Skift Take

It's not every day that a travel tech company buys a media and events business, but the tech CEO said the deal is part of a long-term strategy.

Travel tech holding company Travelsoft Group said today that it has acquired the financially struggling Eventiz Media Group, publisher of French travel trade magazine L’Echo Touristique, which was founded in 1934. 

Eventiz Media also owns and Déplacements Pros and Pagtour media. And the company organizes several annual events for the French tourism and business travel industry.

Eventiz went into receivership in fall of 2023 and filed a document with the French government showing that was unable to met its financial obligations and was under a court-supervised restructuring and a plan to pay back its creditors. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but likely it cost Travelsoft very little based on the financials struggles of Eventiz.

Travelsoft Group owns three tech platforms that primarily are focused on booking and marketing travel packages for agents and tour operators. The company says its products generate $44 million in turnover, according to its website.

Frédéric Vanhoutte, founder of Eventiz, is joining Travelsoft along with fewer than 20 employees. Prior to the deal, Travelsoft had more than 200 employees.

Why Buy a Media and Events Company?

Travelsoft CEO and founder Christian Sabbagh said the deal is part of a long-term strategy. 

The plan is that Eventiz will house a data service for governmental tourism offices using booking data from Travelsoft’s tech companies, meant to help the agencies better inform marketing strategy. 

Right now, they primarily measure performance based on analysis of tourism numbers after each respective season is over. The plan would be to provide booking data — such as which travelers are going where, and how it compares to previous seasons — months in advance. 

“Today, this data doesn’t really exist,” Sabbagh said. “And we believe there is really high value in publishing and giving this data to our clients, and especially to tourism boards.”

He said part of the reason that the service will come from Eventiz is because of the company’s existing strong relationships with tourism boards, which comes primarily through promotion at its events. 

“In the future, Eventiz will be able not only to sell events, but also to sell relevant data to their clients,” Sabbagh said. 

Meanwhile, the Eventiz media companies will continue publishing with the same journalistic standards, he said. The events will continue, as well, and there may be more in the future. 

Financial Health

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. 

While Travelsoft’s three tech companies have been in strong financial positions, Eventiz had been looking for a buyer or to restructure in order to continue operations, Sabbagh said.

“As it’s a small company, economically we can support not having a very profitable company for the moment, but we hope we’ll be able to change this in the future,” Sabbagh said.

The first priority is not to push Eventiz into profitability, he said, but to leverage its assets for the planned projects.

“The result of this should be to increase profitability of the company,” he said.

An Acquisition Spree

Sabbagh is also founder and CEO of France-based Orchestra, Travelsoft’s first portfolio company. Travelsoft acquired Germany-based Traffics in 2022 and Spain-based Travel Compositor in 2023

There are more acquisitions to come, Sabbagh said. The focus is on similar travel tech companies that are focused on other geographies, or it could be a company that specializes in something that an existing Travelsoft company does not. 

And each acquisition will strengthen the data for the market analysis service that he plans to establish. 

“The more we acquire and consolidate the tech market, the more we will have relevant data coming from a lot of outgoing destinations,” Sabbagh said.

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Tags: destination marketing organizations, mergers and acquisitions, tourism, travelsoft

Photo credit: L’Echo Touristique, founded in 1934, has been acquired. Travelsoft Group

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