The travel arm of a global air cargo business has bought cruise and ski retailer Get Travelling and is on the lookout for further acquisitions.
Online Travel Group (OTG), part of HAE Group based at East Midlands airport, has ambitions to become one of the UK’s leading travel homeworking retailers.
OTG is a member of Hays Travel Independence Group and operates Traveltext for low-cost deals and Hot Holidays for long-haul holidays. It also owns forum and review site Holiday Truths.
Fellow Hays IG member Get Travelling comprises Get Skiing, Get Cruising and soft-adventure brand Get Lost, which have consultants working from home.
Get Travelling was founded by former Airtours ski and cruise director Gary Wardrope, who takes a stake in OTG and becomes managing director. He joins the board, alongside corporate lawyer Lance Chambers.
Wardrope told Travel Weekly: “I wanted to partner a company with technical website skills and a strong balance sheet to help grow our business. OTG has both of these in abundance, which makes it the perfect partner. We can make use of the technical skills within OTG and can bring in our skill set, contacts and knowledge of the industry to take OTG to the next level.”
Chambers said: “Gary operates the kind of business we are looking to bring into the group.”
Get Travelling carries about 2,000 passengers, a figure it hopes to “quickly double and treble”.
It employs five consultants but aims to grow this to 50 in a year. Wardrope said: “There will be no fees to join OTG and homeworkers will retain 70% of their commission.”
He said OTG intends to remain within Hays IG as it looks to ramp up its tour operating capabilities.
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