Flight Centre Travel Group, Goldman Travel Corporation and the Spencer Group of Companies will target independent travel businesses centred on premium and business travel to align with them under a new joint venture (JV) named Link Travel Group.
Each of the founding members are aligned with the Virtuoso luxury travel network – Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) through its Travel Associates premium travel division.
FLT will initially hold the largest stake (60%) in the partnership, labelled as “an innovative new joint venture” that will zero in on the premium leisure and corporate travel sector in Australia.
Subscribe to LATTE’s free eNewsletter to keep up to date with everything in the luxury travel industry.
Link Travel Group will be an “invitation-only members’ group dedicated to partnering with high-quality travel companies to provide an innovative and compelling offering via travel supply, technology and business operations.”
Ownership of the JV will be divided between the three founding partners. Goldman Travel Joint Managing Director Anthony Goldman and Spencer Group of Companies Founder Penny Spencer will sit on the JV’s board of directors, alongside FLT’s Danielle Galloway, the Executive GM of the company’s premium brands, and other yet-to-be-appointed directors.
Scott Darlow has been appointed to oversee the business’s day-to-day operations as an independent General Manager. Darlow, a former Magellan Travel Group and Helloworld Business travel executive, has more than 25 years’ experience in the aviation and travel sectors.
An additional advisory board, consisting of inaugural members, will also be created.
FLT will provide Link members in both the high-end leisure and corporate sectors with a range of services, including access to its leading product and distribution capabilities at a time when considerable change is taking place.
“Link Travel Group represents the coming together of high-profile players within the travel industry to create a new way forward for travel companies around Australia,” said Anthony Goldman, Joint Managing Director of Goldman Travel.
“Link has been designed to help members thrive through business excellence and has been built on four key pillars – transparency, integrity, prosperity and connection & collaboration.
“While we will link agencies to deliver compelling financial rewards, that is only the beginning of the journey. The future is about access to world-class technology, innovative business solutions and workflow improvement tools, which we will deliver,” Goldman said.
“It’s also about working with recognised specialists in the industry to create better ways of doing business. Access to strong hotel and tour programs for the corporate and leisure markets, online booking tools for advisors and consumers, online travel advisory tools, advanced airline booking channels and relationship management programs are some of the instant benefits that are available to our members.
“We believe Link Travel Group will provide a compelling offering to its hand-picked members and their customers.”
Penny Spencer, Founder of Spencer Group of Companies said it was a “great pleasure” to unveil the alliance.
“After a very challenging two years, the world is reopening and the travel industry overall – and the premium sector in particular – is starting to see meaningful signs of recovery.
“Our goal is to help travel businesses realise their commercial ambitions by offering highly attractive commercial returns, technology, support and strong leadership in the market,” Spencer said.
“Membership of Link Travel Group will help our people capitalise on opportunities in the post-COVID world, while also helping them adapt to the changes that are taking place in our industry, particularly in terms of supply.”
“Link will create change in the Australian travel industry,” said Danielle Galloway, Executive GM premium brands at FLT. “Our combined goal is to shape the future of travel by uniting the industry’s progressive thinkers.
“As invitation-only partners, businesses will benefit by leveraging Australia’s largest travel agency group, while maintaining their own powerful brand identity and independence. We look forward to welcoming members to our exclusive Link Travel Group,” Galloway said.
“We are also delighted to have secured Scott as our inaugural general manager. He is highly regarded nationally by both suppliers and agents alike and with high level experience across multiple agency business models, he knows which ones work the best for all parties,” Galloway concluded.
Lead image: From left: Scott Darlow, Anthony Goldman, Penny Spencer, Danielle Galloway, and David Goldman.