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Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

AC Group sets sights on domestic market

Wholesale tour operator AC Group is looking to expand into the UK domestic travel market by launching packages at this week's British Travel Show in Birmingham.

The company, which has traditionally focussed on incoming travel to the UK, believes some of its product would also appeal to domestic customers.

Angela Heaton, UK managing director, will be meeting with coach operators and group travel organisers at the Birmingham show to introduce the newly-created itineraries.

Domestic operators, along with MICE bookers, can access AC Group's UK product and benefit from the wholesaler's volume buying while delivering the tour under their own brand.

"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel or muscle in on domestic wholesalers, but we believe that many of our tours, particularly those which are experience led, would also appeal to the domestic market," she said.

Domestic tours would include more unusual attractions, independently run accommodation and unique activities, such as making your own gin or cookery classes.

Heaton said tours themed arounds films and TV, such as Game of Thrones, Outlander and Downtown Abbey, would work particularly well.

"We would be able to take some of these tours and adapt them for the domestic market," she said.

"Our US clients, for example, are quite happy to stay somewhere different each night of the week but domestic travellers would probably prefer to be centred in one location and have the days planned from that place, and with some free time factored in too."

Supporting their domestic growth plans, AC Group has joined the Coach Tourism Association and Association of Group Travel Organisers.

It has also been working with domestic tourist boards and development groups to help grow domestic and incoming tourism in regions outside of London.

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