Luxury specialists Scott Dunn buy Country Holidays
Singapore-based tailormade travel specialist Country Holidays has announced its sale to international luxury tour operator Scott Dunn.
Together with Scott Dunn’s existing operations in London, San Diego and Singapore, the deal will make the combined business Asia’s biggest player in bespoke, private travel, with a global team of more than 300 staff offering 24-hour service.
Over the next 12 months, Country Holidays will be rebranded as Scott Dunn and the existing Scott Dunn Singapore and Country Holidays teams will be merged, sharing new headquarters in Singapore.
Country Holidays’ founder, Theng Hwee will become Scott Dunn’s new CEO – Asia, reporting to group CEO Simon Russell.
Country Holidays began in 1994 and has grown to become one of the leading bespoke private travel businesses in Asia, with a turnover of S$35m. Based in Singapore with sales offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai, the company offers tailor-made trips to more than 100 destinations worldwide.
Scott Dunn, founded in 1986 by Andrew Dunn, is renowned for its high level of service, having been awarded Conde Nast Travellers’ readers award for ‘favourite operator’ every year since 2013. The business is pursuing an ambitious global expansion, starting with the acquisition of safari specialist Aardvark Safaris’ US operation, based in San Diego, in April 2016.
Scott Dunn’s US arm, led by ex-Aardvark founder John Spence, has been growing at 50 per cent annually. Scott Dunn subsequently opened a sales office in Singapore to service the growing Asian market, in September 2016. With Country Holidays, the new, combined global business will turnover S$290m in 2018.
Hwee said: “We are thrilled to become part of Scott Dunn. I am extremely proud of all we achieved in the last 23 years but this move will now accelerate our growth, with all the benefits that come from being part of a leading global organisation. Scott Dunn has an incredible heritage in bespoke luxury travel and I look forward to championing the brand in the Asia market.”
Russell added: “Following our success in North America, we are turning our attention to Asia. 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.
“Theng Hwee’s product portfolio and service ethic is the perfect fit for Scott Dunn. We look forward to rapidly capitalising on our combined position as the largest luxury tailormade travel business in Asia and continuing to offer our guests 24/7 service over the phone.”