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Husband and wife team buy travel firm

By Andrea Clements

A long-established Saintfield travel agency has been taken over in a management buyout, it was announced today.

The new owners of Bryan Somers Travel are Jonathan and Linda Millar, who have worked in the business for eight years.

The husband and wife team say they are keen to build on the company's annual turnover of around £4m.

The offices at Main Street, where 11 people are employed, have been taken over as part of the deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed.

The Millars have developed a five year plan for the buy-out with Mr Somers and say they are focused on increasing revenue, rather than volume.

Their client base is at the high-end of the market with some clients spending between £30,000 and £100,000 a year on travel.

The business, which has been in operation for 20 years, advertises only on its website.

The couple say they want to continue with the company ethos of commitment to service, in an industry which is changing quickly due to the use of the internet and low cost airlines for bookings.

Mrs Millar said: "About 10 to 12 years ago there were fears that the bigger agencies were going to take over the market and smaller businesses would close.

"However, what we found was that our clients wanted good customer support, which they weren't getting in the bigger agencies. They knew they would get exactly what we sold them - and that allowed us to build up a good rapport."

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