1999: business launch
We launched our business on 1st December 1999. Drawing on experience from many years' involvement with major camping holiday operators, our first tour operating programmes featured pre-sited tents and mobile homes in France and a pitch and ferry reservation service for readers of the independent Alan Rogers guides.
2000: awarded exclusive UK agency for Camping Cheque
Winning a competitive pitch to become the exclusive UK agent for Camping Cheque was an important step in the development of our business. Providing the UK's leading low season holiday product for independent campers and caravanners immediately raised our profile and helped establish our position as a leading player in this important market.
2001: acquired Alan Rogers Guides Ltd
In October 2001 we acquired the company behind the Alan Rogers campsite guides. First published in 1968, the guides have long been the leader in the UK campsite guide market. Ownership of this well-known brand enabled us to develop our successful travel service with greater confidence as well as providing profit enhancement opportunities within guide publishing itself.
2002: formed Dutch subsidiary and acquired Belle France
In September 2002 we formed a Dutch subsidiary and opened a small office in the Netherlands to promote sales of the Alan Rogers guides in the Dutch language. The following month we acquired another tour operator, the cycling and walking holiday specialist Belle France - our first move into the 'soft adventure' market, offering considerable potential for profitable growth.
2003: business reorganisation and planned move to new HQ
The 2003 season saw continued growth but by the end of the year, our attention turned towards the effectiveness of our business organisation. In October 2003 we took the decision to combine our three separate UK offices with a move to a single base at Spelmonden Old Oast near Goudhurst in the Weald of Kent.
2004: acquired stake in Camping Cheque (now Kawan Group)
In October 2004, following another year of rapid growth in Camping Cheque sales in the UK, we acquired a minority stake in FFH SAS, the French holding company responsible for the Europe-wide success of Camping Cheque. This has since proved a very important investement with the recent growth and development of the re-named Kawan Group.
2005: launch of Alan Rogers Marketing in the Netherlands
A very significant development in 2005 was the launch of Alan Rogers Marketing with an important re-positioning of our activities in the Netherlands. This office is now exclusively focused on the sale of promotional products and marketing services to European campsites and is one of the fastest growing areas of our business.
2006: exclusive deal with European reservations system, CToutVert
Rapidly becoming the most dominant sales system for European campsites with over 800 sites already signed-up and on-line, the French-owned CToutVert system has become a powerful force in the European camping market. In the summer of 2006, Alan Rogers became the exclusive UK agent for CToutVert, using its XML interface to create a unique booking system for UK clients.
2007: agreement to produce an important new campsite guide for Dutch TV
Camping Life is a prime-time Dutch television programme aired on rtl(4) and backed by major Dutch camping firm, Vacansoleil. Subsidiary company Alan Rogers Guides agreed to launch a new camping guide to be promoted via the television programme. The project moved into its second year with substantial advertising support from campsites.
2008/09: major 3-year deal with Ryanair to become exclusive camping partner
With 58 million passengers travelling on 740 routes from 30 bases and plans to double traffic by 2012, Ryanair is a major force in European tourism. Promoted through the pages of Ryanair.com and operated by Alan Rogers, the launch of Ryanair Camping is a one of the most exciting developments in the European camping market for many years.
2010: launch of new identity for Alan Rogers and new 101 guides series
In September 2010 we introduced a new identity for Alan Rogers.
The new logo is designed to reflect the three elements of our market-leading camping business: publishing, travel and marketing. The re-branding coincides with the launch of a series of new guides: the 101 best campsites and an exciting new iPhone app to be launched in January.
2011: launch of Create Digital Media Ltd
With the pace of change accelerating in the digital publishing arena we set up a joint venture company, Create Digital Media to develop iPad versions of all Alan Rogers titles in 2012 and to further develop our hugely successful iPhone and Android apps. Create Digital Media also creates apps and e-books for external clients.