Dnata Travel Group’s proposals to merge its B2B businesses and mothball the historic Travel 2 brand has been met with deep sadness, as well as some understanding from the trade.
The proposed merger of the trade-only sister operators Gold Medal and Travel 2 could see the end of Travel 2 as a brand and closure of its Glasgow headquarters, subject to consultation.
Agents who work with both brands said they would be “saddened” by Travel 2’s disappearance, and the potential loss of experienced staff.
Lisa Lightly, branch manager of East of England Co-op Travel Tiptree, told TTG: “We’ve used Travel 2 an awful lot and it’s a real shame. You can see why it’s happened – bosses are having to make quick and difficult decisions a lot sooner than they envisaged.
“It’s a sad moment. Travel 2 has been a very strong brand. From my point of view, my account manager has been fabulous.”
Lightly’s feelings were echoed by Tony Mann, director of Idle Travel.
“I think it’s really sad,” said Mann. “When companies do this, you always lose something. I expected this to happen at some point, but that’s not always a good thing.
“It’s their decision, but you may lose the knowledge and skills of the staff from Travel 2 – that’s hugely important. You need to retain that knowledge in the industry.”
Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group, said he “felt for everybody going through this process”.
“Clearly, there are huge challenges with predicting what the next six to 18 months is going to look like,” he said. “Business partners are facing really tough decisions, and it’s the right thing to do to support them with that. We feel for everybody affected.”
Travel 2 was founded by Graham Moss and Stuart Harvey in the early 1980s, and was sold to Cendant Corporation in 2003 before eventually being acquired by dnata in 2014.
Kerry Golds, managing director of Abercrombie & Kent, added: “It is a sad day to see the brand that was built with such passion by incredible people over the years disappear.
“I spent 21 very happy years at Travel 2. I was given the opportunity to grow by Graham and Stuart under a fantastic brand and business; to see it go is obviously very sad for me personally.”