Published on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Railbookers taken over by Amtrak tour operator

Tailormade rail holiday operator Railbookers has been sold to US rail and package tour specialist Yankee Leisure Group for an undisclosed sum.

The deal includes Railbookers' shortbreaks brand Travel Definitions, which the Civil Aviation Authority said had ceased trading.

As part of the deal, former Cosmos product and sales director Peter Traynor has been appointed as Railbookers' new MD.

Yankee Leisure Group said it had been working with Railbookers to deliver its USA holidays since 2008.

"An existing relationship between staff in the UK and US, as well as a commercial partnership with significant history, made the acquisition last week a natural fit for the Yankee portfolio," it said.

YLG, which has been trading for 44 years, is also the national tour operator for Amtrak Vacations, which is the largest North American rail holiday brand.

The operator said it wanted to 'take Railbookers to the next level and aim for similar successes achieved in the US market'.

The acquisitionhas seen the hand-over of all existing business to YLG, who will operate the company going forward.

A statement from YLG's president Frank Marini claimed there will be no impact for the company's customers.

"Our US based corporation has been built on the same ethos and foundation that Railbookers here in the UK operates by - fantastic service, unrivalled flexibility and an exceptional customer experience.

"During this short period of hand-over, customers travelling with Railbookers are our priority, and we're working with the team to ensure the transition is seamless.

"Moving forward, we're excited to build upon the great work done by Railbookers over the last 13 years, and look forward to taking the brand to the next level."

He said Traynor, whose most recent role was as general manager at Collette, 'will give the company the immediate direction and support required to continue the exceptional customer service and leading product that Railbookers is best known for'.

Yankee Leisure Group said it was working closely with the CAA and Travel Trust Association in order to ensure that no customers are affected by the takeover.


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Undercutting is not for the long-term. Demise of volume players.

The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.