Tour specialist saved after going into administration

By Lisa James
Home » Tour specialist saved after going into administration

Leger Shearings Group (LSG) has taken over tour specialist Arena Travel, which went into administration yesterday.

Arena Travel, which has been in business for over 45 years, is well known for its river-cruise and niche escorted holidays, including rail and bridge holidays. 

Craft holidays are operated under the Stitchtopia brand and cultural and garden tours under the Boxwood and Art Pursuits brands.

The company also has a music and events division with Elvis, Memphis and Germany tours and operates unique events in partnership with the band Queen’s fan club.

The agreement will see LSG acquire Arena Travel’s database, web domains and social media pages.

All 50 permanent employees, including Managing Director Steve Goodenough, will retain their jobs and the three Arena Travel offices in Market Harborough, Buckingham and Nacton, Suffolk will remain open.

Steve said the company was ‘very successful’ before COVID but came out of the pandemic ‘battered and bruised’.

“Our plan was to have a year of recovery, however, travel disruption hit every aspect of industry, from port delays, to flight and baggage disruption, to low water in Europe’s rivers and it took its toll and the business became untenable,” he said.

All bookings were financially protected and customers will be able to continue with their holidays as planned.

Leger Shearings Group CEO Liam Race said: “I am very pleased that the Leger Shearings Group was able to acquire the Arena assets and importantly, protect jobs during these challenging times. We are offering all customers the ability to take the same holiday that they had booked with Arena Travel.

“The companies share some similar products, including an excellent UK tours selection and river cruise holidays, but Arena’s very specialist holidays will add a new high-end dimension to our current portfolio. 

“This deal will make Leger Shearings Group one of the largest escorted tour companies in the UK and will help us realise our target of a £100 million turnover by 2024.”

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