TORONTO — Merit Travel Group’s agreement with Japan-based H.I.S. Co. Ltd. will provide “enhanced scale and scope for continued leadership” with Merit founder Michael Merrithew overseeing international acquisition and growth strategy, according to the company. A spokesperson for Merit confirmed that Merit’s founders intend to maintain their ownership share for the long term and operate the business day-to-day.
H.I.S. Co. Ltd., based in Japan, is a leading travel company with more than 300 retail locations in Japan and 200 branches in 130 cities around the world. H.I.S. began selling package tours in 1981 and received its general travel agency license in 1986.
Under the agreement, H.I.S – Merit Travel will leverage the Merit brand, particularly in North America, to grow its travel business through strategic acquisitions around the world.
“Merit has been a leader in the Canadian travel industry for more than 25 years, and in this time has developed a strong portfolio of brands focused on the wholesale and retail specialty leisure travel market, corporate travel management and loyalty program travel services,” said Merrithew. “The agreement with H.I.S. Travel provides our company with the resources required to compete and win in the global travel business, while extending the Merit Travel brand around the world.”
Led by founders Michael Merrithew and Louise de Grandpré, the Merit Travel Group team will continue to operate the business while benefitting from the global scale and scope offered by the H.I.S. partnership.
Merit began operations in 1991 and grew to become one of the largest independent travel companies in Canada. More than 450 Merit travel professionals advise over 350,000 Canadian travellers every year. Merit Travel Group operates many specialty travel brands including Merit Travel, Travelcuts, MeritBiz, Merit Loyalty and Exclusive Tours.