Travel Leaders to Buy NY-Based Travel Agency

The Plymouth-based travel agency operator said that the acquisition will add about $850 million in total sales volume to its bottom line.

Plymouth-based hospitality company Travel Leaders Group announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire New York-based Protravel International, Inc.
Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this month, were not disclosed.
Travel Leaders is a travel agency operator and franchisor that encompasses several brands and a network of more than 28,000 agents. It also provides marketing and technology services to travel agencies and individual agents.
Protravel, which also offers travel management services through a network of agents, will merge with Travel Leaders’ New York-based division, Tzell Travel Group. Agents under the Tzell brand specialize in travel management services for businesses.
According to Travel Leaders, Protravel generated $850 million in total “sales volume,” in 2011; that figure includes the value of services (airfares and the cost of hotel rooms, for example) that Protravel sells on behalf of airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and others. Protravel’s own revenue—money it earns in the form of service fees, franchising fees, and other means—is only a portion of the total sales volume. The company has agents in the United States and in London.
Travel Leaders said that Protravel and Tzell will together generate annual sales volume of about $2.35 billion. The two brands will retain their respective names, it said.
“Through the years, we have encountered many travel companies, but few formidable competitors have ever captured our admiration and respect to the extent that Protravel International has,” Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben said in a statement. “Our companies complement each other exceedingly well.” 

Travel Leaders used to be a division of Minnetonka-based hospitality giant Carlson and was formerly known as Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates. It was renamed when Carlson sold the division in 2008. The company generated total sales volume of  $17 billion in 2011 through its network of both wholly owned and franchised travel agency locations.

Liben told trade magazine Travel Agent Central that the merger with Protravel will make Tzell more profitable and “better poised for the future.” To learn about Travel Leaders' overall acquistion strategy, read the full story here.