SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Four of Utah’s top travel agencies have formed a new company, Consolidated Travel Brokers, LLC. Consolidated Travel Brokers will market under the name Best Travel Deals Group. The four agency partners: Travel Zone, Cruise & Travel Masters, Good Times Travel, and Christopherson Travel Group have a combined booking and buying power of over $125 million. This new venture is the largest travel buyer in the Utah market.
The travel industry has been changing unprecedentedly over the last few years. As a result, much industry consolidation has been taking place. Best Travel Deals Group was established to expand the buying power of the four individual agencies without losing the many benefits the entrepreneurships have with local ownership and high-touch service. Best Travel Deals Group is currently negotiating with major travel operators and finalizing travel discount agreements.
“In the past year, we’ve weathered three major travel industry events: the downturn in the economy, the tragedy of September 11th, and the final cut-elimination-of commissions by the airlines. These events converged in a way that created ‘the perfect storm’ for travel agents. Successful travel agencies have had to re-think the way they do business in order to navigate the storm,” said Mike Cameron, Christopherson Travel Group president. “The formation of Best Travel Deals Group is the result of four entrepreneurs sailing together to reach a new destination of greater value for our clients.”
“With the travel industry changing on a regular basis, those agencies that can be most flexible will have the greatest success,” said Kent Smith, owner of Good Times Travel. “Efficiencies of scale emerge as we create friendly, competitive alliances with the right vendors. It will allow us to offer the best pricing available-and really, that’s what it’s all about.”
About Travel Zone
Founded in 1983 by Jon C. Jones, Travel Zone’s strengths lie in the diversity and knowledge of its staff. Their expertise in corporate travel management, conventions and incentive services, high-end and adventure travel, and cruises and leisure vacations assures the greatest value and the most in-depth knowledge of the destination. Travel Zone’s affiliation with the prestigious Leisure Travel Group consortium expands the travel options and provided more value for today’s educated traveler. This, combined with our focus on state-of-the-art technology, has made Travel Zone a forerunner in the competitive travel industry, both locally and nationally.
About Cruise & Travel Masters
Recognized as one of the West’s premiere leisure agencies, Cruise & Travel Masters is ranked among the top producers for every major cruise line in the industry. Last year they were also recognized as the top producing Hawaii agency out of 9,500 Vacation.com agencies in the nation. Established in 1984 by Katie McDaniel and Toby Nash, the agency has a staff of 20 employees and 40 independent agents servicing clients nationwide. They accommodate all travel needs including airline ticketing, domestic and international cruises, leisure travel and corporate travel. They also specialize in groups and incentive travel programs.
About Good Times Travel
With seven locations along the Wasatch Front, Good Times Travel is Utah’s largest Funjet Vacations Specialist. Good Times Travel is the largest Utah seller of Mexico travel. They provide travel services to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Southern California/Disneyland, as well as cruises. Established in 2000, Good Times Travel was founded by Kent Smith, formerly the Vice President of Murdock Travel and the Vice President of Advertising for Morris Air. The agency works with all types of travel, including leisure, corporate, airline ticketing, and group sales.
About Christopherson Travel Group
Christopherson Travel Group is a leader in travel management. With 90 employees and 17 offices across the Intermountain West, the company supports more than $75 million in annual travel sales. Christopherson Travel Group provides cost saving, innovative travel management solutions to more than 650 companies. Founded in 1953, the company is known for its commitment to meeting all the client’s national and global business travel needs. CTG is the exclusive Utah/Idaho affiliate of WorldTravel BTI-one of the largest and most progressive travel management firms in the world.