My Travel tycoon puts Jersey mansion on the market for £19 million
David Crossland is a fine example of a “Northern lad done good”. Starting out in the 1970s he turned two small travel agencies into a package tour empire and now with the sale of his Jersey mansion, one can see how truly successful this businessman’s career has been.
East Lancashire born Crossland, who is said to rise every day at 4am, was educated at Burnley Grammar School. On leaving in 1963, he became a tea boy at a travel agency and from these humble beginnings, borrowed funds from a bank and his brother-in-law to buy Pendle Travel Services from an elderly couple in 1972.
From here, Crossland’s rise to the pinnacle of the travel business followed as “like an octopus” he “[sat] with people and listen[ed] to all their ideas and suggestions coming in from different directions, suck[ed] them all in and then [spat] out a decision”. This focused buccaneer bought almost 20 more agencies in the decade that followed and then began putting together travel packages. By the early 1980s, Crossland’s companies were carrying almost 250,000 people per year and as a result he founded Airtours International Airways in 1990 to provide his own scheduled and charter airline services.
With the 1991 collapse of Harry Goodman’s International Leisure Group, Crossland “swooped” and acquired that business. As a result, within only a year Airtours’ capacity tripled to around 600,000 packages per year.
Renamed the MyTravel Group in 2002, Crossland’s empire nearly collapsed that year and as part of the restructuring he was left with a nominal shareholding. Of the situation, Crossland commented in 2005:
“Extremely sad. That’s how it makes me feel to look back at what happened to the company I had built… Airtours was a winner of the Manchester Evening News Business Of The Year Awards but that feels like a lifetime ago now”.
Having subsequently sold his share in the US cruise operator Carnival for £113 million, David Crossland acquired a private jet and homes in Aspen, Colarado and Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Completed in 2001 and described as having been “constructed on a without regard to expenditure basis”, Crossland’s 17,136 square foot Daisy Hill House includes 6 bedroom suites and 5 reception rooms. The property stands in a total of 27 acres of land and has both indoor and outdoor swimming pool complexes. The building has full air conditioning, an in-house air quality control system and a passenger lift to all levels. Furnishings are available by separate negotiation.
Knight Frank seeks £19 million for Daisy Hill House.
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