Totally Travel plans to treble its turnover by snapping up specialist tour operators after bringing in former Libra boss Andreas Drakou as an investor.
The Leicester-based group, which owns cruise retailer 1st4Cruising and tour operating business Totally Worldwide, is in preliminary talks with “one or two” operators, according to chairman and chief executive Harry Goodman.
He said Drakou, who is based overseas and has hotel interests in Cyprus and Greece, was an old friend and would not be involved day to day with Totally.
The group, which turns over £30 million and employs 50 staff, hopes to reach a turnover of up to £100 million in two years. The business is on the lookout for operators with turnovers of £15 million to £40 million.
Speaking on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of International Leisure Group, which Goodman founded, he said: “The time to buy is always during a recession when the market is down. We don’t care if they are businesses that are currently losing money, as long as we can turn them around. We will be looking to specialist operators to spread our wings.”
The move follows a survey of 20,000 of the company’s customers about the type of holidays they would buy if the group were to offer them.
Multi-centre stays in long-haul destinations such as China and the Far East and luxury European city breaks were popular.
“Our customers are pretty adventurous,” Goodman said.
The average selling price of the group’s trips is £2,800 and most holidays sold are four and five-star.
Goodman believes there are long-haul operators that could also benefit from adding cruises to their portfolio.