Murdock Travel, a Utah-based full-service travel agency, today announced the purchase of LDS Travel Study, a leading provider of educational travel for LDS Church members.
Becky Potts, president of Morris Murdock Travel, called the purchase “a momentous step forward for our company as we look towards continually leading our industry into the future. LDS Travel Study will add to Morris Murdock Travel’s strong standing in the LDS travel industry and allow us to offer our LDS clients a combined total of over 100 years of experience between these two agencies.”
Founded in after Brigham Young University closed their travel department, LDS Travel Study continues to provide LDS tours to worldwide destinations. These packages specialize in all-inclusive LDS guided tours to LDS Church History sites, “Holy Land” sites such as Israel and Egypt, and excursions to Europe and the South Pacific. Tours are also offered to Central and South America, areas of the world that members of the LDS faith term “the Lands of the Book of Mormon,” based on their belief that the Book of Mormon is written by ancient peoples who lived in these areas.
Current or retired teachers from various BYU teaching departments and/or the LDS Church Education System often direct LDS Travel Study tours.
“We feel that LDS Travel Study was a perfect fit with our Morris Murdock Escorted Tours department,” Potts continued. “Both Morris Murdock and LDS Travel Study have been sending travelers around the world for over fifty years and while we offer much more than just LDS-based travel, it’s a niche market that we are strong in, especially with our Utah-based roots.”
“That being said,” Potts continued. “We also have plans to move forward in our other divisions as well, including our leisure department, our business travel group, and we will continue to grow in our specialty travel areas such as honeymoon travel, themed-cruises, adventure travel, and more. While we are very excited about this step forward as a company, we want to make sure people understand that we are not just an LDS travel company, that we offer unforgettable vacation options to everyone of all faiths and lifestyles.”
Jim Barsch, Morris Murdock Travel’s Vice President of Wholesale Travel and director of the Morris Murdock Escorted Tours department assures LDS Travel Study customers that the business model they are used to will face very minimal changes.
“The reason we first entertained the idea of purchasing of LDS Travel Study was because we respected the way they run their tours and the unique product experience they offer,” Barsch said. “The educational aspect, the group closeness, and the top-level tour directors will all stay the same. We will continue to maintain the high standards and experience that LDS Travel Study customers are accustomed to.” “Additionally, through Morris Murdock Escorted Tours, we will be able to offer additional travel destinations that have not been traditionally available to customers of LDS Travel Study”.
Barsch has seen a trend developing in the escorted tours industry for faith niche oriented products, particularly for the LDS-related tours offered by Morris Murdock Escorted Travel and LDS Travel Study.
“Faith is becoming an important factor in the travel decisions of many travelers,” Barsch said. “They want to explore their roots, strengthen themselves in their spirituality, and visit sites related to their chosen faith. Having specialized in LDS travel for fifty years, we’ve noticed that for members of this faith it is especially meaningful and exciting to visit early Church History sites on the East Coast of the United States, Israel, and Central and South American sites. Through this purchase we’ve been able to expand our tour offerings and to enlist an even larger number of talented and knowledgeable tour directors to meet the growing travel-needs of the LDS community.”
Terms of the sales were not disclosed.