Host travel agency Nexion has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a majority share of Uniglobe Instant Travel Inc., a London, Ontario based travel agency owned by well-known retailer Mike Foster.
Operating in Canada since 1982, Uniglobe Instant has used Independent Contractors (ICs) as part of its business model since 1998. Nexion says the acquisition and move into Canada will enable it to partner with an established Canadian travel agency and begin replicating its host agency concept for independent travel agents throughout the country.
Based in Irving, Texas, Nexion will operate Nexion Canada through the YXU office currently owned by Foster, a Uniglobe franchisee for 31 years. Once the acquisition closes at the end of January, Foster will cease the agency’s Uniglobe affiliation and operate under the Nexion Canada brand.
Foster will be a partner in the new company and serve as President of Nexion Canada, reporting to Nexion President Jackie Friedman.
“By partnering with Mike Foster’s highly reputable and established Ontario travel agency business, Nexion will be able to serve Canada’s growing number of independent travel agents nationally,” said Friedman, a native of Toronto who attended London’s University of Western Ontario. “We look forward to providing them with access to Nexion’s award-winning training ranging from coaching to Boot Camps, along with marketing, cruise group space and technology platforms,” Friedman said.
Founded as a host agency in 1995, Nexion currently hosts over 3,300 ICs – both corporate and leisure – throughout the U.S. In 2010, Nexion was acquired from Sabre Holdings by Tzell, a NYC based travel agency with sales approaching USD 1.5 billion last year. Tzell is part of Minnesota-headquartered Travel Leaders Group
Travel Leaders Group’s other operations in Canada currently include the Cruise Holidays franchise brand and the Vacation.com consortium. However, the addition of Uniglobe Instant marks Travel Leaders Group’s 1st majority-owned IATA accredited agency in Canada.
“Throughout my 33 years in the travel industry, I have witnessed incredible change. But no change has been more exciting than the evolving role independent travel agents are contributing to our industry’s landscape in Canada,” stated Foster, who has been active with Canadian travel industry boards and associations including TICO and ACTA.