Hotelplan UK acquires Explore Worldwide

Hotelplan UK acquires Explore Worldwide

Adventure travel specialist Explore Worldwide has been sold to Hotelplan UK, the parent company of tour operators Inghams and Inntravel.

Explore and its sister company Regaldive have been sold for an undisclosed sum, it was announced today.

Explore’s parent company Holidaybreak Group was sold to Cox & Kings in 2011 for £312 million.

The company has operated small group adventure holidays since 1981, and runs 500 tours across 120 countries. The head office is based in Farnborough.

Regaldive was founded in 1988 and specialises in diving tours, and is based in Ely.

No personnel or location changes are planned for either companies, and they will continue to operate from their current offices under Ashley Toft at Explore and Andreas Elia at Regaldive.

Hotelplan UK’s chief executive, Andy Perrin, said: “We are thrilled to welcome two such highly respected companies to our existing family of specialist travel brands.

“Hotelplan UK has a strong tradition of excellence and high standards of quality and service, so as successful, growing businesses with tremendous customer loyalty and highly experienced teams with incredibly deep product expertise, both Explore and Regaldive fit perfectly with the overall philosophy, direction and ambition of the Hotelplan Group.”

Explore managing director, Ashley Toft, said: “It is an exciting time for all of us at Explore, with both our own company and the wider adventure travel sector growing fast.

“We are looking forward to joining forces with the enthusiastic team of like-minded travel people at Hotelplan.”

Regaldive director, Andreas Elia, added: “Regaldive’s mission has always been to provide holiday options for divers to some of the leading destinations around the world.

“I look forward to seeing our business continue to prosper as part of the Hotelplan Group.”

Hotelplan UK’s existing portfolio of activity and experience holiday companies include Inghams, Esprit Holidays, chalet specialist Ski Total, Santa’s Lapland and self-guided walking and cycling experts, Inntravel.

Holidaybreak Group chief executive, Peter Kerkar, said: “Our decision to sell Explore is undertaken following strong interest in its acquisition by trade buyers.

“We recognise that the continuation of its recent strong performance will be best facilitated by a dedicated tour operating group such as Hotelplan UK. We wish the management team and employees every success for the future.”

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