2019: A&K’s Year that Was
Reflecting on the year that was, the travel specialists at Abercrombie & Kent are celebrating an outstanding 12 months with record revenue, high employee engagement and great guest satisfaction ratings. A&K has seen real interest in personalised journeys, with bespoke, tailor-made itineraries showing an enormous 40% growth. Small group journeys, which this year included ‘Design Your Day’ options and groups as small as a maximum of 10 guests, also showed good year on year growth to all destinations, illustrating the desire amongst travellers for personal attention, rather than being an anonymous member of a large group. Many off the beaten track journeys performed particularly well, including Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Armenia.
Almost all destinations showed good growth. Africa continues to be A&K’s biggest performer with South Africa, Botswana and Kenya the most sought after destinations. Egypt continued its monumental comeback with business more than 150% up on last year although even this was exceeded by Japan where A&K opened an office at the start of the year. India also finished the year in a commanding position.
A&K has more than 25 years of expertise in operating Luxury Expedition Cruises and the range continued to expand this year with a Kimberley expedition, the first sell out sailing in Australian waters.
In the ongoing search for new and exciting destinations and experiences and in the interest of staying ahead of the game, the A&K team has been busy travelling to the four corners of the globe visiting, amongst others, Egypt, Scandinavia, East Africa, southeast Asia, Morocco, India, Japan, USA, West Africa, China, southern Africa, Italy, South America, Mexico, Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia.
The average length of trip for an A&K traveller in 2019 was two weeks. Travellers also planned further ahead in 2019 with tailor-made bookings being made on average six months before travel. This means fewer disappointments particularly in popular destinations like Africa and Egypt. Luxury Expedition Cruise and Group journeys showed longer lead times of up to 12 months.
On the home front
In February, new ownership of A&K was announced with the acquisition by Heritage Group of 85% of the company. A&K Founder, Geoffrey Kent, and Chairman of Heritage Group, Manfredi Lefebvre, are Co-Chairmen sharing an exciting vision for the future.
In a year that saw some turmoil in the industry, A&K opened new offices in Japan, Zimbabwe and the USA and now has over 55 office locations in more than 30 countries.
A&K Australia has significantly expanded, with vigorous recruitment during 2019 taking the company’s employee numbers to 124, the largest the company has ever seen, and an expanded workspace in its main South Melbourne office. A&K says it is now the largest operator of land services for cruise ships in Australia, with a rapidly growing cruise department in New Zealand.
A&K Philanthropy, which works with partner communities on more than 40 projects in 20 countries across education, health care, conservation and enterprise development, continued its inspiring work with some impressive accomplishments including the expanded Safe Water for Schools initiatives in Kenya and Tanzania where 30,000 students now have access to clean drinking water. Over 3,500 bikes were delivered to community bike shops in Africa and in Zambia the Sishemo bead enterprise was established. Here in Australia a new partnership was formed with the inspirational Raptor Refuge, an organisation working to protect Tasmania’s threatened birds of prey.
Looking ahead, A&K has released its 2020 Hot List which predicts the destinations and experiences that discerning travellers will be considering. Whether it’s hard-core adventure, a cultural exchange, a far-flung expedition cruise or an unforgettable wildlife encounter, the list has something for first time and seasoned traveller alike. Here’s the list: Azerbaijan; Benin; Eastern Indonesia; Finland; Malta; Jordan; Namibia; South Korea. Wukalina Walk Tasmania; Zimbabwe.
A&K’s Luxury Expedition Cruise range continues to expand with new sailings in the Baltic Sea and to Iceland and Greenland.
The company is also offering more departures on Group Journeys than ever before with ongoing strong interest for Egypt and Morocco in particular and renewed interested in Ethiopia.
Forward sales for 2020 are strong with tailor-made travel up 40% again and destinations such as India, Tanzania, Japan, Italy, Morocco and Argentina showing the strongest growth.
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To book your A&K itinerary today or to enquire further please contact Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au
Abercrombie & Kent is the world’s leading luxury travel business. Founded as a luxury safari company in Africa in 1962, A&K has grown into a respected international travel company employing over 3000 staff in more than 100 countries. A&K organises private, tailored and escorted travel to every corner of the globe and has a wholly owned portfolio of cruise boats, luxury lodges, tented camps, hotels, and all-terrain vehicles. As part of its global commitment, A&K Australia brings a wealth of expertise, experience and attention to detail to any travel arrangements. Whether travelling solo, as a couple, with a family or in an escorted group, A&K is expert in providing luxury, experiential and memorable travel experiences. Abercrombie & Kent. Inspiring Experiences.
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