Simpson Travel on acquisition trail after raising £1.6m in funding

Simpson Travel is on the acquisition trail and hopes to forge international partnerships after raising almost £1.6 million through share placing.

The specialist luxury tour operator said some of the funds raised will be used to buy tour operators or travel agencies that compliment its existing portfolio.

These include European villa or tour operators with small to medium size portfolios to meet demand for destinations such as Croatia or Sicily and smaller agencies with established customer bases aligned with Simpson’s product range.

Founder Graham Simpson said: “Despite the challenges of a 2021 season severely hampered by the absence of a transparent travel policy, this is an exciting time.

“We continue to welcome clients in Greece, Majorca, Italy, Corsica and France, and advance bookings for 2022 are particularly high.

“The outlook for travel remains bright and I am delighted that so many of our loyal clients have chosen to invest in our future.”

The share offer was available exclusively to Simpson clients. Those who bought shares in the company will enjoy a range of travel benefits including holiday discounts, complimentary stays in Simpson Hotels or properties on the Simpson Select List and priority access to airport lounges.

Prior to the pandemic, in June 2018, the operator bought Alternative Escapes to help it expand in France and Portugal.

In November last year, the operator restructured its sales team in light of the impact of the Covid pandemic, which saw the departure of head of sales Kathryn Coles.

The company said at the time it was looking to “deepen” its partnership with travel agents as it recovered from the pandemic but also reduced its flight-inclusive packages in a bid to offer greater flexibility to clients who wanted to book their own flights. As a result, it now pays commission only on the accommodation element of the booking.

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