EBG Plots Consumer Play with Acquisition

The largely overlooked acquisition of Undercover Tourist could impact attraction ticket distribution as corporate benefits provider EBG plans B2C expansion

Reading Time: 2:35

The June announcement received little if any play in the travel trade press, and neither brand is a household name in travel and tourism. But they are well known to industry insiders in attraction ticket distribution.

EBG (formerly Entertainment Benefits Group), a leading provider of travel, entertainment, attraction and event tickets to corporate benefit and white label programs, acquired Undercover Tourist, a niche online travel agency (OTA) focused primarily on attraction tickets and vacations to theme parks in Florida and California.  

Why this matters:  Operators of attractions, events and activities seeking to expand their distribution should keep an eye on EBG, given its reach across B2B and corporate sales channels, as it expands its consumer reach with Undercover Tourist. 

Undercover Tourist may be a niche OTA with a narrow focus, but its role in attraction ticket distribution is not insignificant. The company has sold more than 25 million tickets since its founding in 2000, and the acquisition has not gone unnoticed in the world of theme park distribution.

EBG has a consumer business with Orlando Fun Tickets, but it is primarily known as a B2B (business-to-business) distributor with its TicketsatWork brand. The company says it services more than 40,000 corporations through its various benefits programs. This acquisition signals EBG’s plan to become a bigger player in B2C (business-to-consumer) attraction and entertainment distribution. 

Arival 360 | SAN DIEGO 2024

30 September – 3 October 2024

Insider Pro Access Members Save 20%

THE event of the year for solutions-focused In-Destination Experience
creators and sellers

Save up to $660 with the Spring Savings ticket

Learn More

“The opportunity is to expand the platform, and add sports, concerts and other tickets that [Undercover Tourist] hasn’t sold in the past,” said Stephanie Baker, EBG’s chief operating officer. She added that they will expand destination coverage as well beyond the two dozen or so U.S. cities currently offered on the site. 

“Our goal is for Undercover Tourist to become the number one source for attractions in the U.S.,” Baker said. 

Undercover Tourist sets itself apart by focusing on theme park vacations, according to founder and CEO Ian Ford. The site provides travelers with a range of editorial content and customer service to help them with the often complex process of choosing the right combination of park tickets for their trips. 

Attraction ticket distribution continues to be a challenge among travel resellers. A lack of connectivity and technology standards and wide variety of ticket types and rules and conditions complicate third-party distribution. Recent research from Arival indicates that many visitor attractions do not have direct connections to third-party distributors and are dissatisfied with their ticketing technology. 

Undercover Tourist’s Ford is moving over to head innovation and development at EBG Labs, a new unit within the group. Jennifer Alley,  chief commercial officer at Undercover Tourist, will continue to run the business as the new general manager.

Join us at Arival 360 | Las Vegas in October, featuring the Arival Attractions Forum and a series of in-depth sessions on the future of attraction distribution.


Sign up to receive insights tailored for the in-destination industry as well as updates on Arival.

Sign Up

Become a Pro Access member to save 20% on Arival in-person events and gain access to 600+ articles, 350+ on-demand videos, 45+ research reports, guides and more, starting at just $179/year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


already a member?

Lost your password?


Become an Arival Insider

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021.

Arival.travel articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Arival ProShield – Insurance program
Access to tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access Members. Insider Pro Access Members also have access to a suite of resources from Granite Insurance including templates, forms and other informative documents.

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events and in online community spaces:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for inclusion, diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from any event or community space at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected].