APT has enjoyed a record 2018 with sales up 20% year on year on the back of strong travel agent support.

The touring specialist said it had bucked the trend, with many other companies reporting a challenging year as a result of Brexit concerns.

As a result of strong sales, the operator increased its marketing team and grown its sales team by 50%, he said.

This year the operator recruited Rosie Lambert as new trade marketing executive and Laura Picton as trade marketing manager. It took on Bianca Venn as inside sales executive and Carrie Grant and Denise Rice joined the on road sales team.

Paul Melinis, managing director UK and Europe, said sales of river cruises in Asia had been particularly strong for the tour operator.

APT now enjoys a 50% market share of river cruise sales in the UK market, according to Clia, he added.

He said: “Both touring and river have seen great results but the stand out one has to be sales on Asian river cruises. We feel a large part of this growth has come after we managed to showcase our product to agents at this year’s Asian river cruise convention.”

Melinis added: “Whilst many operators have reported it has been a challenging year and despite the concern of Brexit, I am delighted to say we have had an amazing year with 20% growth.

“This is down to many factors, including the amazing trade support, which currently equates to over 75% of our overall business.”

Melinis said there were “great plans” in place for next year and urged the trade to “watch this space”.