Audley Travel

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Audley Travel Group Limited
FormerlyAsian Journeys
Company typePrivate
IndustryTour Operator Activities
FoundedApril 25, 1996; 27 years ago (1996-04-25) in Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Founder
  • Craig Burkinshaw
  • John Brewer
HeadquartersNew Mill, New Mill Lane,
Witney
,
United Kingdom
Number of locations
3 (2022)
Area served
Key people
  • Nick Longman (CEO)
  • Richard Prosser (Chairman)
  • David Philips (CFO)
  • Mark Hanson (MD for UK and Ireland)
  • Sonal Patel (General Council and CSO)
[1]
Revenue£216,000,000 (2018)
Total assets£59,753,000 (2018)
Owner3i
Number of employees
762 (2023)
Websiteaudleytravel.com

Audley Travel is a tour operator based in the UK in Witney, Oxfordshire, with offices in London and Boston. The company covers over 90 destinations worldwide, providing tailor-made travel.[2] According to the Financial Times, Audley is the largest operator in this market.[3]

History[edit]

Audley Travel was founded in a Northampton post office in 1996 by Craig Burkinshaw and John Brewer, both graduates of the London School of Economics. The pair originally offered tours of Vietnam, advertising in The Sunday Times.[4][5]

In 2006, the company moved to its current headquarters at New Mill in Witney, Oxfordshire, and tourism executive Ian Simkins joined the company as CEO in 2011.[6]

In 2014, the company opened an office in London and a US office in Boston, Massachusetts after it discovered 20% of its web traffic was coming from the United States.

Audley arranges holidays in more than 90 destinations, covering all seven continents. Top-selling destinations include the USA, Canada, Japan, South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam and Costa Rica.[4][7]

In 2012, equity firm Equistone Partners Europe invested a majority stake in Audley Travel during a management buyout.[8] Equistone exited its investment in 2015, selling its share of the company to private equity firm 3i.[9]

Awards[edit]

Awards won by Audley Travel include:

  • Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2006: Best Tour Operator (Mainstream)[10]
  • The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2006-2018[11]
  • Telegraph Green Travel Awards 2007: Luxury Tour Operator of the Year[12]
  • Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2008: Best Tour Operator (Small)[13]
  • Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Travel Awards: First Place Specialist Tour Operator 2010[14]
  • Sunday Times Travel Magazine Value For Money Award 2010[15]
  • Wanderlust Travel Awards 2011: Best Website[16]
  • Wanderlust Travel Awards 2012, 2019 and 2022: Top Tour Operator[17]
  • Telegraph Travel Awards 2013: Best Tour Operator[18]
  • Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2014: Best Tour Operator (Small)[19]
  • The Oxfordshire Business Awards 2014: Employer of the Year[20]
  • The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards 2016 and 2019: Best Luxury Tour Operator[21]
  • Telegraph Travel Awards 2016, 2017 and 2019: Best Tour Operator[22]
  • Sunday Times Travel Magazine Value For Money Award: 2018[23]
  • Travel Media Awards 2019 and 2020: Best Customer Magazine [24][25]
  • The Sunday Times Travel Magazine Best Travel Specialists 2020[26]
  • Which? Recommended Provider for Escorted Tours: 2021
  • Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2020: Top Tour Operator[27]
  • Which? Best Recommended Independent Holiday Provider: 2022[28]
  • WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards - Silver Award 2022[29]
  • Wanderlust Travel Awards - Gold Winner 2023[30]
  • Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2023[31]
  • Travel+Leisure A List 2024[32]

Charity and philanthropy[edit]

In January 2020, Audley was granted Travelife Partner status in recognition of its efforts to improve sustainability and corporate social responsibility.[33] Travelife is the leading international sustainability certification in the travel sector.[34]

In 2021, Audley introduced an Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) framework that identifies five areas they will focus on each year.[33] These goals are often aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.[35]

The company created the Audley Travel for Good Fund to support several social and environmental charities around the world that align with its responsible travel approach. As of 2022, the company supports seven UN Sustainable Development Goals focused on supporting the communities and ecosystems clients and staff travel to.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Audley Travel Group Limited, company number 03190720 Companies House
  2. ^ Ltd, Jacobs Media Group. "Rising demand drives Audley Travel recruitment". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  3. ^ Blackden, Richard (December 21, 2015). "3i bets on high-end tourism with Audley Travel". Financial Times.
  4. ^ a b Holgate, Ben (October 9, 2014). "Witney travel company becomes a global holidays specialist". The Herald series.
  5. ^ "Audley Travel: Craig Burkinshaw". Startups.co.uk. October 3, 2013.
  6. ^ "Travel firm books move to new base". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  7. ^ "Audley Travel". TTG. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  8. ^ "Equistone buys stake in Audley Travel". Travel Weekly.
  9. ^ Ratcliffe, Madeline (21 December 2015). "3i hopes Audley Travel will take off with £159m investment". CityAM.
  10. ^ "Travel Awards 2006 winners". The Guardian. October 7, 2006.
  11. ^ "Company Profile - Audley Travel". Best Companies.
  12. ^ Starmer-Smith, Guy (January 12, 2008). "Green travel: the winners and losers".
  13. ^ "Travel Awards 2008 winners". The Guardian. October 12, 2008.
  14. ^ (1 Sept, 2010) Readers’ Travel Awards 2010. Conde Nast Traveller.
  15. ^ Magazine, Sunday Times Travel. "The Value for Money awards: Sunday Times Travel Magazine". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  16. ^ "Wanderlust Travel Awards 2011: Winners Announced". Wanderlust Magazine. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017.
  17. ^ "Wanderlust Travel Awards 2022: The Results". Wanderlust Magazine.
  18. ^ "Telegraph Travel Awards 2013: The winners in full". The Daily Telegraph. November 27, 2013.
  19. ^ "Travel Awards 2014 winners". The Guardian. November 22, 2014.
  20. ^ Quail, Alex (June 26, 2014). "Oxfordshire Business Awards 2014". zestdigital.com. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards 2016". The Times. September 17, 2016.
  22. ^ "Telegraph Travel Awards: your favourite airlines, hotel groups, tour operators and destinations". The Telegraph. April 12, 2016.
  23. ^ Magazine, Sunday Times Travel. "The Value for Money awards: Sunday Times Travel Magazine". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2022-12-06.
  24. ^ Travel Media Awards 2019. The Travel Media Awards.
  25. ^ Travel Media Awards 2020 winners. The Travel Media Awards.
  26. ^ Times, The Sunday. "Winners announced in the Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards 2020". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  27. ^ "The best tour operators in the world: 2022 Readers' Choice Awards". CN Traveller. 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2022-12-06.
  28. ^ "Best and worst smaller/independent holiday providers". Which?. December 22, 2022.
  29. ^ "WTM 2022: Responsible Champions Rewarded". TTG.
  30. ^ "The Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2023: The Results". Wanderlust. Retrieved 2024-03-25.
  31. ^ "The best tour operators in the world: 2023 Readers' Choice Awards". CN Traveller. 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2024-03-25.
  32. ^ "A-List Travel Advisors". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 2024-03-25.
  33. ^ a b Ltd, Travel Weekly Group. "Audley Travel reports it is making strides..." Travolution. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  34. ^ "Travelife for Tour Operators and Travel Agents". www.travelife.info. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  35. ^ "THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development". sdgs.un.org. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  36. ^ Ltd, Jacobs Media Group. "Audley Travel makes 'strong progress' on sustainability". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 2022-11-30.