Fox on the hunt as A&K Australia looks to scale up

Abercrombie & Kent preparing for long-term outbound luxury travel growth

One month into the job, Abercrombie & Kent‘s new Managing Director for Australia, Debra Fox, is scouting for new talent as the luxury travel company readies to upsize its local workforce.

Speaking with LATTE, Fox says she is relishing her role and the direction the company is heading.

“A&K has a long-term strategy for this market and to achieve our vision we’re looking to grow the team,” Fox explained.

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“We’re building something exciting at A&K Australia, the future is bright for luxury travel.”

“We’re seeing great uplift already,” she said of the growth in business demand since international borders reopened. “Our forward sales are strong.”

“We want to live out the strategy and make A&K something special in the Australian market.”

A few days ago Fox shared a post on LinkedIn, highlighting her excitement 4-weeks in the role, and A&K’s “passion, professionalism, [and] expertise”.

She also used the platform to round up new troops, with a number of positions now open including Regional Sales Managers, an International Sales Coordinator, an International Travel Specialists, an Air Specialist and a Finance Officer. Separately, A&K’s local DMC operation is also scouting for roles to fill.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with the response,” Fox told LATTE.

“I’m excited by the amount of people who said We love this brand, We’d love to work with this brand. We think we can make a difference. So I’ve been really heartened by the level of interest so far.”

Internally, Fox says a key objective for 2022 will be to get A&K’s reservation, sales and product teams away overseas travelling again. “After the drought of COVID, we want to continue to build on the exceptional destinational expertise they deliver,” she remarked.

Deb Fox, Managing Director (Tour Operations - Outbound), Abercrombie & Kent Australia

Fox said there are four clear destinations that Australian luxury travellers have on their mind at the moment – Egypt, Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana), Morocco and Europe.

“Egypt sales are booming. And one of the advantages is we have our own ships – we’re still able to send people to Egypt when availability is limited, and demand is strong. One of the great things about A&K is we have our own operations and DMC’s, with 55 offices in more than 30 countries around the world delivering a true luxury on- ground experience.”

In Africa, travellers are booking traditional safaris, while just this week A&K opened its newest lodge in Kenya under the Sanctuary Lodges brand – Sanctuary Tambarare.

Sanctuary Tambarare, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

“Clients want to be looked after while travelling on their own and we fit that brief perfectly.

“Another thing that we’ve noticed is people are buying up, luxury is very on trend at the moment, they’re treating themselves.”

While there is strong business demand for 2023, Fox said Abercrombie & Kent was also still seeing solid bookings in the second half of 2022. It’s not unusual to see guests booking within four to eight-weeks from departure.

“It’s a trend I haven’t seen before in international travel,” the former APT senior executive of 17 years said.

As for new product in-market, A&K has now made available its long-running ultra-high-end ‘Wings Over the World’ private charter air program for Australian travel advisors to sell. Learn more about that here.

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