InteleTravel acquires majority stake in Major Travel for undisclosed sum

InteleTravel has pledged to make Major Travel the leading trade-only operator in the UK after acquiring a majority stake for an undisclosed sum.

The homeworking agency said the investment aims to deliver “significant benefits” for both companies and help all UK agents compete with direct-sell operators.

North London-based Major Travel, which has an Atol for 11,877 passengers annually, has launched a recruitment drive to double the size of its team by December. It reported a gross retail turnover of £25 million for the 12 months to March 2023, when it had 32 employees.

Marking its 50th anniversary this year, Major has developed from its roots as an air consolidator and North America specialist to a tailor-made operator.

InteleTravel said the agency’s investment would enable Major Travel to “grow significantly while retaining its operational independence”.

InteleTravel said in a statement: “By leveraging InteleTravel’s global agent community, Major Travel will gain enhanced buying power, allowing it to secure exclusive contracts with suppliers.

“Thus, the investment will enable all UK agents to compete more effectively against direct-sell operators, as well as offer significant and unprecedented benefits for all travel agents working with Major Travel.”

InteleTravel will integrate Major Travel’s tailored premium and luxury long-haul holidays and other inventory into its own booking platform. This will create new revenue streams and boost profit margins for its 20,000 agents in the UK and Ireland, the agency said.

Qasim Gulamhusein, Major Travel managing director, retains his shareholding and continues to lead the company, with current employees remaining in their roles.

He said: “Our vision is to become the leading trade-exclusive tour operator in the UK within the next five years. The biggest winner from this will be UK travel agents, who will gain access to an enhanced product range and an increase in expert in-house advisors for every region worldwide.

“Our expanded buying power will enable us to negotiate exclusive rates with airlines and hotels globally, creating a shift where direct-sell operators will struggle to compete with travel agents.”

James Ferrara, InteleTravel co-founder and president, added: “Our goal is to become an integrated powerhouse in the UK travel industry in sales, product, meetings and other services. We believe Major Travel is uniquely positioned to become the leading trade-only operator in the country. Our involvement with Major Travel will focus exclusively on its growth as a separate entity from our core homeworking business.

“This approach will reassure existing preferred partners and suppliers that our intention is not to divert revenue away from them but to amplify the opportunities in working with us.

“Major Travel is set to launch in Ireland in 2024, with plans to launch a full-service operation in North America in 2025.”

InteleTravel has 110,000 agents across the UK, Ireland, the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. The InteleTravel group claims an annual turnover of more than $2.5 billion.

Gulamhusein and business partner Miqdaad Versi took an 85% stake in Major Travel in 2017.

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