Blackpool school travel company in triple swoop for rivals

The NGT board, from left, Sian Belfield, Customer Relations Director; Dave Finch, Financial Director; David Craven, Non-Executive Chairman; Deborah
The NGT board, from left, Sian Belfield, Customer Relations Director; Dave Finch, Financial Director; David Craven, Non-Executive Chairman; Deborah

Blackpool-based specialist educational travel company, Next Generation Travel, has bought three Surrey educational travel brands.

The Bristol Avenue company has snapped up Study Experiences, Sport Experiences and Remembrance Travel in a deal that sees the firm now hold six specialist educational travel brands.

The company said it is aiming to be the driving force behind the UK’s fastest growing educational travel brands and offers immersive tours to young people from 10 - 21 years, which are designed to offer unique and empowering learning experiences outside of the classroom.

The acquisition enables the group, which organises school trips throughout the UK, continental Europe and worldwide to increase its turnover to £25m with staff figures reaching 80 and annual passenger figures increasing to more than 70,000.

Established in 2010, NGT is one of the sector’s largest privately owned companies, and includes the WST Travel, FHT Travel and Anglia Tours brands.

This latest strategic acquisition follows the group’s expansion success in 2013, which saw the firm purchase FHT Travel Ltd, a Cambridgeshire-based specialist tour operator providing trips for students in further and higher education. Anglia Tours, a leading battlefields tours specialist, was acquired by NGT in 2017.

The only educational travel company to be awarded the Investors in People standard and Service Excellence Award, WST Travel was named the UK’s Best School Tour Operator in The School Travel Awards in 2016/2017 and in 2017/18.

Deborah Beckett, managing director of Next Generation Travel said: “These new brands enable us to enter new markets and deliver a broader selection of specialist tours for our clients.

“A key part of our strategic expansion plans, we’re delighted to bring NGT’s high levels of customer service and experience to these well-established brands.”