Merger between Welcome Travel and Geo: the super travel network is born -

Merger between Welcome Travel and Geo: the super travel network is born –

The voice of a possible merger between travel agency networks Welcome Travel e Geo Travel Network it had already been around for several months: a path that seemed natural in two companies with the same objective and the same ownership (the Costa and Alpitour groups). The operation officially started a few days ago with the aim of ending by the end of 2021. The arrival of the pandemic has actually accelerated the times for what is called the new Italian super-network on the travel market. A commercial and marketing operation that involves 2,500 agencies, equal to 35% of the active points of sale in Italy, and which alone generate a leisure turnover of 1.6 billion euros, equal to approximately 50% of the total national TO turnover. The merger will take place by incorporation of the Geo Travel Network agencies into Welcome Travel Group Spa, which will continue to have Adriano Apicella as CEO.

“The operation between Welcome and Geo officially began on March 15th and will be completed by the end of the year – he declared Adriano Apicella, CEO of the renewed network – This is a merger process initiated following a three-year process during which the two brands have already worked together on integration logics, creating strong synergies in four business areas, administration and control, HR, information systems and carrier area “. The merger will be based on the distinctive characteristics of the two brands, on respect for their identities and on the protection of their know-how. In fact, the investments in favor of the affiliated agencies are reconfirmed thanks to the Team Bonus incentive systems for Welcome and Win4All for Geo.

Luca Caraffini, CEO of Geo Travel Network, he will remain in the company and will cover the role of CEO of a new company, Welcome Travel Store, the third brand of the group. The new reality will have as its main focus the Aip contractual model, an association in participation, which will propose a new management system to the participating agencies. “In this way – underlined Caraffini – we will allow agencies to operate thanks to the network license with great simplification of the bureaucratic requirements, of the administrative area and of the management of the point of sale. The advs who decide to join the new Welcome Travel Store proposal will thus be able to benefit from a decisive reduction in the management costs of the point of sale and from an operational simplification that will allow them to focus mainly on customers and sales “.
In short, an alliance that wants to push travel agents to focus exclusively on selling and increasing the volumes of their agencies. By the end of 2022, the manager expects to join the Welcome Travel Store of 30/50 new agencies, which could exceed 100/200 units within three years.

Overall, the alliance sees an increase in both its bargaining power, especially towards international brands, and its investment capabilities. “For our clients we will seek exclusivity and strengthen the levers of marketing, which must be active and able to find the right answers to the needs of our agencies. To speed up the processes, we will provide them with simple but effective and useful technological tools, also to intercept and bring back to the agency that customer, which we now define as liquid, and who, also due to Covid, has changed their purchasing habits “, he continued. Adriano ApicellaCEO Welcome Travel group.

Andrea Moscardinidirector of the Welcome Travel Group network, then specified how the new company confirms the current affiliation models created to meet the different needs of agencies: Team and Flexi for the Welcome Travel brand, Gold and Silver for Geo, in addition to the Aip model proposed by new company Welcome Travel Store.
They are also included in the team of the new distribution center Dante Colitta to the commercial and marketing management, as well as Vittorio Amato e Sandro Palumbo to the commercial direction of carriers and business travel.

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