Adelman Travel Group has announced it will acquire Great Southern Travel, the travel agency division of Great Southern Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: GSBC). The deal is the largest acquisition in Adelman’s history and caps a series of business moves that will increase the company’s revenue by a projected 25% percent this year.
“We are a very different company than we were two years ago,” said Steve Cline, chief operating officer of Adelman Travel Group. “We have always been a strong player in the business and corporate travel sector, but we knew we had to round out our line of services. Bringing in Great Southern Travel opens up a new market for us within corporate travel and greatly expands our vacation travel business.”
Great Southern Travel, based in Springfield, Missouri, was founded in 1977 as a division of Great Southern Financial Corporation. It is one of the top 100 travel agencies in the United States, with about 90 employees in 13 locations. Cline said the acquisition is unique, and attractive to Adelman, because it offers no redundancies in employee positions or functions. “In fact, we’re looking to hire about a dozen new employees for our corporate headquarters in Milwaukee as a result of the acquisition and other growth.”
The Great Southern Travel locations will be rebranded, but Cline said they will operate much the same as they did before. “We have very similar corporate cultures,” said Cline. “They have a business that thrives on delivering service and flexible solutions, and their peoplemake the difference. We welcome and look forward to working with the staff of GST.”
Adelman also announced it has finalized a marketing and co-branding agreement with Summit Performance Group (SPG) a meetings and incentives company based in San Diego, CA. According to Cline, more and more of Adelman’s corporate customers interested in meetings and incentives travel are askingAdelman to respond to bid requests or requests for proposals, so it made sense to integrate a corporate/meetings product into Adelman’s offerings.
Cline said 2012 has been a good year for Adelman. “It has definitely been exciting. We’ve had a record-breaking year in bringing on new corporate customers, primarily due to integrating account management and consulting services and by offering flexible technology solutions. Our customer retention level is also at a record year for us trending at 100%. And we’re just getting started with implementing many of our new initiatives.”
Earlier this year, Adelman opened a second state-of-the-art call center at their corporate headquarters to accommodate reward travel redemption, a new line of business for the company. This dedicated team of customer service representatives currently fulfills air, car, hotel and travelers insurance in exchange for reward points, with future plans to expand these services.
Adelman has recently begun offering a managed video conferencing solution trademarked VideoTravel™ as an alternative to traditional travel. This solution responds to the need of corporations for more productive employees while providing abetter work/life balance for frequent business travelers.
“Our objective is to take advantage of the synergies within these different segments of travel and managed video conferencing, to reshape the company’s strategic position as a travel company that brings people together by the most efficient means, while being able to service almost every segment of the travel industry,” said Cline.