The US owner of Barrhead Travel is eyeing “large-scale” international expansion in the business travel arena.

Travel Leaders Network and sister company Travel Leaders Corporate have already signed 40 travel agencies from Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia as new members.

Many more agencies are expected to join over the coming months, according to the company which listed new international members from countries including China, France, Japan and Russia.

Combined, the network now has agency representation in almost 50 countries.

Agencies as part of parent company Travel Leaders Group across the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico, will also play a “significant role” in the international expansion.

Travel Leaders Network president Roger Block said: “We are creating a network of agencies that will serve as connective tissue enabling us to respond to larger opportunities both regionally and internationally.

“These agencies, now backed by the scale, technology and tools available through Travel Leaders, are positioned to provide an even more customised, personalised and superior level of service to existing and new clients within their respective geographies.”

New members, some claimed to be are among the largest corporate travel agencies in their countries, join several existing international members of Travel Leaders Network.

Block added: “Our plan is to sign one exclusive Travel Leaders representative in key countries around the globe.

“We are engaging partners who can offer a full portfolio of corporate, leisure and events services and are recognised in their country and by their peers as service-oriented, successful agencies.”

New international members will have access to Travel Leaders’ resources including online booking tools, marketing, an extensive hotel programme, an international destination company network as well as education and training resources.

Travel Leaders Corporate president Gabe Rizzi said: “This expansion programme is transforming both Travel Leaders Network and Travel Leaders Corporate into more robust international players with stronger abilities and reach enabling true multi-national account management based upon a highly personalised service model on an international scale.

“Clients will be serviced by local agencies who are leaders in their markets providing premium corporate travel services supported by a vast array of technology.

“These innovative agencies are now backed by one of the largest travel agency networks in the world. We’re not a call centre operation and neither are they. That’s our sweet spot and our competitive difference.”

Member support will be provided on a regional basis with key positions located in each region, including Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific.

“We have hired regional sales professionals in the areas of sales, operations, technology and account management to create a more localised support structure to best serve the needs of our international members,” Rizzi added.

New regional team members include Susan Lancaster, regional partner management director, Europe, Middle East and Africa.