Minneapolis, MN (May 21, 2010) — Travel Leaders Group, one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, is today announcing it has reached an agreement to sell its Connexions Loyalty Travel Solutions division to Affinion Group, Inc., a global leader in customer engagement solutions. Connexions has become a significant provider of both online and offline travel for loyalty-based customers. The sale is targeted to close during the summer of 2010. Connexions’ management team and employees will continue to work within Affinion’s combined company. 

Travel Leaders Group leaders indicated that the sale will help increase its focus and presence in the traditional travel agency business – including both wholly-owned and franchised locations throughout North America – while at the same time allowing its successful loyalty business (Connexions) to transfer ownership and become part of one of the world’s leading companies in loyalty management. 

“Connexions has been an extremely valuable part of Travel Leaders Group, thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Eric Burdon and the work of the entire Connexions team,” noted Travel Leaders Group Chairman and Founder Michael Batt. “It’s clear that the future of that business will be significantly enhanced through Affinion ownership and their ability to offer Connexions products to potentially millions of new loyalty-based customers. It truly is a win-win for both Affinion and Connexions.” 

“The heart and soul of our business has always lied in travel distribution and the travel agency business,” explained Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben, adding, “Thus, this is also a win for Travel Leaders Group. Realigning in this way allows us to focus even more on our core business. The proceeds from the sale simply increase the resources we have available for growth and further expansion.” 

After the sale has closed, Travel Leaders Group will consist of Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Franchise Group, Travel Leaders Leisure Group and Tzell Travel Group.

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Travel Leaders is transforming travel with a name that boldly embodies our commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through our strong roots – the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined together in 2008 to form one of the industry’s fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.