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Sykes Holiday Cottages has taken its first step in growing the business internationally after investing in the leading holiday rental firm in New Zealand, Bachcare.
The move gives Sykes, which is already the UK’s largest independent holiday rental agency with almost 14,000 holiday properties across the UK and Ireland, a foothold in the southern hemisphere.
It also supports Bachcare’s ambitions to expand beyond New Zealand, where it currently manages over 2,000 properties in more than 150 locations, serving more than 150,000 customers a year.
Bachcare will continue to target the domestic New Zealand market, operating under its existing brand which founder Leslie Preston – now CEO – first established in 2003.
Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “It has always been our ambition to scale into new markets and, working together with Bachcare will enable us to take our first step towards further international growth.
“There are huge synergies between our business and the one that Leslie has built over the past 16 years.
“Like the UK and many other markets globally, staycations are a huge and growing part of the leisure sector in New Zealand. Bachcare has grown to lead that market through its laser-like focus on delivering an excellent experience for holidaymakers from the moment they land on the website to leaving the property at the end of their holiday.
“By working with Leslie and her team, and by learning from each other’s expertise, we are confident that Sykes Holiday Cottages can continue growing in the UK, that Bachcare will maintain its growth in New Zealand, and that together, we can enter other new markets around the world.”
Leslie Preston added: “Competing with large multi-national companies in the past has helped make Bachcare what we are – an honest, independent business that is absolutely committed to giving customers the best, full-service experience possible.
“That fits entirely with what Sykes is doing in the UK and we’re confident that, together, we can retain all that makes us unique while also benefitting from the backing of a company that is capable of helping us achieve our long-term ambitions.”
Sykes Holiday Cottages employs more than 500 people and last year served more than 1.5 million holidaymakers from its head office in Chester.
Last year, it saw bookings rise by more than a third while growing demand from second home-owners to make the most of their properties saw enquiries from new owners rise by around 37 per cent.
Bachcare employs around 50 people at its head office near Auckland and works with around 100 contracted holiday managers across North and South Island.
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