Private Travel Company to add new destinations

The Private Travel Company is planning to feature Bali, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia in future programmes following its successful first year of trading.

Managing director Paul Cleary said although the operator turned over £220,000 in its first nine months, it has already taken £700,000 in forward bookings for 2008 since the start of the new financial year in October.

He added the operator, which was created to offer a Middle East and Far East equivalent of sister company Caribtours, is now planning to feature the additional destinations in its programme for 2009.

He said: “When we launched the programme we had no real idea how it would perform.

“Just because travel agents have given Caribtours a lot of business doesn’t mean they would like to give it to the Private Travel Company.

“However, we knew that if you offer good hotels at good prices and good commissions and support for your agents then you’ve done everything you can.”

Cleary said the operator’s pro-trade stance had paid off, with around 75% of revenues generated by travel agents.

Caribtours, which reported sales of £12 million in the financial year ending in September, sees around 81% of its sales coming through agents.

Cleary revealed dealing with Far Eastern suppliers had been a culture shock, after having spent the best part of his career dealing with Caribbean suppliers. However, he insisted branching out into new areas had helped Caribtours improve its programme.

He said: “It is very important for us to have a 360-degree view of what’s happening in travel the danger of being a specialist is just how myopic you can become.”

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