Austin Travel opened its first location in Hicksville, Long Island, NY in 1955 and was the 3rd travel agency on Long Island. Steady growth from leisure travel and group trips became the foundation for expansion of the company. In 1964, Austin Travel signed the Grumman Corporation as its first major corporate travel account.
In 1977, we automated our reservation processes with American Airlines - Sabre System. Since then, information technology has played a strong role in Austin's continued growth. We employ the latest in technology, implementing many new software products to improve efficiencies and to ensure the lowest fares. This automation moved into the back office in our reporting, reconciliation and accounting areas. With the ever evolving technology our clients can request itineraries via phone, fax, e-mail or on-line.
In 1981, sons Jeffrey and Jamie Austin joined the company, followed in 1987 by youngest son, Stewart Austin. Directing the company's continuing growth, Larry Austin now serves as the Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey as President and COO, Jamie as SVP Sales and Account Management and Stewart as the SVP of Information Technology.
Austin Travel expanded rapidly in the 1990's. In 1996, we formed Austin Associates, a consortium of small and mid-size Travel Agencies around the country. At the same time, we created Austin Cruise Center, a division dedicated to the ever-growing consumer base of travelers interested in cruising. Austin Associates was sold in 2006.
In 2010, Austin Travel merged with Protravel International, becoming the 18th largest travel management company in the United States. Protravel International is headquartered in New York City, with 20 full service offices in key cities around the U.S. and London. Austin Travel operates as a Division of Protravel International. We share a strong commitment to providing value in purchasing and highly personalized service. By leveraging our total sales on behalf of all of our clients we create opportunities with ticket pricing and hotel rates that allow us to pass on benefits you would not typically qualify for based on your individual travel volume. Our business model is built upon servicing travelers through small teams of dedicated reservation specialists, empowered to make decisions on behalf of their clients, ensuring you receive premium levels of service and measurable value.
In 2012, Protravel joined with Tzell Travel, a Travel Leaders Group company to a $2.35 billion organization with 72 branches that extend to most major markets across the country and the United Kingdom. Parent company Travel Leaders Group is North America’s largest traditional travel agency company with nearly $17 billion in annual sales volume and more than 6,000 travel agency locations. It owns Tzell, consortium Vacation.com, host agency Nexion, Cruise Holidays, Travel Leaders Franchise Group and Cruise Holidays, among other agency groups.