PLYMOUTH, MINN. – In a joint statement, Travel Leaders Group and CruCon Cruise Outlet are announcing they have signed an agreement for Travel Leaders Group to make a significant investment in CruCon in early 2017. Under the continued leadership of Sandy Cleary, Travel Leaders Group – by way of its CruCon platform – will seek to consolidate up to $1 billion in annual cruise sales volume over the next several years. Cleary will ultimately oversee an investment strategy designed to dramatically increase Travel Leaders Group’s wholly-owned cruise volume.
New Hampshire-based CruCon, founded in 1997 by Cleary, has grown into one of the largest sellers of cruises with more than $125 million in annual cruise volume. It currently ranks as one of the largest members of Travel Leaders Network – a Travel Leaders Group division – having first joined in 1999.
Travel Leaders Group’s wholly-owned cruise-focused businesses – All Aboard Travel, CruiseDeals.com, Cruise Specialists and SinglesCruise.com – currently comprise the company’s Travel Leaders Leisure Group division. With the investment in CruCon, Travel Leaders Group anticipates exponential growth in its wholly-owned cruise sales volume. Travel Leaders Group is North America’s largest traditional travel agency company with nearly $21 billion in annual sales volume through its Travel Leaders Leisure Group, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network, Travel Leaders Elite (Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group) and Nexion divisions.
“Since our inception in 2008, Travel Leaders Group has sought to make investments in travel businesses that strategically align with ours,” explained Ninan Chacko, CTC, Chief Executive Officer for Travel Leaders Group. “By investing significantly in CruCon Cruise Outlet – one of the industry’s foremost cruise leaders – we see an opportunity to rapidly increase Travel Leaders Group’s cruise volume, thus further strengthening the already substantial, high quality demand we deliver to cruise lines.”
“We are very excited to be part of the Travel Leaders Group family particularly because of what this will mean to the overall future of the cruise industry and the agent distribution channel,” noted Cleary. “While CruCon’s growth over the last 19 years has been enviable, Travel Leaders Group has resources that will allow us to grow enormously, along with the potential to add their industry-leading air, hotel and land products to our portfolio. That will enable our clients to enjoy more fulfilling – and cost effective – cruise experiences.”
“Through CruCon Cruise Outlet’s 17-year membership in what is now Travel Leaders Network, we have long been impressed with their best-in-class processes to drive and improve results,” stated John Lovell, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network & Leisure Group. “Through our investment in CruCon, we are prepared to undertake an investment strategy – managed by Sandy Cleary – to integrate additional cruise agencies into Travel Leaders Leisure Group. This will significantly increase our sphere of influence with our supplier partners and allow us to capture additional economies of scale.”
According to Travel Leaders Group, the investment in CruCon will be made in early 2017. No additional details regarding the investment will be divulged.
Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generated gross travel sales of approximately $21 billion in 2015. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.