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AC Tours widens its net to post £130k profit

Destination management company takes on international destinations as UK becomes ever more expensive for visitors

Pictured: Rob Russell

UK destination management company (DMC) AC Tours has seen profit hit £130k after shifting focus.

The company filed pre-tax profit of £135k for the year ended 30 June 2015, after putting a renewed focus on international business, due to the perception of the UK as an expensive destination for meetings events and incentives.

Director Rob Russell said: “Since 2014 the travel markets have fluctuated hugely due to international currency fluctuations.  This has meant that the UK has appeared for some markets as a very expensive place to hold an event. By offering more international destinations we have been able to secure business from new and existing clients rather than in the past where we would only offer the UK and we would lose this business. Looking ahead early signs are that 2016 will be our best business year.”

Russell said that the DMC has been diversifying from its traditional position as an inbound group operator since 2014 and has forged closer ties with organisations such as London & Partners, Site and Visit Britain. 

He added: “During the period we have also expanded our business from offering services in the UK and Ireland to now offering worldwide destinations and we have overseen our first groups to international destinations such as Barcelona, Berlin & Boston.”

Russell also echoed calls for visa regulations and air passenger duty (APD) to be relaxed, as they present the largest obstacle to securing inbound business. 

“It is encouraging to see so many new international air routes being launched into UK airports, Turkish Airlines to Manchester, Emirates and Qatar into Glasgow and Edinburgh, WOW into Bristol, Icelandair into Aberdeen to name but a few - I think it is key that we ensure things such as APD and visas are not put in the way as blocks to prevent these routes driving great group and incentive business to our shores. London is a huge pull for the international traveller but it is now key that we can highlight that there is so much more that the UK can offer.”

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