- Worldchoice Ireland and Travelsavers to merge under Worldchoice brand
- growing from 39 locations to 67 locations
- Carol Anne O’Neill and Mary King to work together
Two of the four leading Irish travel agency consortia are to merge.: Worldchoice Ireland and Travelsavers are to create a 67-shop consortium under the Worldchoice brand.
Over the next 12 months, Worldchoice Ireland and TSA Travel Associates (Travelsavers) brands will integrated under the Worldchoice brand as part of a strategic partnership.
Worldchoice Ireland will be Ireland’s largest consortium by volume. Travel Centres has 66 members and 76 shops.
Established in England in 1978, Worldchoice group organised in Ireland on November 11 1996 and was headed up in its period of initial expansion by Cathy Burke, now of Travel Counsellors. Garry Zancanaro severed as Ireland manager through the noughties followed by Don Shearer, formerly of Falcon Holidays. Carol Anne O’Neill took over the role in 2015.
In 2008 the English arm merged with TTA and in 2011 the consortium in England was re-branded as The Travel Network Group. Worldchoice Ireland remains part of the TTNG group, but all commercial agreements supplier relationship and the entire operation managed here in Ireland.
Travelsavers was founded in Brooklyn in 1972 by AJ Rick Mazza and is headquartered in Oyster Bay, NY, spanning 35 countries with 3,265 independently owned travel agencies generating sales of $22bn. Travelsavers Ireland will be leaving the US-led group as part of the deal.
Travelsavers first organised in Ireland as TEAMS and was established by Dominic Burke who later moved to set up Travel Centres in 2005 just as TEAMS was becoming Travelsavers. Brian Rafferty, Helena Sheehan and Mary King headed up Travelsavers’ Irish operation.
A group of eight agencies largely based in Dublin, led my Rory McDyer, had already registered the Travelsavers brand. They agreed to disband in 2004 after being offered incentives by the Mazzas.
Carol Anne O’Neill, Commercial Manager of Worldchoice ireland said nshe looks forward to working with Mary King (Country Manager Travelsavers) to grow, develop and manage the business “Our strategic partnership with Travelsavers will result in our collective membership base growing from 39 locations to 67 locations in 2018 and will strengthen our presence in the greater Dublin area, South West and West of Ireland. This partnership clearly establishes Worldchoice as Ireland’s leading travel partnership and the economies of scale will be of benefit to all members”
Mary King, Country Manager of Travelsavers said: “I am looking forward to working with Carol Anne, along with the Travelsavers and Worldchoice members to ensure a smooth transition and integration of the two brands in the coming year”
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