Alliston travel company, which has operated in Melbourne since 1967, has closed.

The company said in a statement it was closing its Melbourne branch because it had a large number of staff working overseas.

“We are proud to have operated in Victoria for more than 50 years, and it’s been a great opportunity for us to support the local economy,” it said.

“However, our global expansion, with over 10,000 locations worldwide, has been challenging, and we have made the decision to close our Melbourne office.”

The statement said the company would be focusing its resources in New Zealand, where it operates a number of branches and operations, and China, where the majority of its customers are based.

“It’s important to us that we focus on the needs of our customers,” it added.

The business was established by the late John Alliston in 1968, and has been one of Melbourne’s most popular travel agencies ever since.

In addition to its main Melbourne branch, it has branches in Melbourne’s outer west, inner east and central west, as well as in Melbourne City.

It has also been the subject of multiple legal actions, including a $3.5 million claim from former CEO John Dutton, who claimed his job had been in danger because of the company’s overseas operations.

The Melbourne branch was the last Alliston company to open in the city’s CBD in the late 1990s, and the company has since closed its Melbourne store and has moved its offices to Sydney.

Mr Alliston was succeeded by his brother, Michael Alliston, who was later sacked for breaching company policy.

Mr Dutton was awarded $2.7 million in damages in December 2018 by the Victorian Supreme Court after he was found guilty of breach of contract.

The case was settled last year, but a spokesperson for the company said the court decision had no impact on the outcome.

“The court decided that Michael Allton’s failure to follow a number, and most importantly a single, legal document, was not grounds for dismissal, nor for a permanent injunction against Michael Allson,” the spokesperson said.