JacTravel wins Queen's award for industry

JacTravel wins Queen's award for industry

JacTravel has been awarded the Queen’s Enterprise Award for international trade after almost tripling overseas sales since 2009.

A business-to-business travel provider of hotels and group tours, JacTravel now serves more than 90 countries and employs 500, half of them outside the UK.

Chief executive Terry Williamson told Travel Weekly: "It's really encouraging. It's a prestigious award and recognition for the company's growth in foreign markets.

"We generate over 60% of our revenue from overseas markets."

Overseas sales have risen from £50 million in 2009 to £140 million in 2014 out of total revenue of £166 million, and the company forecasts revenue of £400 million this year.

JacTravel supplies hotels agents and tour operators worldwide and tailored tours to inbound groups visiting the UK and Ireland.

Following the acquisition of accommodation provider TotalStay last year, JacTravel now offers a more than 12,000 directly contracted hotels and more than 100,000 aggregated hotels.

The company handles in excess of 1.5 million bookings a year.

Chief executive Terry Williamson said: “Our core markets, France, Germany and the US, remain strong and we’re also benefiting from increased travel from emerging markets such as China and India.”

However, he said: “We are facing some major challenges with recent incidents. There are also clear actions the UK government could take to improve the size of the travel industry.

“The failure to expand Heathrow and Gatwick, the long wait for high-speed rail, the difficult visa regime and Air Passenger Duty are unquestionably holding things back.”

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