London, November 2015. Long established destination management company European Travel Services (ETS) has been bought by Abbey Tours in a move which gives the major Irish tour operator its first presence in London.

Privately owned ETS has been providing tourist services throughout Great Britain from its central London base to the overseas travel trade for nearly 30 years, and its purchase by Abbey Tours gives the Irish operator an important boost to its presence in the UK. The new London office builds on Abbey’s existing locations in Dublin and Edinburgh.

ETS managing director Jim Brown commenting on the development said, ‘We believe this is an exciting opportunity for both Abbey Tours and ourselves. Abbey have established a wide base of travel partner clients throughout Europe, North America, Canada and Australia. We are very much looking forward to providing expert assistance in London and across the UK for their clients’.

With the acquisition ETS becomes part of the Abbey Group, but it will continue to trade under the ETS brand. A recruitment strategy has been put in place to increase the existing staff levels, and Jim Brown will remain in charge of the company.

Originally founded in 1978, Abbey Tours has become the largest incoming operator to Ireland with over 800 travel trade partners in 42 countries worldwide. They employ 85 full time staff in their Dublin based headquarters and last year serviced some 115,000 visitors to the country. The company’s growth has been accelerated with a number of acquisitions over the years and the setting up of Abbey Tours Scotland in 2008.

Abbey Tours Chairman Brian Mc Colgan said, ‘We have been looking to establish a business in the UK for some time now, we found our clients have been increasingly requesting this service from us.. There are many synergies between the two companies and given the great reputation ETS enjoys with both clients and long-time suppliers the acquisition made perfect sense. We see great opportunities arising from this move and we look forward to realising the potential which this acquisition presents’.

Added Jim Brown: “ETS has enjoyed many years of success in the industry and with the valued support of Abbey Tours, we  look forward to achieving further growth in the years to come.