Bri­tish op­er­a­tor buys Ir­ish Wel­come Tours

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Ellie Don­nelly

UK tourist op­er­a­tor Ho­tels & More has agreed a takeover of Ir­ish Wel­come Tours (IWT), in a deal un­der­stood to be val­ued at around €20m.

The deal is a bolt-on for Ho­tels & More which was bought by May­fair Eq­uity Part­ners in a 2015 buy­out.

IWT will con­tinue to be man­aged in­de­pen­dently by John Wal­dron, who said that he was “de­lighted to be part­ner­ing with Ho­tels & More” as it will al­low the com­pany much greater ac­cess to the UK mar­ket.

IWT gen­er­ated sales of €36.5m in 2015 and a profit of €3.6m, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cently filed ac­counts for par­ent com­pany Am­ple­forth.

It is owned by Michael Hol­land, whose as­sets in­clude the Fitzwilliam Ho­tel and the well-known The Bai­ley pub in Dublin.

Karin Ur­ban, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ho­tels & More, said that Ire­land con­tin­ued to be an “ex­cit­ing and sought-af­ter des­ti­na­tion.” She added: “We view Ir­ish Wel­come Tours as the per­fect part­ner. To­gether we will con­tinue to grow our mar­ket po­si­tion de­liv­er­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices for our clients across our fam­ily of brands.”

IWT is an in­bound tour oper- ator which has been op­er­at­ing since 1989. The busi­ness has strong re­la­tion­ships with more than 600 ho­tels and vis­i­tor at­trac­tions around Ire­land.

Since its es­tab­lish­ment IWT has grown to have a mul­ti­lin­gual staff of more than 60, and ar­ranges hol­i­days for more than 70,000 cus­tomers a year through its Au­then­tic Va­ca­tions, Ho­tels Ire­land, and Ir­ish Hori­zons brands.

The deal comes at an in­ter­est­ing time for the tourism in­dus­try in Ire­land, es­pe­cially in re­gards to any po­ten­tial Brexit im­pact.

Ear­lier this week the Ir­ish Tourism In­dus­try Fed­er­a­tion called on the Gov­ern­ment to set up a fund to Brexit-proof the in­dus­try. In 2016 the tourism mar­ket in Ire­land was worth around €4.6bn.

Firm says Ire­land is an ‘ex­cit­ing and sought-af­ter des­ti­na­tion’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.