Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben said that Alexandria (VA)-based Vacation.com will continue to operate as a stand-alone division led by its President Steve Tracas. Tracas will report directly to Liben.
Vacation.com is the product of the 1998 acquisition and consolidation of 10 leading travel agency marketing organizations. Added to the more than 1,200 travel agency locations and thousands of travel agents already affiliated with Travel Leaders Group, Liben noted that the newly enlarged company is now comprised of nearly 6,400 wholly-owned, franchised and affiliated locations – almost 30% of the total travel agencies located within the United States and Canada. Liben said, “The agency business is our heart and soul – it’s what we know and it’s all we do.”
“Vacation.com brings excellent quality agencies, increased size and significant buying opportunities to Travel Leaders Group,” explained Michael Batt, Chair and Founder of Travel Leaders Group. “We exist solely to improve the operations and profitability of traditional travel agencies and agents and there is no question in my mind that by bringing together almost one third of North America’s agencies under one umbrella we can do even more for each and every agency and agent working within our brands and companies. We believe this is a good day for Travel Leaders, Vacation.com and the travel agency community in general and we very much look forward to working with the management teams from both Travel Leaders and Vacation.com to continue to improve all our agencies competitiveness, operations and profitability.”
Liben also indicated that the Vacation.com acquisition provides Travel Leaders Group with unprecedented volume in serving high-end and ultra high-end travelers. “With over $300 million in annual luxury sales volume alone, Vacation.com significantly increases our presence in the luxury market and we expect to aggressively increase this over time,” Liben added.