Adventure Travel Company, World Expeditions, Acquires UK-Based Sherpa Expeditions


Leading Australian adventure travel company, World Expeditions, has acquired European hiking and cycling specialist and operator, Sherpa Expeditions.

The Sherpa Expeditions’ offering will complement the product of World Expeditions’ European division, UTracks, which caters for travellers interested in activity holidays in Europe and the UK.  Together, the two brands will offer a choice of more than 300 itineraries covering more than 25 countries, from Iceland to Malta and from Ireland to Cyprus.

The acquisition will allow World Expeditions to almost double its European portfolio by the end of 2012 to include:

  • 21 Walkers’ Britain itineraries, including the Cornish Coastal Path (8 days, from $899pp), the Great Glen Way in Scotland (8 days, from $869pp), the Cumbrian Way through the Lake District (8 days, from $919pp), the Coast to Coast escorted tour (15 days, from $1890) and a Yorkshire Dales Mini Break (4 days, from $265pp).
  • 57 self-guided Inn to Inn Walks, including the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus (8 days, from $1,179pp), Provence in Van Gogh’s Footsteps (7 days, from $1,339pp), Greece’s Zagoria Villages (8 days, from $1,030pp), FjordLand in Norway (8 days, from $1,515pp) and Tenerife & Mount Teide (8 days, from $1,050pp).
  • 19 Inn to Inn Escorted Walks, including the Lake Como Rambling (8 days, from $1,190pp), Austria’s Dachstein Alps (8 days, from $1,270pp), Alto Aragon – The Spanish Pyrenees (8 days, from $1,350pp) and the Mountains of Madeira (8 days, from $1,130pp).
  • 13 self-guided Cycling Tours, including the UK’s Coast to Coast Cycling (8 days, from $1,290pp including bike hire), the Turku Archipelago in Finland (7 days, from $1,475pp including bike hire) and the Cotswalds (8 days, from $1,099 pp including bike hire).

In the short term, Sherpa Expeditions and UTracks will continue operating as two separate companies, although World Expeditions plans to consolidate the UTracks and Sherpa brands by the end of 2012.

According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, the acquisition was very attractive to World Expeditions because Sherpa Expeditions are operators of most of its portfolio of trips and this provides an ideal platform of vertical integration to the combined Sherpa/UTracks businesses going forward.

“Sherpa Expeditions has developed the industry’s most comprehensive route maps and instructions booklets for its self guided cyclists and walkers, which is the result of more than two decades of on-the-ground research and intelligence,” Ms Badyari said.  “We’re thrilled that World Expeditions and Sherpa Expeditions have joined forces.”

“Walking and cycling holidays in Europe are one of the fastest growing sectors in the tourism industry,” she said.  “The strong Australian dollar is making European travel very appealing to Australians and self guided style of travel is increasing at proportions that outpace any other segment.”  

“There is also a huge demand for Australian travellers to walk and cycle in the UK and with more than 20 trips in Britain in the Sherpa Expeditions line up we are now able to offer an exciting range in that region specifically,” Ms Badyari said. “The acquisition allows us to cement our position as one of the leading suppliers of European active holidays where the trips are generally operated by us ensuring total quality control and a focus on providing exceptional experiences for our travellers”.

Source = World Expeditions
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