Putting its money squarely where its flagship brand name is, Travel Acquisitions Group is officially being renamed as Travel Leaders Group. With combined wholly-owned and franchised sales of over $7.3 billion last year, the relatively new Travel Leaders Group enterprise already ranks as the eighth largest travel company in the United States, as well as among the top five brands with a national retail presence.
“Now that we have succeeded in establishing a strong and very visible presence with hundreds of Travel Leaders locations in practically every state, it is time for our corporate entity to be aligned with our long-term strategy of further growing Travel Leaders,” explained Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “In February, when we announced the formation of Travel Leaders Corporate – which encompasses our entire wholly-owned business travel operations – we affirmed our commitment to making Travel Leaders our marquee brand. Thus, this decision to use Travel Leaders Group as our overarching name became even easier.”
In heralding the change to Travel Leaders Group, Liben confirmed that all the company’s leisure brands have been brought together under the leadership of Tom Baumann, who is now serving as president of Travel Leaders Leisure Group. This division includes all wholly-owned and franchised leisure-focused brands, including All Aboard Travel, CruiseDeals.com, Cruise Holidays, Cruise Specialists, Luxury Travel Network, Partners In Travel, SeaMaster Cruises, SinglesCruise.com and company-owned leisure locations for Travel Leaders.
“Today, we are also reaffirming Travel Leaders Group’s desire to continue growing organically, as well as through continued acquisitions and additions of new franchisees to our dynamic network,” Liben noted. “We won’t rest until Travel Leaders and all individual brands in our company are regarded as the leaders in their respective markets.”
Underscoring Liben’s point was Travel Leaders Group’s ability to grow its corporate business during the first quarter of 2009; Travel Leaders’ wholly-owned and Associate (franchised) locations won over $94 million in new business accounts. Also, after its January 2008 spin-off from Carlson, the Travel Leaders Franchise Group – led by Roger E. Block, CTC – attracted 13 new Travel Leaders Associate locations with annual sales volume in excess of $105 million, with many entering the system prior to the announcement of the new brand last August. Since announcing the new Travel Leaders name, 80% of all Associate locations have either completed the process of rebranding already or are well in progress; the rebranding initiative to Travel Leaders will be complete by the end of 2009.