Flight Centre Travel Group, The largest retail travel outlet in Australia has agreed to acquire silicon-valley based corporate travel company Castro Travel Inc. The move comes a FTC aims to strengthen its presence in North American market. Castro Travel which mainly operates in San Francisco and San Jose area has $120 million transaction volume and has employee strength of 85.
As a mid-scale travel management company specializing mainly in corporate travel Castro Travel’s acquisition by FCT will provide the latter a solid footing in the rapidly growing corporate travel market and greater market access to Silicon Valley and greater West Coast market. It will also provide complimentary services to larger operations on the East Coast.
The Castro Travel acquisition is strategic considering the group just three months ago acquired Umapped, an itinerary based travel management company. The Toronto-based company claims to offer flexibility to collaborate on proposals and itineraries with industry partners and customers. The Castro purchase hints at a larger business plan to tap into North American travel market.
CTI based in Silicon Valley provides larger market access to fast growing technology sector. CTI’s long standing reputation of providing elite and strategic geographic service along with deep client relationships in the Silicon Valley area has made FCT to let CTI continue under the current brand name, although FCT plans to integrate the subsidiary completely in the long term.
There are no major areas of redundancy between the company’s and the business will run as usual and no staff of the 85 staff CTI will be laid off. Castro Travel founder Maryles Castro will assist the FCT in integrating the west coast as Vice President. While current CEO Marc Castro will work as senior vice president of west coast.
The CEO has assured customers that the acquisition will not make any changes to current servicing charges and the business will run as usual. As the FCT plans to leverage full potential of the company’s presence in San Jose and Silicon Valley area, the company headquarters will retain its current position and will continue to serve and grow business in the two cities strategically very important for FCT.
Flight Centre CEO Graham turner believes the new company’s integration in FCT’s global empire will help in diversifying its global reach. FCT which employs 19,000 people in 23 countries is a $20 billion global business headquartered in Brisbane, Australia.