own, fully-funded team trips every year, offering the team some downtime together – and the chance to learn about new locations and resorts.
The Real Living Wage is independently calculated each year and is currently set at £9.50 for all employees aged 18 or over.
The government’s living wage, meanwhile, is £8.91 for those aged 23 and up.
Under the national scheme, those aged 18-23 are only paid a minimum wage of £6.56-£8.36.
Inverness Travel was established in 2014 by husband-and-wife team Scott and Sarah Murray, who added to their portfolio in 2021 with the takeover of local agencies Alba Travel and Beaver Travel.
Mr and Mrs Murray also co-founded Wanderluxe, a homeworking agency based in Sawbridgeworth, and Mr Murray is managing director of Highland hospitality group, Cru Holdings – which was also recently awarded Real Living Wage accreditation.
From its headquarters in Strothers Lane, the Inverness Travel team has won numerous awards for its high quality of customer service and innovative business practices.
Inverness Travel is a member of ABTA, AITO and the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association.