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Local luxury travel group acquires Uttoxeter’s most respected travel agency business

Local luxury travel group acquires Uttoxeter’s most respected travel agency business

The Avventura Group, based in Hannington, has announced that it has expanded its operations by acquiring one of Uttoxeter’s longest-standing retail travel businesses - Journeys à la Carte.

The transaction was completed over the Christmas period, for an undisclosed sum, and is now operating under its new ownership.

Journeys à la Carte is one of Uttoxeter’s best known and well-established travel agencies having operated in the town for over 25 years.  Founded by local business-woman Margaret May in 1995, the agency has an outstanding reputation and has won many major awards over the years, including The UK’s Best Travel Agency with The Guardian and The Observer.

The Avventura Group already operates Avventura Travels, a luxury tour operator offering tailor-made itineraries for exclusive, luxury adventures.  The business was launched in June 2019.

Both Avventura Travels and Journeys à la Carte will trade under the holding company, The Avventura Group.

Richard Hadfield, Avventura Travels’ CEO, said:

“We are delighted to be strengthening our travel business with the addition of what is an exceptional retail travel business. Journeys à la Carte has a strong reputation for its extensive knowledge, honest and impartial advice and unrivalled expertise and we very much aim to keep it that way.

“Avventura Travels provides bespoke travel services for clients looking for highly personalised itineraries and our business ethos, and that of Journeys à la Carte, are very similar. Our overriding objectives are to provide itineraries which exactly match our clients’ wishes and provide the highest level of service in delivering travel experiences that will open the mind and create lifelong memories.”

The team already in place at Journeys à la Carte will remain working at the agency under Avventura Group’s ownership.

“The team has been very supportive of our acquisition, and it’s good to be able to give them employment certainty in these challenging times. We also have very exciting plans to strengthen and grow the business through making investments in IT and marketing,” added Mr. Hadfield.

Whilst the UK travel industry has been one of the most impacted sectors of the pandemic, Mr. Hadfield believes that the prospects for the sector remain strong, especially following the recent decision by the UK Government to relax testing requirements.

 He continued:

“There is a huge pent-up demand for travel and holiday sales have already picked up this week on the back of the Government’s announcement that testing rules have been relaxed for fully vaccinated travellers.

 “Research by major travel industry bodies, such as the Association of British Travel Agents, shows that UK consumers can’t wait to travel again, and we fully intend to make sure that we are ready at Journeys à la Carte to take advantage of the come-back.”

 The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)’s Travel in 2022 Report, published in late November, cites the emergence of ‘catch-up consumers’ making up for lost time during the pandemic with holidays and travel. Almost half (49 per cent) of people questioned say that the pandemic has made holidays and travel more important to them than ever before.

Journeys à la Carte is a truly independent travel agency yet benefits greatly from being a member of The Travel Trust Association (TTA), one of the UK’s largest travel consortia, which gives it access to many of the best commercial deals available with all the UK’s leading airlines, tour operators and other travel companies. Through its membership of the TTA it can also guarantee clients 100 per cent financial protection, should the airline, tour operator or company that clients are travelling with encounter financial difficulties. It is also an AITO Specialist Agent.

Picture: Richard Hadfield and the team at Journeys à la Carte

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