Ensemble Travel Group set for take-over

Toronto's Navigatr Group eyes expansion into luxury travel advisor network

Ensemble Travel Group is set to be acquired by Canadian-based company, Navigatr Group, after the parties agreed in principle to the acquisition.

Established in 1968, Ensemble Travel Group is a member-owned organisation of top-tier travel agencies throughout the US and Canada, with offices in New York and Toronto. The consortia had a short-lived presence in Australia with an office in Sydney that was ultimately would-up in April 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.

Navigatr Group is the owner of travel businesses including Kensington Tours, Travel Edge and Travel Edge Network, which according to its website comprises over 450 luxury travel advisors and hundreds of affiliates in North America.

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Ensemble Travel Group shareholders will vote on the merger on 14 April 2022, which if approved, will see Ensemble’s CEO David Harris retain his role, while Michael Johnson, who previously served as president of Travel Edge, would assume the role of President.

Under terms of the take-over, Ensemble will be a standalone unit within Navigatr Group,  and will continue operations in the US and Canada.

“While the pandemic certainly brought many challenges to our industry, it has also given us the opportunity to explore new ideas and relationships,” Harris said in a statement.

“While it is up to the shareholders to decide on the future of Ensemble, this is an exciting opportunity that would couple Ensemble’s areas of expertise and robust agency network with Navigatr’s great depth of resources that we know will create a compelling value proposition within the consortia space.”

In a joint statement, Ensemble and Navigatr said the benefits of the tie-up “would be the ability to leverage Ensemble’s strengths in cruise, tour, marketing and data monetisation with Navigatr’s complementary platforms and expertise in delivering technology that will enable agencies to sell more effectively by bundling services into single price transactions which together will enhance and streamline the overall member experience”.

Johnson adds: “In the category of ‘timing is everything’, Navigatr group was in the process of launching its own consortium when the idea of pursuing an acquisition of Ensemble was considered. Navigatr’s dedication to improving agency margins through technology is a major addition to Ensemble’s value proposition. This partnership is a prime example of where the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts providing significant benefits to members and suppliers alike.”

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