Original Travel Company backed for £1.2m

The top-end travel company gains backing to continue its growth


Original Travel Company Ltd, the top-end tour operator, has received £1.2m of funding from the investment syndicate Hotbed.

The company, founded by Nick Newbury in 2003, provides short breaks and exotic holidays to wealthy consumers. It says its success is largely due to repeat bookings – which accounts for about 50% of its business this year.

The company says there is a big demand for short breaks from ‘cash-rich, time-poor’ people, citing research that the average length of holiday in the UK has dropped from 9.9 days in 2001 to 9.6 in 2004.

It specialises in three to 10-day breaks offering trips such as dog sledding in Lapland, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and tracking gorillas in Uganda.

The company has gained investment from 29 Hotbed members who are taking advantage of the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Bernard Dale, head of private equity at Hotbed, says: “The high end niche is regarded as the most attractive and highest growth sector of the travel industry and growth at this end is likely to being fuelled by the increasing wealth of a portion of the cash-rich, time-poor population who are seeking out more exotic and unique holiday experiences.

“M&A activity at the upper end of the travel market is high, as this area delivers high growth and good margins.”

Original was advised by Mark Aspery of law firm Maclay Murray & Spens on the deal.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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