The former chief executive of US-based Travel Leaders Group has died.

Barry Liben was 67 and had faced a long year of health battles, according to the company.

Liben was chairman of Tzell Travel Group, which merged with Travel Leaders Group in 2008.

He had additionally served as chief executive of Travel Leaders Group until 2015 and was a member of the company’s board of directors.

Liben worked with chairman Michael Batt to grow the business from $7 billion in annual sales volume to nearly $20 billion.

During his tenure, Travel Leaders Group acquired Protravel International, and Nexion, while expanding internationally beyond the US and UK into Canada, Australia, Ireland and Greece.

The organisation subsequently acquired Scottish agency chain Barrhead Travel.

Cindy Schlansky and Monty Swaney, co-presidents of Tzell Travel Group described Liben as “an icon in the travel industry”.

Batt added: “Barry will be remembered as a kind and generous leader who was driven to succeed through determination and hard work.

“He was one of our travel industry’s biggest champions and will be missed by all.”