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The travel agency consortium will combine its Travel Leaders Associates, Results! Travel, and Vacation.com brands into a new Travel Leaders Network brand, which will have more than 7,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
“When you have three organizations developing products, services, and programs, we were really duplicating efforts or competing against each other,” said John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group. “Confusion in the brand proposition drove a little bit of confusion. Now we can share best practices across the organizations, and this gives the supplier side one point of contact to reach over 33 percent of our distribution system.”
Members of the two brands that will be phased out will simply become a part of Travel Leaders Network, and won’t see any major changes until early 2017.
“This is about three successful organizations coming together, and bringing them together for our members’ and suppliers’ benefit,” said Lovell. “It’s about competing for the hearts and minds for the traveling public.”
Vacation.com, the biggest travel services marketing group in North America, was once a hot commodity in the travel industry.
In 2000, global distribution system Amadeus acquired Vacation.com, which counted counted 8,400 leisure agencies as members in the U.S. and Canada and claimed to be the largest travel agency consortium. The idea was that Vacation.com would combine the best of offline and online features for travel agent members and their clients.
Travel Leaders Group bought Vacation.com in 2011. By then its ranks had diminished to 5,100 travel agencies although it still laid claim to being the largest vacation and cruise-selling network in North America.
The changes are perhaps the most notable to take place since Travel Leaders Group hired former PR Newswire head Ninan Chacko as its CEO last summer. Travel Leaders Group also recently named a new executive in charge of corporate travel across its brands.
From a strategic perspective, the move will simplify relations between Travel Leaders Group, the largest leisure travel agency in the U.S., and its industry partners.