RATP buys Original London Sightseeing Tour

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The Original London Sightseeing Tour is an Arriva subsidiary which operates 90 buses
The Original London Sightseeing Tour is an Arriva subsidiary which operates 90 buses

Move means the company now has sightseeing operations in each of the world’s three most visited cities

RATP Dev has announced the acquisition of Arriva-owned The Original London Sightseeing Tour.

RATP Dev Executive Board Chairman, François-Xavier Perin, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring this company which is an ideal component of our development strategy, in a sector boasting of high growth potential and in the United Kingdom.

“RATP Dev is very proud to be able to offer sightseeing circuits now in the world’s three most frequently visited cities: London, New York and Paris. This will further allow us to create synergies not only between The Original Tour and our other London operations, but also with our other sightseeing activities.

“We look forward to working with the existing management and staff of The Original Tour, whose expertise and experience are vital aspects of this company’s appeal to its customers and to our extensive international plans.”

The acquisition builds on RATP’s existing UK sightseeing operations in Bath, Cardiff, Eastbourne and Windsor (part of Bath Bus Company, acquired by RATP Dev in 2011).

Established in 1951, The Original London Sightseeing Tour is one of the major operators of the sightseeing sector in London. The company has a fleet of 90 buses and operates three sightseeing circuits in the centre of London, along with three feeder routes for passengers from major rail terminals. Buses run every five to eight minutes during the peak season. The Original Tour carries over one million passengers each year.

The Arriva subsidiary has a workforce of 200 in low season and up to 370 in the peak season.

The firm recently revealed it is actively targeting the Chinese market and has included Mandarin in its range recorded commentaries for the first time.

On that note, The Original Tour Managing Director Colin Atkins said: “We know the Chinese love London double decker bus sightseeing tours and we are delighted to be able to provide them with a guide to all the historic sights they are passing.”