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Culture Trip website sold to U.S. media company

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Travel guide and tours booking site TheCultureTrip.com has been acquired by media organization U.S. News & World Report.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but a statement said TheCultureTrip.com is the latest to join U.S. News’ travel franchise, which already includes “rankings, trips and advice to empower travelers with information to help them decide where they want to go, choose how to get there, where to stay and things to do.”

Culture Trip has had an interesting journey since its founding in 2011. It announced funding of $80 million in 2018, with some questioning whether travel content publishers were trying to reinvent the wheel with the launch of online booking services.

The funding was earmarked for the launch of an online travel agency, which was unveiled in mid-2019. Culture Trip later evolved its e-commerce strategy with the addition of multi-day tours in mid-2021.

Finally, in the middle of last year, the company announced it was exploring opportunities to sell up or bring in new investors. 

Eric Gertler, U.S. News executive chairman and CEO, said, “As we continue to find ways to help people make informed decisions, the Culture Trip website is a natural extension of our U.S. News Travel business. Consumers want information they can trust and resources they can rely on when planning a trip. This acquisition now empowers millions of travelers with the tools they need to find the best value and experience.”

The website was acquired from holding company Culture Trip Travel U.K. Ana Jakimovska, CEO of the holding company, said, “The Culture Trip mission is to connect people through expert reviewed destinations globally and is considered one of the most ‘insider’ resources for travelers deciding where they want to have the best experience. Adding to this, the ability to experience the travel recommendations via our small, insider-led group trips makes Culture Trip a holistic travel platform. We are thrilled about the expertise and resources U.S. News brings in helping us fulfill this mission.”

Jakimovska had led a management buyout of the company prior to it announcing it was exploring a potential sale.

According to the statement, more than 50 million travelers visit travel.USNews.com annually. The company also offers services including GoToSea and worldwide travel guides.

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