Of the agencies that contacted, “Some travel agency owners and / or independent contractors have chosen to become hosted by Vision Travel and Direct Travel to be able to stay in business and eliminate most of their operational and regulatory responsibilities. Other agencies are interested in our new purchasing formula, however many seem ready to wait for travel to return.
Travelweek checked with two agencies that have made big decisions in these unprecedented times. Uniglobe Carefree Travel of Saskatoon has acquired Uniglobe LGI Travel. And the Charrisma travel group of Barrie, Ont., Was recently acquired by Sportscorp Travel of Bolton, Ont.
Uniglobe Carefree co-owner Jamie Milton said the decision to buy Uniglobe LGI was driven by a desire to create “a stronger, more versatile company, well positioned to take advantage of the travel market upon return.”
“The pandemic has brought a lot of changes to the travel industry and it has caused many agency owners to look at their business model and operations and ask themselves where they want to go forward,” she says. “There are currently acquisition and growth opportunities that would never have been possible in“ normal ”times. If you are bold enough to believe in the future of our industry and believe that we are relevant and will be in high demand when returning from travel, then now is a great time to invest in your travel business and invest. in growth by acquisition.
Travelweek has also been in contact with Lauren Harris, Manager – Leisure Sales and Marketing, Sportscorp Travel & Charrisma Travel Leisure,
Harris’s family opened their travel agency in Barrie, ON in 1982, making Harris a third generation owner. She and Shawn Ashton, president of Sportscorp Travel, say their agencies have always focused on growing and improving business wherever it can be done “and this deal is the result of that will.”
Harris says she wasn’t looking for buyers when Charrisma was acquired by Sportscorp: “We weren’t looking to sell.”
The collaboration was perfect, as Bolton, ON Sportscorp is more corporate and group-centric, while Charrisma is recreation-centric. “Combining our operations in this acquisition allows our team to fully complement the customer experience by becoming a one-stop-shop for travelers and travel managers. We each filled gaps in each other’s businesses, which made it an ideal acquisition, ”said Harris and Ashton.
To read the full article, check out the April 29 issue of Travelweek here.