Acquisition of Simoon Travel

One-stop-shop for adventure and culture seekers

Amelia Stewart, owner and director of Simoon Travel, said: 'This is an exciting opportunity to join forces with Original Travel's dynamic and innovative management team. Together we share a passion for undiscovered destinations and I look forward to joining the "one-stop-shop" for adventure and cultural seekers. It is interesting times for the Middle East and North Africa. With so much doom and gloom surrounding these regions at the moment, it is difficult to see the benefits of currently travelling there.

Middle East open for business

There are however many countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Oman, Tunisia and Lebanon that are very much open for business and are safe, sunny, welcoming and hospitable. And what better time than now to visit the Pyramids or Petra without the crowds? There is certainly a sense of optimism for the future of travel to the Middle East and North Africa. All eyes will continue to focus on Libya and, as demonstrated at WTM 2011, this is a country that is eager to prioritise tourism once the dust has settled. It is the start of many new beginnings for the region that will continue to open up yet remain as unique and beguiling as it always has been. And we intend to be there when it does.

Deepening knowledge of desert culture

In its short history Original Travel has made several timely strategic decisions including re-inventing the short break with their 'Big Short Break' portfolio, expanding into experience-led long haul and family holidays, raising private equity capital in June 2007, acquiring Tim Best Travel in 2009 and now by choosing what it considers to be the perfect partner to further deepen its knowledge of desert culture particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. Original Travel co-founder Nick Newbury said 'This is directly in line with our growth strategy. Through the acquisition of Simoon, Original Travel builds on its already strong position in the Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore we intend to lead the way for countries affected by the Arab Spring to open for tourism again. Meanwhile there are plenty of areas in North Africa and the Middle East which are far less impacted by the Arab Spring. Amelia Stewart is without doubt the go-to person for deeper cultural travel requests to the Middle East and North Africa. We look forward to working alongside Amelia to build on both companies' successes.'