Exponent Private Equity has acquired three leading sightseeing attraction pass companies: Boston-based Smart Destinations, parent company of Go City Card; UK-based Leisure Pass Group; and The New York Pass. Ted Stimpson, CEO of Smart Destinations, is the Global CEO of the combined Leisure Pass Group (LPG).
The three entities will operate as independent subsidiaries of a newly formed parent company, which will retain the Leisure Pass Group brand name and become the largest tourism attraction pass provider in the world. The new Leisure Pass Group will operate in more than 30 destinations across the US, Europe, and the Middle East, and is projected to deliver over 12 million attraction visits worldwide.
The sightseeing and attractions industry is big business, with a total global economic impact in excess of $300 billion, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Attraction passes — which allow travelers to access a variety of attractions and tours with a single purchase and at significant savings versus buying tickets individually (as much as 55% depending upon the pass selected) — comprise a growing segment of this industry. Leisure Pass Group’s attraction passes can be conveniently downloaded to a mobile app, and allows customers to present their passes right on their smart phones for access at each location. The passes are available for purchase online, through a variety of third-party resellers, and can also be acquired by travel agents with commission from Viator, Hotelbeds, GTA-Travel, and Tourico Holidays.
According to Mr. Stimpson, “This merger provides Leisure Pass Group with an amazing opportunity to leverage the collective power of three market leading attraction pass providers and aggressively pursue growth in existing markets as well as many new markets around the world. Leisure travel shows no evidence of slowing down, and as long as consumers have the desire to get out there and experience the various theme parks, tours, and attractions, we want to be able to provide them with a cost-effective way to explore and save.”
To demonstrate the continued growth of this market, Mr. Stimpson adds that LPG in North America has seen eight consecutive quarters of 30+% YOY growth and doubled the number of sold passes in the last two years.