Plymouth Travel Agency Plans “Aggressive” Growth In UK
Travel Leaders Group recently announced that it combined operations of its two largest businesses in the United Kingdom with a new 5,805-square-foot headquarters building in London, which it said was the first step in a plan for “aggressive expansion” in Europe.
The Plymouth-based privately-held company bills itself as one of the largest travel companies in the country and said it generated annual sales of “over $20 billion” last year. Its Tzell UK and Protravel UK brands—which have combined sales of $66 million—will come together to create Travel Leaders UK.
Although Travel Leaders representative Steve Loucks told Twin Cities Business that the company isn’t releasing specific expansion details yet, CEO Barry Liben said in a statement that the company expects “growth to be both organic and through acquisition.”
“Bringing Protravel and Tzell together in new London headquarters is the first step on an aggressive expansion plan in the UK and Europe,” Liben said in a statement. “The objective is to replicate the success of our U.S. business on this side of the Atlantic.”
Travel Leaders was created in 2008 after Minneapolis-based Carlson sold its Carlson Leisure Group to the group’s management team—at the time, the company had about $5 billion in annual sales. The company’s revenue has grown by 300 percent since that time and now employs 2,590 companywide—80 of whom are already in the United Kingdom and 121 of whom work in Minnesota.
In 2010, Travel Leaders acquired travel agency Nexion and Vacation.com, a consortium of traditional travel agencies. Then in 2012, it bought luxury travel agency Protravel International. The purchase prices were not disclosed.
Travel Leaders said Protravel’s Director Tina Rose was appointed managing director of the new company and Tzell’s Managing Director Barry Whittaker will be the new company’s executive director of business development and acquisitions.