Proof that online travel brands are still have an eye on opportunities in the physical world, with On The Beach buying luxury travel brand for travel agents, Classic Collection.
On The Beach, one of the U.K.'s high-profile, mid-tier online travel agencies, has paid £20 million to acquire fellow British company and buy out its management and private shareholder ownership.
Classic Collection sells package trips to luxury properties around the world directly through retail travel agencies.
The company made £2.6 million in EBITDA during its latest reported accounts in late-2017.
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The significance of the deal is not around the size of the modest business but OTB's strategy for expanding into offline models.
Some five million beach trips are booked offline the U.K. each year, On The Beach says, so the company wants to capture some of that activity at the same time as growing the Classic Collection portfolio.
This will coincide with the development of a new travel agent-only platform (Classic Online) that will also feature dynamic packaged trips from On The Beach alongside the existing Classic Collection product.