Scott Dunn buys Singapore's Country Holidays to form Asia's largest bespoke tour agency

Country Holidays founder Chang Theng Hwee (left) will become Scott Dunn's new Asia chief executive, and will report to Scott Dunn group chief executive Simon Russell (right).
Country Holidays founder Chang Theng Hwee (left) will become Scott Dunn's new Asia chief executive, and will report to Scott Dunn group chief executive Simon Russell (right).PHOTOS: ST/ALICIA CHAN, SCOTT DUNN

SINGAPORE - International luxury tour agency Scott Dunn has acquired Singapore bespoke travel company Country Holidays to form Asia's largest bespoke tour agency, the companies announced at a joint press conference on Tuesday (Jan 30).

The London-based company declined to disclose the sum paid for Country Holidays.

Existing customers from Country Holidays can expect a 24-hour hotline for support, as well as an expanded portfolio for European destinations.

In the previous year, Scott Dunn, which also operates offices in San Diego, posted revenue of about S$240 million, while Country Holidays posted revenue of S$35 million.

This year, Scott Dunn expects a total revenue of S$290 million, with the acquisition of Country Holidays.

No cuts in existing staff size are expected to take place, said Country Holidays founder Chang Theng Hwee. The home-grown company has close to 60 employees, including those from other offices in Hong kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai.

Mr Chang will become Scott Dunn's new Asia chief executive, and will report to Scott Dunn group chief executive Simon Russell.

In all, the overall staff size will increase to over 300.

Additionally, Scott Dunn said that they are expecting a combined total of 31,000 customers in 2018.

The acqusition of Country Holidays comes after the international brand bought out San Diego-based Aardvark Safaris in 2016.

Currently, about 70 per cent of Scott Dunn's revenue comes from the British market. After these acquisitions, Mr Russell said he hopes for an even one-third split among the three Asian, US and UK markets in the long run.

Mr Russell said: "Acquiring an operator as established and reputable as Country Holidays step-changes our access to a market with a huge demand for luxury travel experiences."