TourHound, an aggregator of escorted touring and adventure holidays, is in talks with agency groups as it builds on ‘phenomenal’ growth in its first year.

Managing director Laurence Hicks established the price comparison site in November 2017 with 20 operators – and now there are more than 50.

He has already signed white-label deals with Advantage Travel Partnership and Silver Travel Advisor, and is in talks with other consortia, agency groups and individual agencies about similar agreements.

“It shows agents’ customers that they have a touring specialism, and they have several options at their fingertips. It is a useful, powerful tool to grow a lucrative business,” said Hicks.

He aims to recruit a business development manager in 2019 who can work with partner travel agents to drive their touring business via the white-label site.

TourHound also has a white-label version on the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers website, which allows agents to search supplier members’ product by destination, tour type or keywords.

“Atas offers us a great platform and it’s fundamental to our drive to ensure agents have the right equipment to get right information to their customers, so we pleased to be working together,” said Hicks.

“We will be looking at new ways to move forward and embrace Atas and its members, and offer more operators in 2019.”

He added: “Our growth in our first year has been phenomenal, and there are more consumers and more travel agents booking tours.

“Year 2 will see significant growth in bookings for all our operators as we bring more distribution partnerships to the table and invest in more PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.”

The business is also in talks with partners in Australia to develop a foothold in a second international market.

Hicks said that TourHound is a “totally transparent and independent platform” that offers a broad range of niche and well-known operators.

The past year saw a “surprising demand” for domestic UK coach operators, which generate lower revenue but have produced a reasonable volume of bookings, he commented.

It also has seen growth with adventure operators, such as Intrepid, Exodus and G Adventures.

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