A coalition of sorts, Link Travel Group is either a sign there’s more than enough pent-up demand to go round, or that these competing agencies see safety in numbers. Either way, it’s an interesting take on the post-Covid, travel-selling business model.
Australia’s Flight Centre Travel Group has put aside any rivalries to assemble some of its competitors to create an agency coalition that will focus on corporate and luxury travel.
Flight Centre will have a 60 percent stake in the new joint venture, called Link Travel Group, which is being formed alongside Goldman Travel Corporation and the Spencer Group of Companies, which are also based in Australia.
It will be an invitation-only members’ group, with the goal to partner with other “high quality travel companies,” said Flight Centre in a statement.
It will be run by general manager Scott Darlow, who until recently was at Helloworld, before the sale of its corporate division to CTM earlier this month.
Link Travel Group’s initial board of directors includes: Danielle Galloway, executive general manager of Flight Centre’s premium brands; Anthony Goldman, Goldman Travel joint managing director; and Penny Spencer, founder of Spencer Group. An additional advisory board, consisting of inaugural members, will also be created.
Group Buying Power
This new super group of agencies wants to eventually offer support to other travel agencies, particularly those struggling from a lack of resources. In some way it acts as a consortium, offering members “world class technology, innovative business solutions and workflow improvement tools,” according to Goldman.
“It’s also about working with recognised specialists in the industry to create better ways of doing business,” he added. “Access to strong hotel and tour programs for the corporate and leisure markets, online booking tools for advisors and consumers, online travel advisory tools, advanced airline booking channels and relationship management programs are some of the instant benefits that are available to our members.“
It’s no coincidence all three companies are members of the Virtuoso network.
Goldman has also previously alluded to the fact it’s a response to airlines reducing their commissions. “It’s a changing landscape,” he said in an interview. “The airlines are cutting our lunch … we have staffing shortages, clients are more demanding and there are other business pressures.”
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Photo credit: Link Travel Group wants to help agencies that specialize in businesses trips and luxury travel. Huy Nguyen / Unsplash