UK-based Merlin Entertainments last week announced that it had invested more than $34 million for a 15 percent share in Big Bus Tours. The arrangement will open up additional channels of distribution for both companies as they will now cross-promote product globally and sell each other’s tickets.
In the USA, Big Bus—founded in London in 1991, it is the largest operator of open-top sightseeing tours in the world, it has sightseeing tours in 18 cities across three continents—operates hop on-hop off tours in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Miami, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Headquartered about 110 miles southwest of London, Merlin Entertainments, whose portfolio makes it the second-largest operator of theme parks/attractions in the world—behind only Disney—owns such properties as Madame Tussauds, Legoland parks and Discovery Centers, the London Orlando Eye and the Dungeons attractions. Some of its USA properties include:
—Legoland parks and resorts near Orlando and north of San Diego
—Madame Tussauds in Washington DC, Las Vegas New York and San Francisco
—Legoland Discovery Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, suburban Detroit and Tempe, Arizona.
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