The acquisition (value undisclosed) was made via a new company called Webdibular and sees Brown reunited with his brother Phil, himself a former web developer at Sunshine, who will work part-time on the project in the interim.
Holiday Truth is primarily a member community where consumers post questions and reviews of travel products and services. It currently has around 130,000 reviews on the system (many are old, Brown admits) but a lively and interactive forum.
Brown says the company plans to completely overhaul the entire site and rebrand it in the coming months, with holiday reviews the area earmarked for the biggest growth potential.
Review forums are nothing new to Brown, of course – he and his former Sunshine founders were previously owners of the Holiday Watchdog review site which they sold in February 2008 to TripAdvisor¬†for an undisclosed fee.
Perhaps not impressed with how the review marketplace has evolved since then, Brown says:
“Whats our USP? Don’t be a TripAdvisor clone like most of the other hotel review websites. This is all about bringing those holiday reviews back to an independent site.”
It turns out that Sunshine has eyed Holiday Truth previously.
Its new managing director Chris Clarkson says:
“”We’re delighted Chris has acquired Holiday Truth. We even tried in the past to discuss acquiring the site when he was still at Sunshine.co.uk, so for someone with a travel agency background, like Chris, it’s an untapped goldmine with tremendous potential.”