Home Leisure Time Manchester sports tour operator buys Irish travel firm

Manchester sports tour operator buys Irish travel firm

Manchester headquartered Sports Tours International, founded in 1973 by Irish international marathon runner Vince Regan, has acquired the Republic of Ireland’s largest running tour operator Sports Travel International.

Sports Tours International is Europe’s largest mass participation tour operator, offering more than 100 active-lifestyle multi-sports experiences, challenges and events, which are sold to 20,000 people a year.

The Manchester-based company, which celebrates its 45th year in business this year, is known worldwide for its partnerships with all of the world marathon majors, iconic cycling events such as the Tour De France, and its association with one of the world’s top sports and fitness resorts, Club La Santa in Lanzarote.

Commenting on the acquisition Sports Tours International CEO Chris Bird said, “We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Sports Travel International. The owner Martin Joyce has been a long-time friend of our business and is one of the most respected operators in our sector. I am delighted that Martin will continue working with us as his knowledge and guidance will be a great asset.”

He added, “Running events are truly loved in Ireland and many of Sports Travel International’s customers compete in all of the world marathon majors, from Tokyo to Berlin, and everywhere in between. We now want to introduce our range of international cycling sportives, adventure holidays, family cycling holidays, warm weather training and active family holidays to Sports Travel’s customers, and the whole of Ireland.’’

Sports Tours International also owns Whereabouts Holidays and Freewheel holidays, and is the exclusive UK and Ireland partner for Club La Santa.

Martin Joyce, Owner of Sports Travel International over the last three decades, commented, “I have known the team at Sports Tours International for many years and had the pleasure of working closely with the late great Vince Regan, founder of Sports Tours International, who was originally from the west of Ireland like myself. Vince introduced me to the London and NYC marathons and opened many doors for our fledgling company, 30 years ago this year. He was an inspiration and a wonderful advisor to us for many years. I am sure today he would be very proud that the business he founded in the UK now has a home in Ireland too.

‘’I am really excited to be working with Chris Bird, Brendan Fox and their team, as together we will bring an incredible choice of sporting and active lifestyle experiences to men, women, couples, families and businesses who love mass participation events along with leisure and adventure pursuits.”

Sports Tours International will be activating a number of customer focused events over the coming months to showcase their 2019 programme and will be inviting interested media to take part in some of their iconic events around the world.