Skift Take

You need to be quite the master of a narrow niche to make an airfare-focused travel agency work, and AirTreks' around-the-world specialization seems just the thing.

BootsnAll, the online travel guide that focuses on long-term and inspirational travel, announced the purchase of online travel agency AirTreks yesterday. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Founded in 1997, AirTreks is a travel agency specializing in multi-stop and around-the-world tickets. BootsnAll bills itself as the destination guide for long-term travelers.

“Combining the media component of BootsnAll, and the trust we’ve been working to build with travelers, combined with an agency provides new opportunities,” BootsnAll’s CEO Sean Keener told Skift. Keener will also become CEO of AirTreks and the two companies will be operated separately. “Our purpose is to get people doing long-term travel, no matter if they fly, drive, sail or walk.”

BootsnAll has an existing around-the-world airfare engine called Indie that allows logged-in users to search for and book complex ticket routes. “We expect to integrate the intelligence of AirTreks into Indie over time,” Keener says.

The acquisition thus pairs BootsnAll and its planning tools with a travel agency in AirTreks.

According to Keener, there will be no staff reductions at AirTreks and that employees will be able to work remotely.

AirTreks is one of the few online travel agencies that specializes in complicated ticketing routes. “Airfare is the red-headed step child in the travel world for fulfillment houses and online travel agencies,” says Keener. “It’s ignored. It’s not liked and it’s been like that for a while. Being number one in the world at something super specific can be an opportunity.”

In addition to its consumer business, AirTreks books travel for other companies like Intrepid, Micato Safaris, Mountain Travel Sobek, and National Geographic.

Editor’s Note: Sean Keener is an investor in Skift.

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Tags: travel agents

Photo credit: BootsnAll is bringing a travel agency into its fold. PlaceIt by Breezi

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