Big Bus Tours, the world’s largest operator of open-top sightseeing tours, has expanded into South East Asia with its acquisition of the Singaporean Duck & Hippo tour company.The global company has taken over the seven sub-brands previously owned by the Duck & Hippo group namely Original Tour, Hippo Bus, Singapore 7 Sightseeing, Singapore Trolley, City Sightseeing and SIA Hop On.
The launch of Big Bus Tours in Singapore on 3rd September sees the first of the rebranded buses hit the streets. The fleet will undergo livery changes to become Big Bus Singapore over the next few weeks. Existing routes remain the same and include Orchard Road, Marina Bay, China Town, MBS Shopping, Little India, Singapore Flyer, Sentosa Island and the Raffles Hotel Singapore.
Founded in Singapore by James Heng in 2002, Duck & Hippo started with two Duck buses and 10 staffs. Today, it has grown to approximately 120 staffs with a fleet of 50 vehicles.Duck & Hippo’s key partners include the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Airlines, JTB, Ctrip, Viator, Expedia and all key attractions in the island. To date, the group has handled more than 650000 passengers annually and is a market leader in the tourism segment.
Alex Payne, CEO of Big Bus Tours said in a statement that the “The Duck & Hippo management have ran a very successful operation since 2002 and we are keen to continue with their expertise, knowledge of the city, and relationships with key partners. They have set a high standard for tours in Asia and so we are excited for them to help us expand further into the region.”
With the acquisition, Singapore will become the 21st city in the Big Bus Tours portfolio, after the most recent additions of Dublin and Los Angeles. Other cities in the portfolio include London, Paris, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Dubai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Rome, Budapest, Vienna, Istanbul and Sydney.