Triton Travel Group is in talks with potential new partners to join the super-consortium.
Chairman Steven Freudmann said current members Global Travel Group and TTA Worldchoice had reaffirmed their commitment to the group’s future at a board meeting last week, and hoped to increase the group’s viability and credibility through expansion.
This is despite fruitless talks to date with Worldchoice’s sister consortium Travel Trust Association (TTA) to encourage it to join the group and the decision by Advantage to quit the last autumn.
Freudmann, who had hoped to reveal new members for the group earlier this year, said: “We are in talks with several consortia, and with one very large player. We are going to talk to potential partners before we make any formal announcements. We need to know what the reaction will be from these other parties. I am reasonably optimistic.”
He refused to reveal the names of any interested parties, with an announcement is expected in a few weeks’ time.
Former Triton chairman and current Worldchoice chairman Colin Heal added that Triton hoped to strengthen the “voice for independent agents” and did not aim to compete with ABTA.
He added: “One of the aims of Triton has always been not only to develop commercially but to develop it as a forum for independent travel agents. We are just really now exploring the possibility of developing the organisation on a non-commercial basis.”
Other consortia said they had no plans to join Triton. Elite Travel Group merged its commercial operations with Advantage in October last year. Chairman Wayne Darrock said: “I can confirm Elite hasn’t had discussions relating to Triton.”
Irish consortium Consort Travel Group is already part of Global-owned Independent Options consortium but has considered closer ties with Triton and held talks with Advantage about joining its ranks. Secretary John Buchanan said: “We have not made any decision. We will be looking at this issue over the next few months.”
Freudmann denied there was any rift between existing members despite Global’s recent recruitment drive for its Independent Options division.
He added: “Triton will continue. There was a real commitment from existing partners that it was too good to allow it to disintegrate.”
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