Breathe luxury vacation rentals acquires Sandbanks tour agency, fuelling expansion across Eastern Ontario

vacation tour sandbanks

Ottawa-based Breathe Vacation Rentals is continuing its expansion across Ontario and western Quebec with the acquisition of Sandbanks Vacations, a popular tour and rental agency in Prince Edward County.

The acquisition comes as Breathe works to grow its portfolio of rental properties and become a one-stop shop for well-rounded vacation experiences in the region, said co-owner Scott Clément. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Sandbanks Vacations has been a very well-known tour operator in Prince Edward County for 15 years, and we’ve always been in love with what they have been able to produce, so it’s been on our radar for a number of years now,” Clément said. “The owner was retiring, and we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to bid on the company.”

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Sandbanks Vacations was also Breathe’s primary competition for vacation rentals in the County, Clément explained. 

“If you hear of people doing wine tours in Prince Edward County, chances are they’re doing it through (Sandbanks Vacations),” he said. “They had their own property management arm, so that’s where they were our competitor, but they had the bonus of a big, established tour department.”

Prince Edward County is home to the majority of Breathe’s rental properties and is the most in-demand area of their portfolio, Clément said, due to the proximity to Toronto and the sought-after landscape.

With the acquisition, Breathe’s portfolio is now up to 100 rental properties.

Established in 2016, Breathe has grown from an Ottawa-focused property management company and expanded into a new community or county each year of operation, Clément said.

In the last few years, he said, Breathe has been capitalizing on the post-pandemic boom of travellers and tourists and “pent-up demand” for vacation rentals.

Recently, financial headwinds and the “questionable economy” have been putting strain on travel budgets, and Clément said he has seen people pulling back on their spending.

In response, both Sandbanks Vacations and Breathe are ramping up marketing and advertising, he said, and he plans to “cross-market” rental properties and tour offers.

In the future, Clément hopes to continue expanding Breathe’s portfolio, with a focus on establishing properties in Niagara Falls and Mont-Tremblant.

“We’re envisioning to be across Eastern Ontario everywhere from Toronto to Montreal and to be the go-to vacation package company,” Clément said. “So that our name is synonymous with any kind of tour or vacation destination.”

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