Altour Buys 12 American Express Travel Service OfficesOctober 5, 2009 By: George Dooley
American Express has agreed to sell 12 travel service offices to Altour with the travel offices to remain a part of the American Express Retail Network. The move is the latest in the strategic partnership between Altour and American Express Retail Travel Network announced earlier this year. The deal is expected to close by year-end.
The American Express Retail Travel Network includes both owned travel service offices and members of the U.S. Representative Travel Network. The transaction was originally reported in The Wall Street Journal.
With the new announcement, American Express and Altour said they will expand an existing relationship forged in May when Altour became a member of the American Express U.S. Representative Travel Network and the two companies joined forces to provide new programs and services for the network.
Ranked among the world's largest independent agencies, Altour currently represents $850 million in sales, has 63 office locations around the globe, and specializes in meeting the needs of high−end and mid−market travelers. The company is one of the largest members of the U.S. Representative Travel Network and a key strategic partner.
The 12 offices being sold are geographically spread throughout the United States, from New York to California and from Illinois to Texas. "We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with American Express," said Alexandre Chemla, president and owner, of Altour. "This transaction expands Altours’s leisure travel business and extends our reach as we continue to offer customers premium travel programs and first−class service."
"I am pleased that these travel offices will remain a critical part of our extended network through Altour, allowing us to continue serving customers with the American Express brand and benefits," said Ellen Bettridge, vice president, American Express Retail Travel Network. "With the sale of these travel offices to an established partner, we will maintain a broad network presence in key markets and refocus investments in the travel service offices we continue to own."
Established in 1991 by Chemla, Altour has grown to become a global leader and one of the
largest agencies serving the luxury and mid−market travel niches. The company has more than 1,000 travel professionals located throughout the United States and in Europe.