Technology

Webjet acquires leading travel industry supplier

Hannah Edensor

Webjet is expanding its B2B division by acquiring JacTravel, making it one of the world’s largest B2B travel providers.

London-based JacTravel is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of online hotel bookings and inbound travel services to the tourism sector.

Established in 1975, JacTravel is one of the world’s leading suppliers of hotel accommodation for the global travel industry.

The company is a global provider of wholesale online accommodation, including rooms in more than 12,000 hand-picked hotels worldwide, with an additional aggregated portfolio of over 165,000 properties.

Meanwhile, JacTravel also boasts expertise in delivering market-leading tailored tours to groups visiting the UK, Ireland and key European destinations.

Their website claims they have clients spanning from small specialist tour operators to high street and multi-national online travel agencies.

The company also operates its brand, totalstay.com, a worldwide travel agent booking website.

Both JacTravels and totalstay.com will now become part of Webjet’s B2B division, WebBeds, along with Sunhotels, Lots of Hotels, and FIT Ruum’s, selling hotels rooms to travel agent partners via their API and online channels.

The company has headquarters in London, regional offices throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, the Middle-East and North America and worldwide representation, with a team of over 500 travel professionals serving as many as 20,000 clients globally.

By adding JacTravel to the WebBeds’ family, Webjet will boost its bottom line to over AU$1 billion, and increase the company’s global footprint with offices in 19 countries, not to mention the 900 employees – and counting – it will take on.

WebBeds will now feature a global portfolio of more than 225,000 hotels, of which 17,000 are directly contracted, in all regions of the globe.

Webjet’s Managing Director, John Guscic, said the acquisition is “transformational” to WebBeds, and will create the #2 B2B player globally, and in the EU market.

“WebBeds has always focused on helping our clients succeed and enabling our partners to respond to fast-changing market trends.

“By consolidating with like-minded partners like JacTravel, we believe we will drive even greater synergies that will benefit the wider travel industry.

“JacTravel is a company we have worked with for many years, and we have the greatest amount of respect for their business. We look forward to working with the JacTravel team in the weeks and months ahead as we integrate our businesses and develop the best possible outcomes for all of our partners and clients.”

Webjet have entered into an agreement to acquire JacTravel from Vitruvian Partners and its management team who will retain a shareholding in the enlarged Group.

JacTravel CEO, Terry Williamson, added, “Our partnership with Vitruvian has been invaluable over the last three years in enabling JacTravel to achieve a step-change in its scale, technology, and geographical reach.  I thank the whole Vitruvian team for their unstinting support, encouragement and contribution.

“The combination with Webjet is the next logical step in our global expansion vision which will enable us to offer even greater wider reach to our hotel partners and greater choice and value to our customers.”

Ben Johnson, a Partner at Vitruvian, also commented on the news, claiming JacTravel has been “an innovator” in the travel space.

“The management team’s leadership and vision over the past three years have continued this ethos as JacTravel has used technology to drive growth and enter new markets.

“We are excited to see the Company avail itself of new opportunities as part of Webjet and wish them all well for the future.”

 The transaction is expected to close at the end of August 2017.

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