Virtuoso Responds to Tzell – Protravel Merger

matthew d upchurchMatthew D. Upchurch, the chairman and CEO of Virtuoso, has released a statement in response to the merger between Tzell Travel Group and Protravel International, Inc.:

Priscilla Alexander created a powerful, profitable agency with Protravel International,” Upchurch says. “She has been a consistent friend and supporter to Virtuoso and me, personally. The sale of Protravel to Travel Leaders is evidence of her and her staff’s tremendous achievements. I know she also celebrates our continued collaboration and has over the years. We look forward to maintaining our professional and personal relationship with Priscilla, and to welcoming her aboard the AmaCerto for our Chairman’s Recognition Event in a few days.

“There is no question consolidation will play a major role in our industry as it has in many others around the globe. We have seen three-way competition for share of travelers among supplier-direct, OTAs and ‘traditional retail.’ We are now seeing a new wave of consolidation of retail travel distribution led by the corporate or TMC sector. This consolidation supports the strategy of scale and purchasing power, but also shows the value of our sector which many underestimated.

“Virtuoso anticipated these trends. In our strategy, we support entrepreneurs who represent strong community and professional relationships. We recognize that suppliers value people who can sell their product at higher margins, and we invest with our members in developing these sales advisors and enhancing their client experiences. We actively extend these relationships to a growing base of travelers.  Our membership has led us to develop systems and services to help small and mid-sized members be more productive and profitable, and we are pursuing this with our Service Bureau. And finally, through our technology, we enable a global sales network to profit individually while acting jointly.

“We expect consolidation to continue; we equally expect the continual growth and value of connected advisors and entrepreneurs,” concluded Upchurch.

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