APT eyes UK acquisitions as well as organic growth

Escorted touring and river cruise operator APT is weighing up expansion options in the UK market, having trebled its revenue from the UK since 2012.

The boss of the Australian business, which celebrated its 90th anniversary with a party for top agent partners last week, admitted he was focusing on “organic growth”, but said he remained “opportunistic when it came to acquisitions” in the UK.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Chris Hall, managing director of APT Group, hinted at the possibility of APT buying a tour operator in the UK to help drive distribution further.

He said: “We’ve been in the UK market now for 35 years and we’ve seen great growth – the UK business has grown three times over since 2012, which is brilliant.

“As a business we’re more opportunistic than strategic when it comes to acquisitions; we’re open to it, definitely, and we’re always on the lookout.

“We’ve acquired businesses relevant to new product and growth within that area. We haven’t done an acquisition for distribution but we do want to grow further.

Whether that means a travel agency or a tour operator, I don’t know, but it’s more likely to be a tour operator.

“We want to take advantage of all opportunities because this market is important to us.”

Hall went on to insist that acquisitions would be secondary to organic growth in the business. New UK-dedicated product could help achieve this growth, he added, explaining that itineraries created with a UK guest in mind were being mooted internally.

Hall thanked the UK travel trade for supporting the brand in raising its awareness and selling its portfolio.


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