American Express Sells Travel Impressions to Apple Leisure Group

caribbean beachAmerican Express and Apple Leisure Group have announced an agreement under which Apple Leisure Group will acquire American Express’ global tour operator business, including Travel Impressions.

The deal also includes American Express’ international tour operator businesses in Europe and Mexico, managed by Travel Impressions and known as American Express Vacations International (AEVI).  Terms of the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2013, were not disclosed.

As a part of this agreement, Travel Impressions will be a preferred supplier and license the American Express Vacations brand in order to continue to be the exclusive supplier of packaged vacation products and services sold through this brand to American Express Travel’s customers.

Travel Impressions will continue to operate its business under the existing brand including selling its services beyond those provided to American Express. The Apple Leisure Group and Travel Impressions executive teams will work closely to assess operations with an eye to integrating the best practices and using the talent and customer service focus of both companies in the most efficient manner.  

“The acquisition of Travel Impressions and the international tour operator business they manage underscores our commitment to innovation and to building out Apple Leisure Groups’ market-leading portfolio and first-class customer service, now utilizing a larger vertical platform,” said Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group.

"American Express Travel is committed to providing world-class customer service and the best expertise and advice when serving the travel and lifestyle needs of our customers," said Lisa Durocher, SVP and GM of American Express Travel.  "With this focus in mind, we made the strategic decision to sell our tour operator business and establish a partnership where we could continue to deliver award-winning vacation packages and products to our agents and customers through American Express Vacations."

“We are very pleased with the acquisition of Travel Impressions and the international tour operator business, which have  an outstanding reputation for providing successful customer-centric programs and processes," said Jeff Mullen, co-President of Apple Vacations, the tour operator division of Apple Leisure Group.  Tim Mullen, co-President of Apple Vacations, added, "This strategic transaction provides a tremendous opportunity to enhance the Apple Leisure Group portfolio and drive greater value and service  to our customers by taking advantage of the strong executive and employee teams of both companies to promote sustained industry leadership."

“We are excited about the opportunity to drive growth and to innovate with Travel Impressions’ products and services,” said Steve Gorga, President and CEO of Travel Impressions.  “This is the right next step for our company, I look forward to collaborating with the leadership team to further cement the industry leadership of Travel Impressions and Apple Leisure Group.”

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