Since the start of 2012 travel agents have been enjoying a renaissance of good press, and that trend has continued with a recent profile of Michael Batt, chairman and founder of Travel Leaders Group, in the Wall Street Journal.
Batt has worked in marketing at British Airways and as executive vice president of marketing at Alamo Rent-a-Car. He became president of Carlson Leisure Group and a board member of Carlson Wagonlit Travel in 1996. In 2008 he led a buyout of Carlson Leisure, renaming it Travel Acquisitions Group. Later that year, with backing from private investment firm One Equity Partners, he merged the company with Tzell Travel, which was led by Barry Liben. In 2009 the combined company became known as Travel Leaders Group, and in 2010 the new company purchased Nexion and Vacation.com, increasing the number of its agencies to over 6,000.
Batt has also founded a new site for travelers visiting Fort Lauderdale, Destination Meals (www.DestinationMeals.com). Visiting out-of-state travelers will be offered $30 promotional discount vouchers for $15 prepaid to be used at any of a select group of ultimately close to 100 establishments appealing to leisure and business travelers.
The vouchers can be purchased through a variety of channels, beginning with travel agencies, along with major airline, car rental and other distribution partners, as well as directly through www.DestinationMeals.com. While the new company is outside Travel Leaders Group, Travel Leaders agents will be able to sell and earn commission on the service.
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