InteleTravel takes majority stake in Major Travel

InteleTravel takes major stake in Major Travel
By Lisa James
23/05/2024
Home » InteleTravel takes majority stake in Major Travel

InteleTravel has taken a majority stake in trade-only brand Major Travel.

InteleTravel said it aims to make Major Travel the leading trade-only operator and Major Travel said the investment from InteleTravel will enable it to grow significantly, while retaining its operational independence.

“By leveraging InteleTravel’s global agent community, Major Travel will gain enhanced buying power, allowing it to secure exclusive contracts with suppliers,” Major Travel said in a statement.

“This will enable all UK and Ireland travel agents to compete more effectively against direct-sell operators, as well as offer significant and unprecedented benefits for all InteleTravel agents working with Major Travel.

“Major Travel will remain a trade-exclusive operator and has commenced a recruitment drive to double the size of its team by the end of the year. InteleTravel plans to integrate Major Travel’s bespoke premium and luxury long-haul holidays and other inventory into its proprietary booking platform, expanding its product range and creating new revenue opportunities for its network of agents.”

Major Travel Managing Director Qasim Gulamhusein will retain his shareholding and continue to lead the company, with all current staff and employees remaining in their existing roles.

He said: “Our vision is to become the leading trade-exclusive tour operator in the UK within the next five years. The biggest winner from this investment will be UK and Ireland travel agents, who will gain access to an enhanced product range and an increase in expert in-house advisors for every region worldwide, supporting them and their clients’ itineraries.

“Our expanded buying power will enable us to negotiate exclusive rates with airlines and hotels globally, creating a shift where direct-sell operators will struggle to compete with travel agents. Additionally, this investment will allow us to further develop our mobile-friendly booking platform, Major Go, with new tools designed to help travel agents sell more effectively.”

InteleTravel co-founder and President James Ferrara said: “With our core business firmly established in the UK, our goal is to become an integrated powerhouse in the UK travel industry in sales, product, meetings and other services.

“We chose to invest in Major Travel because we believe it is uniquely positioned to become the leading trade-only operator in the country.

“Our involvement with Major Travel will focus exclusively on its growth as a distinct and separate entity from our core homeworking business. This approach will reassure our existing preferred partners and suppliers that our intention is not to divert revenue away from them but to amplify the opportunities in working with us.”

In a video message on InteleTravel’s Facebook group, UK and Ireland Managing Director Tricia Handley-Hughes said InteleTravel was just about to announce ‘the industry’s worst-kept secret’.

James told InteleTravel agents: “This is a really big deal. It is the first time InteleTravel is taking ownership of product. We are an incredible distribution machine. We distribute travel at an unprecedented scale but we have never owned some of the products and now in this new partnership with Major Travel we have that benefit.

“It gives us a voice in the development of product, a way to be more responsible, a way to earn more.” He added the publicity surrounding the deal ‘helps lift the brand’.

Major Travel, a 50-year-old brand, was one of the first tour operators to start working with InteleTravel when it entered the UK market. It is licensed to carry almost 11,500 passengers.

Prior to the pandemic, Major was best known as a US specialist, but since 2020 it has pivoted to expand into other destinations. According to Companies House, it made a gross profit for the year to the end of March 2023 of £2.4 million.

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