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Now three players are keen to woo Magellan agents

January 10, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Magellan Travel Group agents should be feeling very desirable; no fewer than three travel organisations are openly keen on them – quite apart from Helloworld, which announced its shock acquisition of Magellan before Christmas and expects to complete the transaction imminently.

The latest to express an interest in Magellan members is Ensemble Travel Group, based in North America and very active in Australia. Ensemble’s membership conducts billions of dollars in sales each year and Ensemble claims the title of “largest member-owned travel cooperative”.

Ensemble’s Sydney-based senior vice president and executive general manager, Trish Shepherd, told Global Travel Media yesterday that many of Magellan’s members were ex-American Express, so she and Ensemble knew them well.

Shepherd said the value proposition that Ensemble represented was very extensive. Magellan agents “had a lot to consider because they are part of a great group” and Ensemble was “happy to share what we can do for them”.

Trish Shepherd


Shepherd stressed that Ensemble was not playing a heavy role but wanted to ensure all Magellan agents had the right information, as not all were aware “quite how extensive Ensemble’s value is” particularly in the high-end business in which Magellan traditionally operates.

Well known in the Australian travel industry, Shepherd has 30 years of travel industry experience with a focus on partnerships and strategic alliances. Prior to joining Ensemble, she was regional director of the American Express Travel Service network.

Meanwhile, Travellers Choice, in which each member has a single vote regardless of their shareholding, has also pointed out its advantages to Magellan members, industry publication Travel Daily said this week.

First off the rank to offer Magellan agents a new home was Express Travel Group, which has offered Magellan members their own platform under the Express Travel Group umbrella. See: Express Travel offers Magellan agents a new home

In an open letter to Magellan agents , Express Travel Group chief executive Tom Manwaring said he wanted Magellan members to know Express Travel was able to offer a new home, a stand-alone facility to run alongside Express Travel’s existing brands: Select Travel Group; Independent Travel Group; italktravel and the newly purchased Creative Cruising.

Manwaring was in no doubt about the potential of high-end leisure and personalised corporate, the market Magellan has traditionally pursued. “There’s a good long-term future for that sort of business in travel,” Manwaring said.

“Baby boomers are wanting personal service and are prepared to spend good money on longer holidays and variety.”

Written by Peter Needham

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