CRUISE specialist Thorntons Travel Service hopes to boost its long-haul business following the purchase of Chew Valley Travel near Bristol, and is looking for more acquisitions in the region around its Bath base.

Single agency Chew Valley Travel, which had a turnover of £2 million last year and specialises in upmarket tailor-made holidays, was bought for an undisclosed sum and will retain its name and three members of staff.

Thorntons Travel Service marketing manager Paul Emery said Chew Valley Travel’s clientele was a good match for its cruise business and suggested other acquisitions could be in the pipeline.

“We are always looking for opportunities so it may well be the first of many. In terms of turnover we are clearly the largest independent, certainly in terms of cruise sales, in the southwest,” he said.

Thornton’s Travel Service managing director Patrick Murphy said Chew Valley Travel met its criteria for customer care, travel knowledge and training.

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